The general feeling that a proposed return of Frank Lampard to England’s starting line-up against Montenegro in October is that all could be undone. Frank’s notable absence has been marked by several impressive team performances by England, albeit against sides considered to be inferior.
Temporary captain Steven Gerrard has been an inspirational figure for England in central midfield alongside Gareth Barry. Many are calling for the vice-captain to be made the permanent captain, replacing Rio Ferdinand who has just recovered from injury to feature in a Manchester United Reserve match. And rightly so. The Liverpool talisman has replicated his club form in an England jersey, as well as delivering sincere apologies for the national side’s performance in South Africa, demonstrating his capability as the required spokesperson ensuring confidence and trust in a captain that England has craved for some time.
Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard’s inability to forge a partnership in the centre of midfield has become a well documented enigma in football. The fact that two players of such unquestionable quality are unable to accommodate one another has dumbfounded pundits and fans alike. Though it has taken three managers to come to this realisation, the third will hopefully make amends by taking the necessary and appropriate action that all England fans have been waiting a long time for: to produce the courage to drop one player for the other.
Though injury should never be looked on as a blessing, this case finds it difficult not to. Whilst Lampard has been on the sidelines, Gerrard has established himself in the centre of the ‘new look’ England team partnering Barry who adopts the defensive approach. With the talents of Johnson, Milner and Walcott surfacing it looks like England have creativity and pace in abundance. It has been no secret that Gerrard performs better further up the park with another midfielder deployed to cover defensive duties.
There is no reason at all why Gerrard should ever fear being placed on the left again for England, unless it is due to severe circumstances whereupon any English winger, or midfielder for that matter, playing Premier League football cannot fill the left position. It simply should not happen.
Come Frank Lampard’s return from injury, Fabio Capello has what is seemingly an easy decision to make. Though Lampard has done nothing particularly wrong in his last England performances (scoring what should have been a goal and hitting the bar in a separate incident against Germany), the form and confidence surrounding the current England team warrants the Chelsea star to be demoted to the bench against Montenegro.
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