Frank Lampard suggests Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool cliques were to blame for lack of England success

Three Lions close

Frank Lampard has admitted there was a lack of camaraderie between Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool players during their time with England.

Lampard was a central figure in what was dubbed the 'golden generation' of talent available to England managers over the last two decades.

The New York City midfielder, who started his career with West Ham United, has lifted the lid on why he believes England failed to achieve anything despite having the pick of a host of players who secured legend status with their clubs.

The Three Lions did not achieve anything of note at major tournaments under a succession of managers, including Sven Goran Eriksson and Fabio Capello, and even failed to qualify for Euro 2008  under Steve McClaren.

That golden generation included the likes of Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher, Ashley Cole, Steven Gerrard, Lampard, Joe Cole, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney, to name but a few.

Fans, club managers and pundits alike have been at pains to try and put their finger on the reasons why England never fulfilled their potential.

'Club cliques held England back'

But now speaking as a guest pundit on Sky Sports' Monday Night Football, Lampard has suggested that players from the Premier League elite formed their own club cliques on international duty and never forged close bonds as a result.

"There was something missing when I look back at my England career, maybe we play against each other every week and there were little groups, Man United, Liverpool, Chelsea," Lampard told Sky Sports' MNF.

"And probably when you're, I don't know, Argentine, and they're all playing all over the world, they come home and there's a big family, a different spirit, and I'm not sure we always managed to get that together."

Slap in the face for long-suffering fans

Lampard's revelation is a damning indictment of players from that era who really should have achieved much more on the biggest stage.

Because those players could not put their club differences aside for the short time they spent together over the course of a season, England fans are left harking back to their last international success nearly half a century ago in 1966.

It is made all the more frustrating by the fact the lessons were there to be learned from Alf Ramsey's World Cup-winning side.

The situation was no different back then, with the England players facing each other regularly in the top flight.

But when they met up to play for their country, they came together as one and formed close professional and personal bonds.

The revelation also smacks of a certain arrogance that those players could not put their club allegiances to one side and see the bigger picture - winning for their country.

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