This witch hunt for the failures of England's Golden Generation unfortunately has fallen on Frank Lampard's head once again. The whole nation's hope was pinned on this crop of players, who blossomed in the period where the Premier League conquered and captured the attention of football viewers across the world. The Gerrard and Lampard conundrum has been at the heart of discontent and scrutiny throughout this whole saga. Gerrard being the more flamboyant and explosive talent of the two, is admittedly the more exciting to watch and therefore the more popular choice amongst most pundits and football fans.
I’m not sure if this has caused the anonymity towards Lampard, who has done nothing wrong by being a consistent high performer for Chelsea and contributed his part for the England cause. Why this level of hostility towards one player? Because it was highlighted that neither Lampard nor Gerrard has been absent from the central midfield for over so many years, and England produce one decent performance against an inadequate opposition in Bulgaria, suddenly all this ill feeling and frustration about England's failure to live up to the hype has been somehow vindicated, and blamed squarely on Lampard.
Yes his performances for England may not have mirrored his high standards at Chelsea, and even that has been slightly in decline lately but is it solely his fault for everything wrong withEngland? If he is not deemed good enough for the team, then leave him out. It is not as if Lampard and his fans were going to appeal and drag Capello through court for his decisions.
Has he had too many caps over the years? Perhaps a tough one to call but based on his club form was it not virtually impossible for him not to be picked? Is what has caused the nations their anger?
It seems to me that any club in the world who could buy a player who scores 20+ goals a season from midfield for the majority of his club career would be worth their weight in gold.
This type of player is a rarity as most of us appreciate. Frank Lampard is that type of player and forChelseahe has been outstanding and I would argue, one of the best professionals of his era. He has managed to play for England and at one stage even got the fans vote as player of the tournament a few years ago and voted England’s player of the year two years running.
Lampard is now 33 years old and his career for both club and country will surely be coming to an end soon; the Euro's realistically have to be his last tournament at international level. He suffered a bad injury last season and has not fully recovered. His club form this season is not at the level that we as fans have come to expect and Capello was correct not to pick him for Bulgaria.
Following Lampard's return from injury last season I wouldn't have been selecting him for England based on his club form but describing him as overrated, garbage and over-reliant on penalties is undermining the qualities of a fine midfield player which his stats of 137 goals and 90 assists in 12 seasons clearly demonstrates.
Lampard has gone on record to say that he does not see himself as untouchable and will try to answer any call up with pride and to the best of his efforts.
Why vehemently castigate a player like this? Its amazing how fans and the media can turn on a loyal and true professional, who has given over 10 years of dedicated service.