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Lampard blow deepens Hodgson's midfield concerns

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Phil McNulty | 19:23 UK time, Thursday, 31 May 2012

Frank Lampard experienced his highest high when he finally lifted the Champions League trophy as Chelsea beat Bayern Munich in the Allianz Arena on 19 May - now he faces the grim reality that his England career at the highest level is over.

Lampard, who will be 34 in June, will know the thigh injury that rules him out of Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukrakine effectively means his days of representing England at major tournaments are over.

Chelsea's midfielder spoke with brutal honesty about what Euro 2012 meant to him when he faced the media at England's Hertfordshire headquarters this week, admitting: "It possibly is my last chance with England.

"I don't see myself retiring or taking myself out of it in the near future. But I'm no fool and I know that age is a factor and, at international level, you don't go on forever."

Frank Lampard despairs after his goal is disallowed against Germany at the 2010 World Cup.

At nearly 34, Lampard's England career does not have long to run. Photo: Getty

Now that final opportunity has been taken away by an injury suffered in training on Wednesday, meaning bitter disappointment for a player who has been an integral part of England's planning at major tournaments since Euro 2004 in Portugal.

And it also means that his final taste of the big stage at a summer showpiece will be the one with bitter memories of "the goal that never was" - Lampard's shot that dropped yards behind the line with England trailing Germany 2-1 in Bloemfontein at the South African World Cup two years ago.

The "goal" was infamously missed by the officials and England's campaign ended in the ignominy of a heavy 4-1 beating.

Lampard will not get the chance to expunge that memory. It is a sad personal blow for a serious, dedicated professional who has often been unfairly maligned for his contribution with England - and in the wider context it is a blow new manager Roy Hodgson will have dreaded.

It is wonderful chance for Liverpool's Jordan Henderson, who will replace him in Poland and Ukraine. Henderson will be 22 during Euro 2012 and many sound judges believe there is much more to come from the youngster, who had an occasionally torrid first season at Anfield following his move from Sunderland.

But there is no escaping the scale of the setback that comes with Lampard's absence, following hard on the heels of Manchester City midfield man Gareth Barry's withdrawal with an abdomen injury.

Lampard has sometimes not received the full credit he deserves for his professionalism, maturity and his goalscoring ability while winning 90 caps. What he has achieved has often been lost amid the debate of whether he can play alongside new England captain Steven Gerrard at international level.

And while he would, in all probability, have been on the bench for England's opening game against France in Donetsk on 11 June, few players in the squad would have been better prepared or more determined to take their chance when it presented itself.

With Michael Carrick scratched from England's original squad because of his reluctance to travel as a bit-part player, Jack Wilshere's season wiped out by injury, Paul Scholes retired and the international development of Everton's Jack Rodwell cut short by a chronic hamstring problem, manager Hodgson's resources are now bare.

Hodgson has been unfortunate that injury problems have gone straight to the heart of his team. Barry and Lampard may not have been first-choices at the start of Euro 2012 but their experience around the squad would have been of real service to the manager.

Even greater responsibility will now fall on Gerrard and his central midfield partner Scott Parker - with Hodgson probably not even allowing himself to think about the possibility of the Tottenham player's recent Achilles problem recurring.

Hodgson still has options, however. James Milner can move inside while Manchester United's Phil Jones was already earmarked as one with the potential to slot in, when Everton defender Phil Jagielka was initially preferred to Henderson when Barry was ruled out.

And for those craving the opportunity for exciting young talent, there is now an even greater possibility that Arsenal teenager Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain may figure in England's Euro 2012 campaign at some point.

Lampard's injury may not only mean the end of his participation in Euro 2012. There is the real possibility it will be the end of his England career as Hodgson will inevitably look to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil once matters are concluded in Poland and Ukraine.

There will be plenty in football who have admired Lampard's ability and approach over the years who will believe he deserves a better ending to his England story.


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  • Comment number 1.

    I think it is a blow to the team, more so than losing Gareth Barry anyway. He had a great second half of the season and could have provided stability in the middle of the pitch.

  • Comment number 2.

    Having said that as he is almost 34 I think realistically that is the end of his England career as we need to introduce younger players in the World Cup qualifiers.

  • Comment number 3.

    The absence of Gareth Barry, Frank Lampard and Jack Wilshere is a massive blow to England. Can just imagine, the french midfield running the show against Jordan Henderson.

  • Comment number 4.

    Frank was looking in top form after Christmas, especially in those Barcelona games. Parker now needs to step up and prove he hasn't been overhyped by the media.

  • Comment number 5.

    Its a huge blow. Probably Franks last major tournament.

    Still he's put in one helluva a stint and has earned his rest.

    Sadly there is very little good English youth comming through.

  • Comment number 6.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 7.

    Jordan Henderson has had a very easy season, never a hair out of place, i once saw him complete a pass of over 10 yards, this is a blessing...............or something

  • Comment number 8.

    Frank Lampard has been an all-time great for Chelsea, but hasn't replicated it for England, even though he averages 2 goals every 7 games for the national side. And he scored a couple of goals against the best sides (Spain and Germany). I think Lampard will play for England again, but not in a major tournament.

  • Comment number 9.

    blessing when you think about it, throw these supposed stars of tomorrow into the future and get a needed lesson or surprise everyone, even their mum.

  • Comment number 10.

    I've never been the biggest fan of Lampard in England colours. His place was always too assured for some of the more anonymous performances he put it. That said, I was hoping his season of adversity and eventual triumph would be useful to England this time around, shame it has to end this way. Good luck to Hendo, he's shown nothing that suggests he will prove the doubters wrong but he'll have no bigger chance to do so than this summer.

  • Comment number 11.

    Realistically that must be the end of Lampard's England career. He's not getting any younger and Hodgson must look into the future. I rate Carrick highly as a player but his attitude is a disgrace, I don't think he should be selected for England ever again if he thinks he can dictate the conditions of being in the squad, only players who are completely committed should be there. With Parker a doubt we could be treated to the sight of a centre-half playing alongside Gerrard, how that's going to work out is anyone's guess. And Jordan Hendershon - I have nothing against him but after the season he's had he shouldn't be anywhere near the tournament unless he's bought a ticket.

  • Comment number 12.

    Now Lampard is out I think that this provides an opportunity to try a different formation - 3-5-2.


    Cahill Terry Cole

    Johnson Baines


    Chamberlain Gerrard Young


    A back 3 comprising Chelsea players. Most teams play one up front so this should not be a problem.

    2 wing backs with licence to get forward whenever possible.

    Parker to sit in front of the back 3 and provide extra defensive cover.

    4 attacking players with Gerrard as the midfield lynchpin. Chamberlain, Young and Walcott should look to find space and link with Gerrard. Walcott is the centre forward in the formation but the key is that they can interchange as and when required.

    This set up is all about fluidity. Attacking players should look to create space for themselves and use their pace to produce goalscoring oppotunities.

    Rooney to replace whoever of the front 4 has not performed in the first 2 matches. Unless they have all done amazingly well in which case it might make sense to leave Rooney on the bench (this happened to Greaves in '66 remember).

  • Comment number 13.

    Should have took Carrick, he is better placed to replace Lampard than Henderson. Has experience, is a better player at present and is more influential.

    Or Joey Barton. :P

  • Comment number 14.

    @ 13

    Carrick rejected the chance to be in the back-up squad. He would have been picked ahead of Henderson if he had accepted the chance but he was too arrogant and decided he is too big to play just every now and then for his country.

    Obviously spent too long with a certain Ginger plodder.

  • Comment number 15.

    Just as I thought we would win Euro 2012 as well, we go and lose Barry and Lampard.

    So another of the "Golden Generation" will be put out to pasture and tales of exploits on foreign fields in an England shirt will abound.

    Yes I know its tongue in cheek but maybe the only way we were going to get a sense of long termism about improving the national side was for injuries to begin to bite because the continual reliance on the old underachieving guard (despite the presses adoration for them) has been a continual problem for England.

    Euro 2012 should be a learning curve for the kids, Oxlade-Chamberlain et al with a view to improving at Brazil 2014 with a view to actually competing SERIOUSLY at France 2016 which if we had any kind of long term plan would be our first concern and more importantly a goal that was attainable.

    People will point to Lampard and his Chelsea exploits these past few weeks and argue he and the other old guard should not be written off. Poppycock, never delivered at international level where invariably the better teams come to the top. Chelsea won the CL primarily through utter negativity and a reliance on good fortune, Greece were the equivalent at international level in 2004. That combination of utter negativity and good fortune only wins out once in a blue moon (thank goodness) and if thats our blueprint for success, well we are in for a long wait

  • Comment number 16.


    That's a 5-4-1, surely?

    Anyway, shame for Lampard. He seems like one of the few footballers in the squad who have managed to keep a half-decent reputation off the pitch over the last few years.

    Tactically, it matters little. Lampard was never going to start, was pretty unlikely to play at all once Gerrard was made captain, and Henderson can keep the bench warm as well as anyone else.

  • Comment number 17.

    It's sad for Frank. On a very positive note, we'll now be spared the disaster of a Lampard - Gerrard pairing in midfield. It never worked and Hodgson might have been tempted to try it (again) with predictably disastrous results. England should use 2012 as an opportunity to forge a new team around younger players. This will force them to do that.

  • Comment number 18.


    No-one says "'Let's play the "Golden Generation"' wiithout first thinking long-term and looking at the youth. The trouble is that there is far less talent in the youth now than there has been at any point in the last 30 years. That is why people like Lampard were making the squad - because the alternative is Henderson.

  • Comment number 19.

    @ 16

    "Henderson can keep the bench warm as well as anyone else."

    Aftet the season he's had he'll probably be rubbish at that!! lol

  • Comment number 20.

    So after years of under-performing for England and unpopularity with the fans, suddenly it's a "huge blow"? What planet are these so called chief football writers on?

    For me it's great news, better and more deserving players may actually get a chance now (although I dont put Henderson into that category).

  • Comment number 21.

    @5 - OK, may be not quite youth in the strictest sense but how come you've overlooked Jack Wishire, Jack Rodwell (granted hamstring-injury-prone but then so was Gerrard in his early days), Ross Barkley, Chamberlain (has already proven his worth I'd say), and Jonjo Shelvey and Henri Lansbury (have done well at U-21 - Shelvey had a good finish to this season)?

  • Comment number 22.

    @ 18

    I think people are being a bit small minded when it comes to Henderson. Believe me, I am one of his biggest critics but more that one manager has seen something in him so he can't be all bad!

    But I really don't think that he would have been anywhere near the squad if it weren't for injuries. Lets be honest, Barry, Carrick, Lampard, Wilshere and Rodwell would all have been picked ahead of him.

    He is almost a last resort to be honest. He will hardly play if at all. He is only there to make up the numbers and that is clear by the fact that Jagielka was picked ahead of him as a replacement to the squad.

  • Comment number 23.

    As usual, Lady Luck kicks England up the backside and the tournament has not even started.

  • Comment number 24.

    Disappointing for Lampard - not sure how much he would have played, but as the article says, great professional to have around the squad, and especially the younger players.

    In some ways though, I wonder whether this might not be good for England. Henderson is unlikely to play - he is just too reckless, lacking in experience, and wil give too many free kicks away to European opposition. So Milner would be the more likely to play alongside Parker in a 4-2-3-1, or be the cover on the bench if Phil Jones plays. It does mean though that he is now not likely to play on the wing.

    This I think can only be good news. He's dependable enough, works hard, but is never going to take players on and beat them for skill or pace. It means though that the likelihood of playing two out of Walcott/Young/Chamberlain/Welbeck is increasing, with even the possibility of three of those if we need to get a result. England were poor and slow against Norway, especially in the second half, and so the need to protect the central midfield means this could actually benefit England.

  • Comment number 25.

    @ 16

    That's what we tell the oppostion - it's designed to confuse them ;-)

    In all seriousness I think i've confused myself.

    In a nutshell what i'd like to see is less reliance on player x in position x in an attacking sense. The defensive unit needs to be well drilled and organised but i'd like our attacking players to be less static than they have been in recent games. Having players who can switch positions whilst a game is in progress means we become less predictable and therefore more of a threat to the opposition.

  • Comment number 26.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 27.

    Kenny get's the sack, and who would of thought it Carroll, Henderson and Downing all going to the Euro's....
    My great fear still is Downing may start against France....

  • Comment number 28.

    @ 27

    Even I find it amusing that we have 5 players from a team that came 8th in the league!! Shocking. Imo, only Gerrard, Johnson and possible Carroll deserve to be there. Would probably have taken Crouch myself though.

  • Comment number 29.

    Some totally ridiculous comments above! It is a disaster for England.
    Gerrard is a liability, Barry is out and Carrick is too good to be an England reserve. We have no midfield left and will be destroyed by France (and fail to qualify from a poor group).
    Yes, we need to build for the future, but that has to be based around a few of the older generation, of which Lampard has been one of the best.

  • Comment number 30.


    I keep trying to give Henderson the benefit of doubt but he just never seems to produce anything. He reminds me of one of these all American boys you see in high school teen flicks which doesn't help I suppose.

    Sad for Lamps, a decent guy, almost certainly England career over.

  • Comment number 31.

    @ 29

    Show me a game where Lampard actually performed for England? I mean to the same standards as he does at Chelsea?!

    He is a brilliant player and I actually think he has matured massively and adapted his game now that he is getting older. He could have sat alongside Parker allowing Gerrard to push forward a bit more and support the front man.

    I disagree that Carrick is too good to be a reserve. He doesn't do anything. He is basically an older version of Jordan Henderson!

  • Comment number 32.

    If we are still alive after 2 games, the team should revolve around making best use of Gerrard and Rooney....
    If we get through the group we most probably play Spain...Chelsea v Barca and Bayern spring to mind, not pretty,
    but it worked....i'm dreaming now...
    After the Euro's, team to be built around the best use of Wilshere and Rooney....

  • Comment number 33.

    Frank Lampard will probably play a few World Cup qualifiers after the Euros but aged 36 at the next World Cup England need to move on his season at Chelsea has been good as usual but I don't think he would have produced for England at the Euros because England haven't had a good tourament since Euro 2004 I believe and so I think younger players are the key and I rate Rodwell,Wilshere and Cleverley higher when it comes to England
    Jordan Henderson is better than most people give credit for although I am comparing to him to Jay Spearing I don't think that he has played any worse than he did for Sunderland. I would deploy him as a defensive midfielder as scoring clearly isn't his strength and being younger he could help close games out if we don't want to risk Parker's achilles

  • Comment number 34.

    I'm sorry - nothing personal against the bloke and a fabulous player at club level, but Lampard has been consistently and mind-blowingly dreadful for England since the 2004 Euros, in which he was useful. He plays without passion or skill for his country. I dunno why. His absence, without wishing ill, will be beneficial to the England team.

  • Comment number 35.

    feel really bad for frank. His last chance gone. Big blow for England as well. But seriously though support Henderson. He's young. Yes he has had a bad season but he's and influential player. The amount of criticism he took and he still keep trying his best. On his day he can take a game in any direction he wants. He has shown it before. Get behind him, give him a bit of confidence and maybe he'll do a job.

  • Comment number 36.

    thank god for that!!!!!

    people, how many tournaments has he played in & how many displays in those tournaments by the england team have lacked direction, ball retention & drive from midfield, he's a great club player but no england international. i actually think we are better off with out the guy, just a shame wilsheres not fit, we wouldnt dare to mention lampards name again lol
    If i was picking the team & everyone was fit :) -

  • Comment number 37.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 38.

    Peeps should lighten up on Henderson.

    He had to play out of position for most of the season.

    There's no doubt he is a massive talent and will one day captain England.

  • Comment number 39.

    @ 36

    I'm glad you're not picking the team then!

    Joe Cole? Adam johnson can't even get a game and Sturridge did ok at the start of the season but has shown himself to be too selfish and he appears very arrogant. Think he thinks he is far better than his talent actually is!

  • Comment number 40.

    @26, That never was proven to have happened. It was written about on Wikipedia, and that's it. To be perfectly honest if that had actually happened, there would have been a massive media storm (rightly so as well) but there wasn't. Its unfair to hate Ashley Cole because he didn't want to stay together with Cheryl, that's just ridiculous. A Spanish friend of mine pointed out that Ashley Cole being booed is exactly why England don't succeed, because no other countries do things like that. When they pull on an England shirt they aren't Chelsea, Man Utd. or Arsenal players, they represent all of us as a nation. Lampard is a role model, he is exactly what you want a person to be. Not only is he an exceptional footballer, he has spent his entire career being abused, he has had his personal life abused (over a radio show - where he phoned in to set the records straight), and throughout all of this he has remained a true professional. He never says, oh this is ridiculous, or lashes out at people for saying he isn't good enough. Try going to work every day and having someone who knows very little about doing what you do slate you constantly, and tell you your a bad father. He handles himself exceptionally, and you add that to the fact that he is also not particularly thick (which is what kids need to learn these days - football is an extra education comes first). Not many people could put up with what he has.

  • Comment number 41.

    #12 You reckon 3-5-2 formation?

    I think our best bet would be 4-3-5-2-1, but even then I don't think we'd make it to the semis.....

  • Comment number 42.

    Lol @ 38. Henderson will one day captain England..... I can only presume our tiddly winks captain plans on stepping down soon?!

    Hilarious as always.

  • Comment number 43.

    Dont think a 3-5-2 would work. We don't have pace with JT, Cahill and Cole at the back. The wingbacks are then pretty pointless if your going to play Young and Chaimberlain in the Midfield. We need width, but not like that. And to be honest if your going to plan for the future in a tournament we aren't going to win then why not play Chaimberlain Sturridge and Welbeck.

  • Comment number 44.


    Poor group? You must be joking! France have a great record against England, and I think have only lost once against them in the past 10 games. Playing Ukraine at home, how is that suppose to be easy, and until recently, Sweden has always been a bogey team for England. As I said earlier, I don't think England can make it past the group stages with their current squad. Serious dearth in quality and talent I'm afraid and to add to that injuries as well!

  • Comment number 45.

    It's a pretty rough way for Lampards international career to end, but in the cold light of reality it doesnt actually make a whole lot of difference to the tournament. As pointed out he wouldnt be a starter anyway, and his role in the squad would presumably be to replace Gerrard in the second half if required.

    If he is such a great character to have around the team, then surely its a simple task to hand him a plane ticket and bring him to Krakow to play head cheerleader?

  • Comment number 46.


    Maybe you should check who has been captain of the England U21's for the last couple of years.

    Stop reading the Mirror and open your mind ;o)

  • Comment number 47.

    The build-up to this tournament surely can't get any worse for England?
    Lampard is one of the Chelsea legends, he would have been great to have around the England camp this year especially.
    What a shame, I still think that England may surprise people though.

  • Comment number 48.

    What a disastrous tournament for England even before the warm-up schedule. Potential young guns like Wilshere, Rodwell and Cleverley unavailable; Lamps and Barrie sidelined through injury and Carrick out with egomania.

    Pretty good midfield somewhere in there one would think! Parker and Gerrard now carry an enormous responsibility.

    The real problem for England though remains there inability to find a truly international class striker. From where does one see the goals coming without the rest of the team pressing too hard and thus providing gaps to be exploited?

  • Comment number 49.

    I am aware that as a nation we have very little true quality to choose from, so whether Lampard is in or out doesn't really make a difference (he's had some good spells during matches, but essentially he's got 90 caps for being on the receiving end of nepotism). What Mr McNulty and everyone else seems to have overlooked is the number of Liverpool players now in the squad - players, who after the season the Anfield has-beens have had, should never be considered.

    Downing had the worst cross/shot/goal rate of any player in his position last season. Henderson was okay at Sunderland but has been worth about £19.5million less than Liverpool paid for him. Johnson shouldn't have gone if Woy had had faith in Micah Richards or Kyle Walker wasn't injured and Gerrard probably deserves to be there by virtue of the hyperbole that surrounds him. Oh and Andy Carroll...

    I can honestly say I have so little interest in the Euros and even less belief that England will get more than a point. Hodgson has shown little or no sense of change or adventure in his 23 and the FA may be ruing the fact he was the most cost effective replacement for the Italian Beaker by the end of June.

  • Comment number 50.

    I doubt it will make much difference. There's no player in the team who isn't predisposed to give the ball away. England games have for many years followed the same script: a fast start, a good first 10 to 15 minutes, then a noticeable drop in possession, followed by extended periods of chasing the ball. The second half is usually one of disappointment, frustration, and lack of chances.

    I hope I am wrong but I've also seen little over the years, or even recently, to persuade me otherwise.

    With Henderson probably now in the squad, Hodgson has included 5 players from his old team. He said he picked his players based on form, but with Henderson and Downing I find that hard to believe.

    I would have thought Scholes or Carrick would have been a better bet to replace Lampard. Both had good seasons. Both have an energy level at least equal to that of Lampard. Whether they would have been up for it only they would know, yet surely it would have been worth Hodgson to ask. (No, I am no a Man Utd supporter.)

  • Comment number 51.

    #18: "The trouble is that there is far less talent in the youth now than there has been at any point in the last 30 years"

    - Really? Hart, Walker, Jones, Smalling, Cole (looks good for a few more years!), Ox-Chamberlain, Wilshere, Rodwell, Johnson, Rooney, Caroll (give him time!).

  • Comment number 52.

    @ 50

    I think you need to do a bit more research. Scholes and Carrick having the same Engergy levels?! Are you being serious? Scholes doesn't move more than 5 yards at any one time and carrick just sits in his own box trying to find 5 yard passes to scholes so he can do something with it.

    Also, Scholes retired from international football and Carrick said he didn't want to be in the back up squad. Kind of hard for Roy to pick players that have turned their backs on England.

  • Comment number 53.

    Whether some on here like it or not both Barry and Lampard were on Hodgsons team sheet and it’s headaches like this that throw things out of joint when you least need it.
    Sorry for Lampard and although he may still get some token appearances in an England shirt not the best way to reach the conclusion of your international career.

  • Comment number 54.

    Poser....collar up poser.....never did anything for England even though as with all London based players he got preferential treatment. Scholes played out of position, Carragher played out of position, Gerrard played out of positiion, Lampard, Terry that lovely boy accomodated. London...err England will not miss him...poser

  • Comment number 55.

    Huge loss. He was a cut above the other mids England named.

    Howson, Osman or Birtton should have gone before Henderson.

  • Comment number 56.


  • Comment number 57.

    Can't for the life of me work out why so many on here think Gerrard would of started in front of Lampard? Gerrard has done nothing of any note for club or country for about 3 years or more from what i can recall. Losing Lampard will be a massive blow.

  • Comment number 58.

    This is terrible news! England are going to really miss someone who has failed in the last three tournaments for them and someone who could not be bothered to run against Germany in the last WC. Lampard and Barry.

    Honestly it's fantastic news that these perennial failures cannot ruin it for us this time. If only that stirring nasty piece of work Terry could pick up an injury.

  • Comment number 59.

    "And it also means that his final taste of the big stage at a summer showpiece will be the one with bitter memories of "the goal that never was" - Lampard's shot that dropped yards behind the line with England trailing Germany 2-1 in Bloemfontein at the South African World Cup two years ago."

    Yards behind the line? How many, exactly? And how many yards behind the line was Geoff Hurst's second "goal" in 1966?

    I guess the fact that Germany have played in more World Cup semi finals this century than England ever have must rile you something chronic.

  • Comment number 60.

    Frank will go down as an England great!

    Yours truly

    R. Soles

  • Comment number 61.

    For the slightly attacking CM role he was the outstanding candidate, with Wilsher injured and Scholes retired.

    As for Gerrard, Liverpool only won 6 games all season when he started as part of a midfield 2. 2 of them were derbies, 2 against lower league opposition. He's just totally unsuited to that role.

  • Comment number 62.

    @ 46

    Show me the lgreat list of England U21's captains that captained the full side...!?

    Fact is Henderson looked out of his depth last season, partly due to the excellent management of KD and partly due to the fact he has no real defined position as yet.

    Yet you claim with 'no doubt' he will one day captain the full side. A touch of bias perhaps?!

  • Comment number 63.

    Michael Carrick is a lot better than Scott Parker and Gareth Barry, he should have been chose before them. They are so overated and Jordan Henderson will be good in a few years but not that good now

  • Comment number 64.

    Pity, he's been a fantastic player. If only we'd ever found a way to accommodate him and Gerrard in the same team.

    And it must burn a little that a certain scummy team mate will be going over.

    As for Henderson...

    If Hodgson can make him play well at international level, scratch the England job, anyone with that level of genius should be elevated to God-Emperor and left to run the world!

  • Comment number 65.

    Henderson is the rightful heir to lampards vacated throne.

  • Comment number 66.

    No. 26: Lampard is one of the most down to earth, intelligent and well-spoken footballers I can remember, I had the pleasure of meeting him once, and I find your baseless comments depressing. Also, with an IQ of over 150 I can safely say he is your superior in his interlect, talent and the way he conducts himself in public.

  • Comment number 67.

    It's a real shame that this has happened, I feel for Frank and I hope it doesn't have too much a detrimental effect on England in Euro 2012. He is still a fantastic player, which he's particularly shown in the last few months.

    People seem to forget how well he played against Germany in the last World Cup as well. Sometimes he hasn't had the impact for England that you would hope, but in that game he had an absolute blinder, obviously scored the Goal that would not be allowed and with a bit more look could have had a Hat-Trick (his 30+ Yard Free-Kick totally beating Neuer and hitting the Crossbar being a particular highlight).

    It arguably leads the way for a clear Central Midfield partnership of Gerrard and Parker, but with Barry out as well, it doesn't leave many alternatives and I seriously doubt how well Henderson can do, being so young and on the back of such a forget-able season I would suggest.

    We shall see.

  • Comment number 68.

    It's comedy gold to read Liverpool39's assessment of Carrick tbh. This player has been at the heartbeat of a team that won 4 league titles in 5 seasons and arrived in 3 CL finals at the same time, becoming World Champions in the process.

    The idea that Carrick turning down the chance to spend yet another set of international matches watching inferior players starting ahead of him makes Carrick arrogant is ridiculous, and doesn't even merit dissection tbh.

    As far as Jordan Henderson is concerned I think people are a little hard on him really. He is a talented player who has the potential, along with Cleverley and Wilshere, to bring a bit of quality and personality to England's midfield for the next decade. Whilst his inclusion this time is probably a little early for him you never know, if England get the roll of the ball early doors then confidence will grow and maybe Henderson will shine? Either way, as long as it's not a disaster then surely he can only benefit long term from being thrust into the squad now?

  • Comment number 69.

    @ 63

    what has Carrick ever done of any note?! He doesn't control games, he doesn't consistently score winners, he doesn't make match winning tackles or defence splitting passes, he doesn't break up play that well. He is an average player and he and scholes are part of the reason that united didn't win the league this year. They were overrun by City and that game proved that Carrick and scholes are good players when there is no pressure on them but as soon as any pressure is applied they fall to pieces!

  • Comment number 70.

    Its a great shame that Frank is going to miss out on what was his last chance to play at the finals of an international tournament. Although he has come in for quite a bit of criticism this season, towards the latter stages he worked his way back to form and could have done a great job, even if not starting, in holding the midfield together with his experience and calmness on the ball.
    This is probably the end for Frank Lampard the England player, but he deserves a great amount of respect for the work he's put in for both england and chelsea through the years.
    As for Henderson, having watched him quite a bit this season as a lfc fan, he suffers by (his own admission) of going safety first, looking back towards the centre backs/ holding player instead of playing a more risky pass forward for fear of losing the ball. I believe he will come good, especially now Brendan Rogers has been appointed LFC manager. Hopefully this could bring with it a greater confidence on the ball and an ability to keep the ball in forward areas as Swansea did so well last season, which could make him a better player for sure. Right now he isn't ready however, and I strongly doubt he''l play a major part in the tournament so all you guys giving him stick don't worry you'll probably not see very much of him!!

  • Comment number 71.

    @26 - it was Terry & Jody Morris re september 11 behaviour, nothing to do with Lampard at all as I understand it.

  • Comment number 72.

    @ 68

    Oh here we go again.....more posts on how Carrick andScholes are amazing and have no flaws. More repetitive claptrap! Please spare us.

    Carrick has never been a good player. United haven't had a good central midfield for about 4 years. They have won trophies because they had a good defence, good wide players and players that can finish. Not because they dominate any other team in the middle of the park!

  • Comment number 73.

    Another point I wanted to add, I think it's a bit of a shame that the avenue of trying to convince Scholes to come out of International Retirement wasn't gone down. Again, always an absolute quality player, STILL one of England's best Midfielders despite his age and when over the last year or so, the likes of Zidane, Xavi and Iniesta have made time to publicly praise him, you know you're doing something right!

  • Comment number 74.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 75.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 76.

    So what about Jermain Defoe - no-one seems to be mentioning his name although I would have thought he had a good chance of starting in front of Andy Carroll - certainly more experienced & a proven international goalscorer.

  • Comment number 77.

    @ 76

    i think the thing with Defoe is that he hasn't been playing at all regularly for Spurs this season so I wonder how match fit he is?

    It also depends on what style Roy wants England to play. Defoe may play alongside Carroll as the big man-little man combo (although I think this is fairly outdated).

    I'm not sure Defoe is someone that can play as a lone striker. I think if he plays it will be as part of a 4-4-2 but I hope that Roy doesn't play this formation as the only player particuarly comfortable in this system would be Scott Parker. Most of the other players would be looking at a 4-2-3-1, 4-5-1 or 4-3-3.

  • Comment number 78.

    Sad to see Lampard ruled out. It's frustrating when people are so blind they can't give someone praise after he serves his national team for so long because of team bias or general ignorance. Henderson is someone who seems to possess some talent but doesn't show any real guile or confidence. The Ox is the best example of someone that has some REAL talent and one only hopes it is he who will benefit from Lampards absence. If only Cleverly, Rodwell and Wiltshire were fit, they too seem more confident than Henderson. England have talented young players but it seems the best have all been ruled out. Let's hope Henderson proves me wrong

  • Comment number 79.

    This has got to be the worst preparation to a tournament in history and it just gets more and more depressing, I would love to go back a few years and join in with all the expectation of our golden age again at least we had aspirations of getting out of our group and maybe winning the thing it was so much more exciting than this.
    At least we had a core of 23 class players now we're down to half that and we now make up the rest with also rans ie Downing,Henderson,Carroll,Milner to name but a few.
    So roll on World cup 2014 with our next golden generation ;)

  • Comment number 80.

    @77 - OK but still 25 appearances in PL even if many were subs but he's still scored 17 goals in that limited playing time - just shows that he can find goals which is not something you can often say about Carroll.

  • Comment number 81.

    @78 - Chamberlain might just surprise a few people - too young to have as many nerves as someone older - remember the flair the young Michael Owen used to show in front of goal.

  • Comment number 82.

    England will miss his ability to find that telling pass as he did against Barcelona and of course his experience and undounbted work rate.
    He is effectively the most likely midfielder to pick a telling pass or score and only Gerrard can boast the same all round attributes. I think England wil have to approach their games differenty and I expect a 451 with two holding midfielders and
    Carroll leading the line until Rooney returns.
    England will need to be more rigid than fluent and Chelsea's set up against Barca and Bayern seems the best option.

  • Comment number 83.

    Franky. seriously, no English youth coming through?

    1. Joe Hart. 24. Young for a Keeper, improving. World class.
    2. Welbeck. 21. Good feet. Getting Better. Bit of class
    3. Jones. 20. We all see it, hopefully he'll touch what we want from him.
    4. Sturridge. 22. Must work harder (especially for his team). but good technique.
    5. Walker. 22. Youth player of the year. Dynamic. Also getting better.
    6. Chamberlain. 18. Frightening Little Machine. High hopes.
    7. Wilshere. 20. Class player. Wenger will treat him well.
    8. Walcott. 23. Hopefully at some point his brain will connect with his boots.
    9. Rodwell. 21. A lot of important people are impressed. we want no injuries.
    10. Smalling. 22. I've been impressed. want more. please be good.
    11. Cleverley. 22. nice engine, good technique, injury prone yet a hot prospect.

    Honourable mentions: Sterling, Kelly, Henderson, Chalobah, Bertrand, Barkley, Albrighton, Gibbs, Keane, Amos, Cotton, Caulkner.


  • Comment number 84.

    Lampard not a great player,but a great pro will be missed.if fit should be considered for Olympics,please no beckham 115 caps,wasted every free-kick,never a goal from open-play,just one penalty Argentina 2002,against top-ten sides.115 caps but not in the top-twenty of players to complete a game for England. but sells a lot of papers

  • Comment number 85.

    bad news for england, what makes it worse is the alternatives; jordan henderson????
    what has hodgeson been watching this season, i think his failure at liverpool has certainly influenced his squad choice. downing, caroll, henderson are players that even liverpool fans do not rate, the players (and team) have been poor all season. johnson, lennon or scott sinclair should all be ahead of downing, sturridge, hooper or bent instead of caroll. cleverly, carrick or rodwell instead of henderson.

  • Comment number 86.

    All the comments so far have been largely about individuals as it should be, however we shouldn't loose sight of Roy Hodgson's ability to mould a team to be hard to beat but with enough flair to succeed - it may be too soon for this tournament but you never know - he appears to be having a positive impact on the players so far - even though I guess turkeys don't vote for Christmas...

  • Comment number 87.

    Liverpaul85 @72
    Carrick has never been a good player.

    Not quite sure about that. As a youngster at West Ham, alongside Joe Cole, they were thought of as the two who were most gifted. He was capable of splitting defences with his passing ability.

    I think something went wrong along the way because he never really developed to the level his potential promised and he does not perform the same role at Utd as he did at West Ham.

  • Comment number 88.


    No, 17 is his tally of goals in all competitions (out of 38). He has 11 in 25 Premiership appearances.

  • Comment number 89.

    What people are forgetting is that if Roy is planning on a defensive formation that is hard to break down then Henderson is actually a good selection. He is young, very fit, has good stamina, gets up and down and is neat and tidy with no thrills. Technically he isn't great and you wouldn't pick him to help you break down a team but if you are playing against a team that will boss the ball then Henderson is a good def mid to play. And he is young and will learn from the experience.

    O and by the way Roy picked Gerrard as Captain to help him win control of the changing room

  • Comment number 90.

    Althouh never the biggest of FFL's fans (Fat Frank Lampard) he will be sorely missed.

    Henderson has looked like a 12 year old playing in his dad's 5-a-side team all season; all energy and running but nothing at the end ......

    Many people have asked for the recall of Scholes. Yes, this season he was great; but in a formation where he was the deep lying protector/playmaker - pity that in every season I have watched him since the inception of the Premier League the one thing you can say is that he cannot tackle (fairly), the one thing you want your deep lying midfielder to do!. Like the kid at school that tries his best, no-one would say that every time he slides in, you look away, wince and hope its only a yellow....

    We now have no-one apart from Rooney who can unlock a defense with a pass to the centre forward.... apart from er, Rooney... hmmm....

    Hmm, problem. Do we change styles and go for someone who can cross; Walcott: cow's arse and banjo come to mind. Downigghyh, Downinhg, sorry, coughing at the though of one of his crosses actually doing something....

    If Carroll plays, give him what he needs. Milner Right and Baines wide left. Both can cross. If Carroll is plan B, then you need Johnson (Man City), Richards, anyone that can cross a ball. Gerrard can, but in the rigidty proposed by Roy there is no chance of him heading out wide.

    For the first time ever, I will be backing against England; especially against France. Maybe Ukraince and Sweden will throw up a couple of wins; but as John McClean says; "I have a bad feeling about this" is my thoughts on the tehgroup games....

  • Comment number 91.

    I do believe Roy will get the players motivated and make them difficult to beat. I suppose this is the best environment for the young guns to get blooded. I just hope he actually lets those 'flair' players have a real go. I foresee the Ox running rampant if let loose.

  • Comment number 92.

    I love the current crop of "blogs". Could someone please tell me what Lampard has actually done in his years of playing for England? I can tell you that when I remeber midfield players in days gone by, Robson who turned a match, Gazza created Italia 90, Platt getting in there and scoring a goal, Beardsley linking with Lineker, other than that, I can't remember anyone other than Gerard who was outstanding against Germany, and that was over 10 years ago! Lets be honest, we have NO creativity, we have no midfielders, and as for Lampards demise, he did NOTHING for any England match! We should not be mourning the demise of someone who is paid £200k+ a week for playing footy, we should be looking to the future and getting players who can pass the ball and NOT have EGO's which are created by the press. Phil Mcnulty included.....I hope that we have a young team in our last match after knowing we wont qualify and Roy Hodgson realises that the old guard were NOT good enough and their attitude stinks. Allegiances lie with England, forget about the team you play for, and get over it! Terry should NOT be playing...remember 2010? He will undermine Gerard, no for Gerard, he's past it!

  • Comment number 93.

    @ 87

    Even at West Ham he wasn't that good a player. He had the potential to become an excellent player but has never lived up to it.

    He has only ever had one good season and at the end of that SAF bought him for a ridiculous amount. Similar to Henderson and Downing tbh.

    I haven't seen anything in Carrick to make me think he could be an excellent midfielder since that one season for Spurs. If you want someone to pass the ball 5 yards sideways then he and Scholes are the perfect players.

    Is that what we want?

  • Comment number 94.

    capmax @83

    Probably the most interesting and promising player you mentioned is Barkley, two footed, can head a ball, powerful engine, with a football brain.

    I'm undecided where his best position will be but he can play anywhere across midfield. Though like a lot of the youngsters, he's picking up niggling injuries.

    There is another you have not mentioned, young Jennings at Bayern Munich, sadly also injured for most of last season but they had high hopes of him.

  • Comment number 95.

    Gerrard has always been far superior to lampard, i wont even get started on scholes. Lampard is a hard working player and i would of liked to have him as an option on the bench but he doesnt have that touch of true class and is highly overrated. He is the reason our team has been unbalanced during the golden generation, this isnt his fault but scholes and gerrard was a much better combination before he came on the scene. Looking back it was like our managers were playing fifa the way they just played scholes or gerrard on the left, just trying to fit all the stars in.

    I dont know why people wondered why he failed playing in a midfield 2 with another attack minded player when he effectively played a free role with 2 defensive mids behind him at chelsea.

    I hope this is the end of barrys career aswell, we need to look to the future and rely on our youngsters for the world cup qualifying as then maybe by 2014 or 2016 we will have a good team with some confidence.

    Rio, terry, barry and lampard should all retire after the tourney, none of them will be worth a shout at the next world cup. I think cole maybe has 1 more in him.

    For the idiots slating carrick he was the best english midfielder this season and bar the season after we got embaressed by barca he has been consistently our best midfielder. Continental players appreciate the job he does for the team but because he doesnt play with his heart on his shirt and run after every ball english fans think he is poor. Hes not exactly the best player ever but hes certainly better than barry and id take him in my team any time over lampard who goes missing time and time again.

  • Comment number 96.

    @93 - 5 yard passes - isn't that what England have always done best at though?

  • Comment number 97.

    Good luck Frank, be there for us (CFC) next season. Quite a blow for England..

  • Comment number 98.

    I'd agree, Carrick should have gone instead of Henderson, I remember Carrick & Gerrard alternating defence and attack against Uruguay in a tough 2-1 friendly win a while back, when injuries depleted our midfield, we went on to win 2-1 both played very well and complimented each other giving good balance. In light of what Uruguay went on to achieve in the world cup, shows they can work well together.
    factor in some explosive pace on wings and up front with a prooven goalscorer - Crouch has an outstanding England scoring rcord and is hard to pick up - would have given us a steely edge with attacking flair.
    As it stands, if we fall behind in a game and the front are not pulling their whack, we are stuck with limiting the defeat?

  • Comment number 99.

    I would rather see Rooney coming from deep attacking midfielder style, playing behind striker/s he can pick out a pass or two, if we play at league speed instead of stop-sprint international speed we could do some teams a fair bit of damage.
    The key when things are tight is running with the ball, which draws in opposition creating space for others to exploit

  • Comment number 100.

    @ 99

    England haven't really had anyone that can run with the ball for a while though. the ox looks like he could possibly be that player. If the other players can create space for him to run into he could have a very prosperous tournament.

    I too would rather see Rooney attacking from deep mainly because we don't supply him with the right type of ball when he plays up front on his own and then he gets frustrated and thats when he is at his worst. He can be very tactically inept at times when played as the lone striker.


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