News broke today that Frank Lampard has become the second England midfielder to drop out from the Euros after a scan confirmed he will miss the tournament. It comes less than a week after Gareth Barry pulled out of the tournament with a stomach injury sustained against Norway.
Barry’s departure was a blessing in disguise. Ever since Ozil streaked past him on the sprint in that forgettable 4-1 loss to Germany in South Africa, he has been terrible in an England shirt (not that he was much better before). Lampard on the other hand is a big loss to England, especially considering this was his last tournament, so he would have spilled his guts for the team.
Jordan Henderson and Phil Jagielka have been called up as a consequence. What a squad England have. Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick are sitting at home whilst Jordan “better-off-not-playing-at-all” Henderson gets called up to the big time.
Although Paul Scholes not being part of the England team is absolutely no surprise seeing as he hasn’t played for his country since 2004, you would imagine that Hodgson must of tried to seduce him? Players like Paul don’t come around too often and in a lacklustre English midfield, he is exactly the creative spark that might boost the squad, even by being on the plane with them.
On the other hand, Hodgson must be kicking himself he can’t take Carrick.
According to Roy, Michael ruled himself out of the running and with only 22 appearances for his country in ten years, it is not hard to see why.
Forever overlooked, Carrick had obviously had enough of seeing Lampard and Gerrard forever playing together and forever failing to perform. England need a player like Carrick – a brain, a winding cog, an ever-reliable ticker of the game in midfield.
Michael was fantastic for United this season, despite what any critic will tell you. When United were banging in goals at the start of the season, we were leaking them at an equally alarming rate and were conceding chances for fun. Upon Carrick’s return, we tightened up as a team, we became a defensive unit again and he brought possession football back into the squad.
He even managed to grab himself a couple of goals this season including a memorable run from the halfway line before finishing against QPR. The midfield play that Carrick and Scholes brought to the title run in was the oil to our engine – everything went through them.
Oh how England would love to have even half of that partnership this summer but don’t worry, Parker will get injured so Liverpool’s dynamite duo of Gerrard and Henderson will wow audiences in Poland and Ukraine, in one way at least.