After 1-0 win over Wales, Frank Lampard slams critics who said he was too old to play for England
Frank Lampard admits he is desperate to prove the critics wrong after Fabio Capello was urged to call time on the Chelsea midfielder's England career. Lampard was restored to England's starting line-up for Tuesday's 1-0 win over Wales at Wembley just three days after being axed by Capello for the 3-0 win against Bulgaria.
With arms wide open:Wales' Chris Gunter atempts to beat England goalkeeper Joe Hart during Tuesday's EURO 2012 qualifier in London. PIC/Getty Images
Capello's decision to leave the 33-year-old on the bench in Sofia was widely regarded as the end of Lampard's time on the international stage. Lampard won't have silenced the critics with his tepid display against Wales, which included a bad miss in the second half and ended with his substitution after 73 minutes. At least the former West Ham star has grown used to dealing with the vitriol of fans and pundits throughout an international career that has seen him labelled as the leading flop of England's so-called golden generation.
He concedes the criticism has irked him this time because it is too early in the campaign to make a definitive judgement on his form and he would love to made the experts eat their words by helping England shine at Euro 2012. "I'll tell you the one reason it (criticism of his form) does irritate me is I've had slow starts to seasons before," Lampard said.
"When I was 25 or 26 I had a World Cup that didn't go well and I was told I was rubbish rather than old. Now people say I'm too old. "People can talk about my age all they like. There is nothing better in football than proving people wrong. That is something that will drive me on. It's actually been alright over the last week. I've seen bits and pieces of what people said but I'm at an age now where I've been in these situations before.
"It's easier to take when you get that bit more mature about things. I've never expected to play for England. I'm very proud to play for England but if your form is good the manager will pick you. It is a simple as that."