Tag Archive: Frank Lampard


Michael Carrick’s noble statement that he would definitely “consider” an England call up, this season, yet again exposes the problems footballers have with being a reserve.

The Manchester United star withdrew his name from selection in January, after a dissatisfying 2010 World Cup campaign.

Being withdrawn, he was not selected for Roy Hodgson’s side for this summer’s Euro 2012 tournament, and he recently admitted to Betfair.com that he would have rejected a call-up, even if it were formally made.

Carrick outlined the situation at the World Cup as the reasons for his decision to focus on club football. Having made the squad, he trained and camped with his teammates but did not get a minute of play in South Africa, a predicament he foresaw should he join the Euro 2012 set-up.

But, when Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry pulled out of the campaign injured, the perfect replacement in the centre of the park was back at home. Instead of Carrick partnering Steven Gerrard in midfield, responsibility was handed to the inexperienced Jordan Henderson, who was largely ineffectual in Ukraine.

Carrick’s presence may well have bolstered England’s midfield during their quarter-final defeat to Italy, where Andrea Pirlo ran the show in the centre of the pitch. In deciding not to represent his country – even simply as a substitute – Carrick has surely rejected any chance of getting back into the side.

For why should a man dissatisfied with life on the subs bench be awarded a starting role?

Jamie Carragher, Liverpool’s rock in defence for the past decade, retired from international football as he was not getting a game. His appearance in South Africa, therefore, was disheartening to say the least, as he had not earned the right from playing England qualifiers.

The noble Carrick, if he wants to be part of England again at a major tournament, must prove himself willing to work with the squad during their next qualification campaign.

Visit the Betfair Premiership website for the best odds, picks, and tips for the upcoming campaign, as well as the 2012/13 Champions League.

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By Laurie Fitzgerald

After a disappointing draw in their last qualifier back in May against Switzerland, England rediscovered their early form shown in qualification for Euro 2012 on Friday night.

Their 3-0 win over Bulgaria in Sofia was impressive not only in it’s clinical nature but also in its professionalism.

A first-half brace from Wayne Rooney following Gary Cahill‘s first goal for his country put the game beyond doubt before half-time.

Fabio Capello‘s side could have shown a sign of complacency thinking that the game was won, but they didn’t give Bulgaria any chance of getting back into the game, seeing the second half out with consumate ease.

Of course, it should be noted that the Bulgarians provided feeble opposition – a stark contrast to the brilliant side of the mid-nineties that was spearheaded by the excellent Hristo Stoichkov.

But England can only beat what’s put in front of them, and it was pleasing to see them not only win but win with a real cutting edge.

The 4-2-3-1 formation functioned properly and effectively because everyone knew how to perform their roles within the team.

Joe Hart had very little to do with a defence that was relatively untroubled, although much credit should go to the holding midfield duo of Scott Parker and Gareth Barry, who protected the backline admirably.

This also allowed the attacking midfield trio of Ashley Young, Stewart Downing and Theo Walcott to wreak havoc with their pace and delivery, while Rooney led the line with the finesse that we always expect of him.

However, despite the renewed optimism, Capello will be only too aware that they should expect to face a greater test against Wales at Wembley on Tuesday evening.

At the very least there should be a greater contest than the one provided by the Welsh at the Millennium stadium back in March.

Gary Speed’s side were hugely disappointing in front of a passionate home crowd as two early goals from Frank Lampard and Darren Bent gave England a 2-0 win.

That was Speed’s first competitive game in charge and it has been tough going since with the side bottom of Group H.

However, there will be a buoyance within the squad following an impressive 2-1 home win over Montenegro on Friday night.

Goals from Steve Morrison and Aaron Ramsey gave them their first win of qualification, and it was a win that highlighted the importance of their influential trio.

Both Gareth Bale and Craig Bellamy missed the match against England back in Cardiff, but they along with Ramsey pull the strings in the Welsh team.

They can cause anyone problems on their day with the pace of Bale, the creativity of Ramsey and the work rate and threat of Bellamy.

All three are expected to line-up against what should be an unchanged English 11, although Young’s knock sustained in Sofia could see Frank Lampard recalled after he was dropped from a competitive match for the first time since 2007.

Wales’ win on Friday also gave England a stranglehold on the group, as it meant they gained a three-point lead over nearest rivals Montenegro.

A win on Tuesday will give the Three Lions a six-point lead with Zlatko Krancjar’s side left with just two more games to play.

For Capello and England, the need to build on what they did in Bulgaria will be crucial to quell the threat of the Welsh and put one foot in the qualification door for Poland & Ukraine next summer.

So what do you think? Will the Welsh trio of Bale, Ramsey and Bellamy cause England real problems? Or will Fabio Capello’s side prove too strong and take a big step in qualifying for Euro 2012? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts.

By Tony Alvarez

Following Fabio Capello releasing key players such as Wayne Rooney, John Terry, Frank Lampard Ashley Cole and Michael Dawson from the England squad due to up coming club commitments fans of clubs lower down the table are worried about the so called bigger clubs getting better treatment.

 Teams such as West Ham and Wolves who have fixtures coming up that in the long run are every bit as important as the Champions League chasing sides have seen there players been withheld by England for the friendly against World cup quarter finalists Ghana.

Even as an Arsenal fan with only 1 player in the squad I see it unfair that our titles challengers have seen their players rested whilst Jack Wilshere could play and potentially get injured against Ghana, or even if that does not happen its still another game he’s played in that could lead to fatigue.

 I understand that the players released have more fixtures than others but there still should not be preferential treatment, I also understand that England cannot release every player who has an important game coming up, the problem is with the timing of the international but once that is agreed no clubs or players should receive different treatment from the others.

Take for instance West Ham I’m far from saying they are a one man side but should Scott Parker feature and get injured on Tuesday the likelihood of West Ham being relegated would rise and I think most West Ham fans would be happy to admit that too as he is without doubt their star man.

Parker is a much more influential player to West Ham than any of the players released are to their clubs, so although I am sure Parker would not pull out given the choice, surely he should be the first one back to his club rather than the players left in the Champions League.

 The problem all leads from the arranging of the friendly as I alluded to above, of course it brings more money into our already rich football association and will provide a great experience for the Ghanaian players and fans, but its just not practical and could potentially cost a side/ player massively and that should surely take preference over the FA’s bank account.

Is it fair that the Champions League club are getting preferential treatment given that they do have more fixtures? Is the problem the timing of the friendly? How would you feel if you player gets injured and costs you Premier League points? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts

By Tony Alvarez

  Following England’s 2-0 victory over rivals Wales in Cardiff’s millennium stadium on Saturday England top qualifying group G for the European Championships and have many fans and pundits purring over the performance of this new look England side.

However on the flip side of this coin some sections of the media are arguing that England were not that impressive, in fact Wales were so poor that it made it look all too easy for an average England side.

Where do your thoughts lie?

For me this England side with a flowing three man midfield were an improvement on previous sides we have seen, they all linked well with each other and importantly with the front line.

Again this can only be viewed in relation to Wales performance, they were poor in midfield giving the ball away very cheaply and did not get in the face on their English counterparts allowing them much too much time and thus control.

Wales were also very poor at the back, the full backs and the centre backs did not play as a unit and allowed space in the channels.

Although I was pleased as a England fan to see flowing Football in a more modern system for me the performance was not as outstanding as people would have you believe. For me this system will not work against the stronger sides ( no disrespect to Wales) Darren Bent whilst being a fine goal scorer does not offer enough in terms of hold up play thus meaning the ball would be back at our defence too quickly.

Another problem I see is our midfield does not have enough physical presence, don’t get me wrong Parker puts himself about and Wilshere does as much as he can but against the real imposing sides are we ready for battle, you can point to the fact that the best nation in the World currently Spain don’t have either a target man or a physical presence in the middle but we do not have the technical quality that they do.

Another thing that took the gloss off the performance was our shakiness at the back, in the second half where Wales in all credit did improve they looked as if they were going to score and had a few half chances, if England are to be the great side people are talking up we cannot afford to give away the amount of half chances we do because against the better sides half chances often turn into goals.

Whilst I am extremely pleased with different players being used instead of the tried and failed I don’t think this side are currently at the levels being touted, however England have always had problems travelling to the so called lesser teams in qualifying groups so I am delighted with the three points.

What are your thoughts? Do you think the current crop of England players are the real deal? Do you agree with Bent leading the line? Are we physically strong enough in midfield? Do we still concede too many chances? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts

By Tony Alvarez

With Rio Ferdinand the man appointed as England captain by Fabio Capello likely to miss the upcoming England fixtures due to injury/ lack of match practise many sections of the media are suggesting that John Terry the man stripped of the arm band 14 months ago could be renamed as skipper.

 I am sure the majority of you are aware Terry was stripped of the armband following off the field controversy which involved him having an affair with the wife of former England and Chelsea team mate Wayne Bridge.

With both captain and vice captain (Steven Gerrard) likely to miss out through injury Capello is going to have to name a new skipper if only for these next two fixtures. If the recent friendly with Denmark was anything to go by Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry are in line to be leading the side out against Ghana and Wales.

I personally would rule Gareth Barry out because should Capello stick with the 442 system that the players looked comfortable in against Denmark, Barry is not guaranteed a starting birth, it is well known that Capello would like the England side to be built around Arsenal’s teenage prodigy Jack Wilshere. Under the assumption that he would command one of the 2 central midfield places then it’s a toss up between Lampard and Barry for the other, in my eyes that’s a non contest.

Which then leaves Lampard and Terry as the two main contenders to be named captain, personally I would go with the man who would be a better captain and lead their side the best and for me that is John Terry, if at club level he is the right man for the armband ahead of Lampard why should it be any different for the national side.

I would rather have the best captain regardless of off the field incidents, the arguments that the players may lack respect for him I disagree with, regardless of whether he is wearing an armband or not he still leads the defensive line and the players still listen to him.

John Terry is a natural leader it would be a waste of time giving the armband to someone else who doesn’t have the organisational or is not as inspirational as him

What do you think? Should Terry be reappointed as captain? Is Lampard the man to lead England forward? Is there someone I have overlooked? Should off the field antics make a difference in Footballing decisions?

Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts

Phil Neville is a prime example of footballers doing so much work for charity

By Laurie Fitzgerald

This week, Frank Lampard has urged footballers to do more for charity and help out those that are less fortunate than them.

The England & Chelsea midfielder explained in an interview with the BBC that while footballers do a lot for charity, young footballers in particular can benefit from helping raise awareness of different organisations.

The 32 year-old said, “The young players coming through have to understand the responsibilities that go with it, to put back in.”

Lampard was speaking at the launch of the England Footballers Foundation, an organisation set up by the England football team where they will donate part of their match fees to the charity Cancer Research UK.

It was announced that the team will also support Help for Heroes, the charity created to help all British soldiers affected while risking their lives for the country.

This is an excellent decision by the players, and it should be pointed out that they have been donating their match fees to charities since 2007, so this is not a spur of the moment decision by them.

Footballers are in a great position where they have the ability to help out those that need support, as well as having the profile that allows them to raise awareness of different types of charities and foundations.

There are examples of players doing this. Phil Neville has been a fantastic ambassador for charity; he and his wife Julie have done work for foundations such as Bliss’s 1 in 8 campaign, which was set up in 2007 to help improve research into ensuring parents bond better with premature or sick babies.

Their daughter Isabella suffers from cerebral palsy, so they are well aware of those that have to overcome such difficulties. More recently, the Neville’s have helped raise funds for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

The Everton midfielder doesn’t do this sort of thing to get attention, or so that people can praise him for his efforts towards charity; the 34 year-old does it because he knows that his profile gives him the chance to raise the awareness of charities that deserve the attention for their fantastic work.

Neville is not the only footballer that understands his responsibilities as someone in the spotlight, but it would be great to hear more stories of players doing everything they can to help assist these kinds of fundraisers.

There are many within the general public that perceive many footballers as being overpaid and egotistical people that only worry about themselves.

When we read about high-profile stars misbehaving in their private lives and performing selfish acts, it only adds to this belief.

That’s not to say that these players don’t do plenty of work for charity. But reading more about what players do to help others instead of themselves will not only help improve the image of footballers, but more importantly help those that need it.

Let’s hope that the young footballers do heed the advice of Lampard, and help the next generation create an image more likened to the ones created by him and Neville.

So what do you think? Do footballers do enough for charity? Do you know of any other examples of footballers raising awareness of charities? Will this help improve the overall image of players in the general public? Let us know your thoughts

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