Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Lampard Looking at a Bigger Picture

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Lampard Looking at a Bigger Picture

Article excerpt

Byline: KEN DYER

'The Denmark game reminded us we need to be at our best to have a chance of winning the World Cup'

ENGLAND may well play a 4-5-1 system against Wales tomorrow and Frank Lampard often flourishes in a similar format ion at Chelsea. The midfielder does, however, strongly refute the suggestion that when he and the similarly attack-minded Steven Gerrard are together in a 4-4-2 shape, then England are at risk of being overrun.

Lampard and Gerrard are the two most influential English midfielders in the Premiership and picking an international team without them would surely be unthinkable for Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Admittedly, the partnership didn't look too bright in the second half against Denmark but, as Lampard pointed out, nothing looked good for that gruesome 45 minutes.

It was after that debacle that England's midfield came under fire and Eriksson was urged to pick a holding player so that Lampard and Gerrard would be free to forage upfield.

Lampard is the first to admit that things went pear-shaped in a big way in Copenhagen but, as he prepared to face the Welsh in their own backyard, he emphasised the bigger picture.

"Steven and I have enjoyed playing alongside each other in the past and it's worked well," said Lampard.

"It wasn't good for 20 minutes in the second half against Denmark but that wasn't because the formation or the balance was wrong, it was simply that we didn't play well enough.

"Normally, though, I have to say that we both enjoy playing alongside each other. We're both responsible players.

"We do have attacking instincts but we are both clever enough to defend when we have to.

"If we're playing that way we both have to take responsibility. I honestly don't see it as a problem."

What could be a problem for England tomorrow is the absence of Lampard's influential Chelsea teammate, John Terry. …

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