After a below-par display against Chile, should the Chelsea legend be pushed aside by Roy Hodgson?
So England lost to Chile last night, and even the most optimistic or indeed deluded of English followers could say that we deserved any more from a performance that once again signified the sheer lack of technical ability present in the English game.
Chile’s goalkeeper seemed to have a better range of passing and first touch then our own midfield players.
Many did not come out of the game in a shining light. Leighton Baines and Glen Johnson had woeful first halves, Fraser Forster is simply not quick enough off his line, James Milner does a job but not one worthy of international football, Jay Rodriguez looked nervous and daunted while Jack Wilshere kept running into cul-de-sac’s and Gary Cahill with Phil Jones is certainly not a future England defence that fills me with confidence.
But personally, for me, the game highlighted one sad but alarming truth, the time has come for Frank Lampard to be dropped from the England team.
He was, at times, like a traffic cone in the England midfield - as the jaunty Chilean’s moved the ball around his ageing body with consummate ease.
He certainly was not helped by Milner or Wilshere either side of him - but even Chelsea fans would admit that this season he has looked to have finally reached his maximum talent.
He no longer has the pace to play in the attacking midfield area he made his own throughout his career, and he has never been a holding player - where he is now being asked to accommodate.
This is not a question of ability, or effort - simply put, a question of age.
This is not a Steven Gerrard or Paul Scholes love-in or any form of anti-Chelsea sentiment - the fact is that Lamps is no longer up to the job of playing international football.
Yesterday he was presented with a Golden Cap for reaching 100 caps - peculiarly on his 103rd cap. It was a poignant and perfect salute to a great servant to the English game. But it should also be a perfect farewell.
Tell Frank he isn’t playing against Germany on Tuesday and that the time has come for him to step aside for the young talent waiting to burst through - and in doing so he would be doing his last great service to the England national team.
I am afraid it is time for Frank to be frank with himself, and realise the time has come to hang up his boots for England - or for Roy Hodgson to do it for him.
image: © Live4Soccer