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Are veterans Gerrard and Lampard still worthy of a place in the England team?

Wembley England

The pair have both amassed over 100 caps each, but with young talent coming through the ranks, when the ageing duo decide to take a step back?

Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard have been synonymous names with the England team over the last decade, with the two driving midfielders deemed as two of the Three Lions’ best of a generation.

There have been countless arguments over whether they can play in the same team, over whether the Liverpool man should be deployed centrally or wide and whether their considerable attributes are too similar.

However, with Roy Hodgson putting together a team to have a positive World Cup campaign in Brazil next summer, providing Poland don’t through a spanner in the works, the veteran pair seem a key part of the manager’s plans.

The former Fulham and West Brom boss has partnered the pair in the centre of the park, with their experience and leadership key in bringing younger players into the game. However, with a number of younger players making waves in the Premier League, are Gerrard and Lampard still guaranteed a place in the starting XI?

There is certainly an argument that Michael Carrick could be considered instead of one of the veterans. The Manchester United man has emerged as one of the Premier League champions’ most influential players, and his range of passing from deep could well be a real asset for his country.

Jack Wilshere’s development are Arsenal continues, and if he can get back to full fitness and form could well be a match-winner for England. The Gunner has not looked 100 per cent fit this term, with long-term injuries from last season still taking their toll.

Finally, someone like Ross Barkley is putting his hand up for selection. The Everton man has been compared to Gerrard for his lung-busting runs forward, dynamism and shooting from distance. His youthful approach and raw ability could well be a better option than the at-times laboured approach of the more-experienced duo.

It is clear that the experience and stature of Gerrard and Lampard will be a feature for England for a while yet, and the pair will almost certainly start against Poland on Tuesday. However, if the Three Lions do make it through to the World Cup, the likes of Carrick, Wilshere and Barkley should not be automatically discounted for a starting berth.

image: © geetarchurchy

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