Lampard: England have underachieved

Frank Lampard has admitted England's so-called Golden Generation have underperformed at major tournaments.

Last Updated: 20/05/13 at 21:35 Post Comment

Lampard: England not performed in the big events

Lampard: England not performed in the big events

Frank Lampard has admitted England's so-called Golden Generation have underperformed at major international tournaments.

The 34-year-old has won every honour in the club game with Chelsea, including the Europa League last week, yet international silverware remains elusive after 28 goals in 95 England appearances since his debut in 1999.

Speaking ahead of the forthcoming friendlies with Republic of Ireland and Brazil, Lampard admitted to a sense of frustration, which he personally has only one more chance to put right as it is expected he will step down from England duty after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

"As a group and individually, I'll hold my hands up and say at World Cups we haven't performed," Lampard told TalkSPORT.

"It certainly isn't for the want of trying. But when you look at the end and you go 'yes, I've ticked all those boxes', the international one, none of us have ticked."

Lampard has been at the heart of the group which has carried the nation's hopes for more than a decade, alongside Liverpool's Steven Gerrard.

Numerous critics have suggested Gerrard and Lampard, who share many similar characteristics, cannot play together, but the Chelsea man dismissed that, suggesting England's formation was a limiting factor at international level where midfields are packed.

"I think it's a myth," Lampard said.

"There was a lot of talk about Stevie coming to Chelsea years ago and I can't see that we wouldn't have been able to play together if we'd have been playing regularly.

"Going in and playing big tournaments at 4-4-2 at times, it's not easy in midfield, when you're outnumbered, because you're not getting outnumbered against mugs, you're outnumbered against top players."

Lampard has at times had to cope with vitriol from England supporters which made him unhappy.

He received a wake-up call when he spoke to his father, Frank Lampard Senior, when at a low ebb as Steve McClaren's reign as England boss was coming to an end.

His father told him to enjoy an opportunity many would do anything to achieve and now Lampard enjoys the international game.

"For young players the pressure is so intense, the level up from playing for your club is huge," Lampard added.

"I've grown more in love with England as I've got older.

"When I was mid-England career and took a bit of stick, I didn't enjoy it.

"I don't think you can if you go to Wembley and get a bit of stick and go to World Cups and we weren't playing well. That's not me moaning about it, we didn't perform so it comes with the territory.

"As I've got older I think my appreciation of playing for my country has risen - it doesn't go on forever - and I really enjoy it at the minute."

Lampard is expected to be named skipper for at least one of the two fixtures, for which Manchester City midfielder Jack Rodwell has been added to Hodgson's squad amid fears Tom Cleverley, who has been involved in every game this season, will miss out through injury.

The Republic encounter is particularly significant as it will be their first meeting with England since 1995, when a friendly in Dublin had to be abandoned due to rioting by the visiting supporters.

An anti-IRA song 'No Surrender' continues to be sung by England fans and, after escaping a charge for the alleged behaviour of their supporters in San Marino recently, the Football Association are desperate to avoid more controversy.

Although he will not specifically mention which songs, it is understood coach Roy Hodgson will urge fans not to sing 'offensive political and religious songs', both in his programme notes for next Wednesday's game and also in an e-mail to ticket holders.

In addition to his plea to avoid certain songs, Hodgson will also praise England supporters for their exemplary behaviour at recent tournaments.


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