There’s no room for Frank Lampard or Rio Ferdinand in the England squad to face Holland next week. Is this the end of the ageing duo’s international careers?
The Chelsea midfielder and Manchester United defender can hardly be classed as automatic first choice selections with their clubs anymore and although caretaker England boss Stuart Pearce attempted to play down their omission from the squad, the writing could be on the wall for the former West Ham teammates.
Pearce said of their exclusion: "I don't think I would learn anything watching them play next Wednesday" and in a philosophy that is seemingly completely at odds with Giovanni Trapattoni’s approach to the Euro 2012 build-up, he added: "We are on the home run for the tournament & it's important we get young faces in & see if they can handle a game of this magnitude."
If the omission of Lampard and Ferdinand was a surprise, it was a mild one compared to the inclusion of Sunderland striker Fraizer Campbell, who was named alongside Manchester United duo Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck, Chelsea’s Daniel Sturridge and Aston Villa’s Darren Bent amongst the forwards.
Elsewhere, Micah Richards has been recalled after a lengthy absence during the Capello years, while the inclusion of Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard – along with the omission of Ferdinand and Lampard – would suggest that he is being lined up to inherit the captain’s armband from John Terry, who was of course stripped of the captaincy for a second time for alleged racial abuse of QPR’s Anton Ferdinand.
England take on Holland at Wembley next Wednesday and while Rio and Frank will be worried by their omission now, they shouldn’t be too upset. After all, ‘Arry will probably be in charge by the summer and considering both played under him at West Ham, their place in the squad should be safely secured.
Goalkeepers: Scott Carson (Bursaspor), Joe Hart (Manchester City), Robert Green (West Ham United).
Defenders: Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Leighton Baines (Everton), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Micah Richards (Manchester City), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur).
Midfielders: Gareth Barry (Manchester City), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Stewart Downing (Liverpool), Adam Johnson (Manchester City), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), James Milner (Manchester City), Scott Parker (Tottenham Hotspur), Ashley Young (Manchester United), Theo Walcott (Arsenal).
Strikers: Darren Bent (Aston Villa), Fraizer Campbell (Sunderland), Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United).