Frank Lampard: Wayne Rooney’s Injury Gives England Chance To Others
Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard is taking the positives from the injury to Wayne Rooney, and thinks the striker’s absence will give someone else a chance to show what they can do for England.
Fabio Capello’s men must face Belarus at Wembley on Wednesday without the Manchester United striker, who has picked up a calf strain.
Lampard, though, thinks that other players could benefit from the forward’s absence.
“He’s obviously a good player, he’s been in fantastic form,” Lampard told reporters at a press conference today.
“He’s been the player of our campaign for sure, but it’s quite nice for us to have to get along without him.
“There are other good players waiting for a chance. If we can see other players coming through then it’s a good thing for us.”
Lampard also gave his support to defender Rio Ferdinand, whose error on Saturday led directly to Ukraine’s penalty – which they failed to convert – and the dismissal of goalkeeper Rob Green.
“Rio’s consistency, along with [that of] John, in the last four or five years puts them right at the top in centre-halves for me,” Lampard asserted.
“It’s unfortunate that there seem to be players taking stick at any one time. We need to get behind players, and Rio is certainly a big player. He’s been fantastic for such a long time.
“When the big game comes you need big players, and Rio will deliver then.”
Meanwhile, Aston Villa’s Emile Heskey today expressed some concern that he might have to change clubs in order to boost his chances of playing in next summer’s World Cup. Lampard feels that he was right to air his concerns publicly.
“Emile has come out and said that, and fair play to him for saying that,” he added.
“Every player will have that same mentality, because competition for places (with England) is fierce.
“The manager wants players who are playing well and who are in form. We are all fighting week in and week out to impress the manager.”