Joey Barton: I'm baffled Frank Lampard is going to the World Cup!

Frank Lampard 2

QPR man 'baffled' at Chelsea star's inclusion in England squad for FIFA World Cup but it hasn't affected his rivals at Everton, Southampton & Arsenal.

Veteran midfielder Frank Lampard, 35, has been a Premier League staple for almost two decades yet, now in his twilight years, has been less frequently used by Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho. 

Three days ago, the Blues confirmed the Englishman would leave the club, effectively rendering him unemployed until he finds a new team, yet he remains very much a part of the England set-up, with Roy Hodgson naming him as one of his 23 men he is taking to the FIFA World Cup tournament next week, in Brazil.

His inclusion, though, has baffled QPR midfielder, social media whiz and England patriot Joey Barton who implied to Eurosport that, while Lampard will unlikely be able to compete twice in the space of five days in the Brazilian climate at his advanced age, his wisdom and international tournament experience could be a vital sounding board for the younger members of the Three Lions roster.

Speaking about the players who did miss out, Barton said: "I felt bad for Ashley Cole and Andy Carroll with Luke Shaw and Rickie Lambert coming in."

However, he added: "There was no real shocks though, Fraser Forster or John ruddy was a 50-50 one. Maybe people thought John Terry could have been called up and you could argue the case for him but knowing the FA I didn't ever see that happen."

Lampard, a three-time Premier League titlist and Champions League winner with Chelsea, was also awarded with a cabinet stacked with individual honours during his glory-laden stint in West London.

It was his form at Stamford Bridge that earned him an international competition call-up in 2004, having been left behind for the two previous competitions. Lampard excelled at Euro 2004 - scoring thrice in four games and being named in the UEFA team of the tournament.

This, as well as being top scorer in the 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign, playing every minute of the 2006 World Cup, having a goal cruelly disallowed versus Germain in 2010 before beginning to captain the side two years later, are all testament to a true England servant - now capped 104 times.

His club form recently, though, may suggest that his career - at this level - is coming to a close. 

"Frank has had a great career with a number of World Cup but he hasn't played a lot of games for Chelsea," noted Barton, 31.

"Mourinho hasn't used him as he would have used him years ago because Lampard would play all the time, he was an ever-present.

"Age catches up with us. Chelsea announced they ain't gonna renew his contract so I'm baffled he's going to the World Cup. The difference between him and Gerrard is [Steven] has played a lot of games, is Liverpool captain and is the fulcrum of the side.

"Lampard won't start for England so it'll be his influence around the camp, or an impact sub providing goal-scoring opportunity from the bench."

Despite Lampard's inclusion, there were was no real competition for his spot, with obvious candidates at Everton, Southampton and Arsenal all making the 23-man cut, also.

"Who has had a great midfield season this year, in Lampard's role? You struggle. Ross Barkley, Adam Lallana and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all in the squad."

Concluding his thoughts on Lampard's role in Brazil, Barton said: "He is probably a sounding board for the younger players. Gerrard and Lampard will act as a point of contact for youngsters who have not experienced international tournament football."

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