Former England and Chelsea star Frank Lampard has labeled the Three Lions’ failed ‘Golden Generation’ tag as nonsense.
The players of the England national football team in the 2000s have been referred to as a golden generation. Despite the talent of its players, England’s ‘Golden Generation’ failed to achieve success at World Cups and Euros.
In an interview with the Stick to Football podcast, Frank Lampard reflected on England’s purported ‘Golden Generation’ tag and labeled it as nonsense.
He said: “I think at times, we [the Golden Generation] were too rigid. I talk from my own personal experience of playing at World Cups against teams that were not at our level. I’m not talking about France and Italy, more teams like Ecuador, who were keeping the ball in midfield because they were outnumbering us in the centre of the park. The things that maybe me and Stevie [Steven Gerrard] were used to doing where we had numbers. now we are just trying to cover space and you get a bit mentally done with it in the game wondering why this is happening.“
Lampard added: “The Golden Generation tag was nonsense anyway. No one proclaimed us as a Golden Generation. there’s some good players in that squad but so did Italy and France, who had Andrea Pirlo and Zinedine Zidane. International football is always a challenge to win, and that’s an old story now.”
Lampard also opened up on his rivalry with Manchester United legend Paul Scholes, who retired from international football at the age of 29.
Lampard said: “Paul Scholes is an incredible player, and when I first got into the England squad, I probably upset the apple cart a little bit because I was another attacking midfielder, so we had three of them,” he said. “We had a decent Euros that year , but we got knocked out. Then Scholesy retired from the national football team for his own reasons. then went into that deeper role at Manchester United and became a quarterback and was unreal.“
He added: “You can look back and say ‘Why didn’t you [England] play Scholesy there’. But at that point he wasn’t playing there, he was arriving into the box. I remember him scoring those two goals against Scotland. he was an incredible player throughout his whole career, but the circumstances had changed.”