Lampard and Gerrard: to play or not to play, that is the question
Both are English, both are midfielders, both are top performers in the Premier League, both can’t play together for England…. Sound familiar?
The dilemma that seems a permanent thorn in any England manager’s side has reared its ugly head once more; how do you get Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard to play well together.
England’s World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan on Saturday look set to hand Chelsea’s Lampard and Liverpool’s Gerrard yet another chance to remedy the problem, but what can Fabio Capello do differently to make it work this time?
This week Lampard finally caught up with the rest of the nation in admitting that if he and Gerrard had managed to thread a pass to one another in the Euro 2008 qualifiers, England may have reached the finals in Austria and Switzerland.
However, he says the difference this time is tactics.
It appears the tactical leadership of former England managers Sven Goran-Eriksson and Steve McClaren stretched as far as ‘when one goes, the other one stays,’ but with Capello Lampard seems more comfortable with what is being asked of him.
So maybe that is it. Lampard and Gerrard, both all-round inspirations at club level, need to be told what to do when they pull on an England shirt. It all seems so simple now doesn’t it?
Do you think that Lampard is making excuses simply to maintain his England place, or is Capello a genius about to unleash both players’ club form upon a soon to be sorry Kazakhstan?
Personally, I’d rather have Gerrard in the centre with Gareth Barry or failing that Jimmy Bullard!
PHOTO: England’s Gerrard and Lampard attend a team training session in London Colney, Oct. 7 REUTERS/Eddie Keogh