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Lamps: The Truth About Germany '06


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LAMPS: THE TRUTH ABOUT GERMANY '06

 

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Frank: We should have took defoe

 

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FRANK LAMPARD believes Sven Goran Eriksson should have taken striker Jermain Defoe to the World Cup.

 

The Chelsea midfielder is the first England player to reveal what really happened at Germany 2006 in an explosive biography out next month.

 

Although Lampard is full of praise for Eriksson, it is clear decisions were taken that left him baffled — and frustrated.

 

And those decisions give us the first clues as to why England, and Lampard himself, failed to live up to a nation's expectations in Germany.

 

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FRANK: We didnt train enough

 

Talking candidly and honestly, Lampard:

 

.Believes he should have trained harder in the build-up to Germany;

.Questions the decision to play Jamaica in the final warm-up game;

.And answers criticisms Eriksson made of him after last season's qualifier in Wales.

Lampard was particularly concerned about the puzzling omission of Spurs striker Defoe from England's 23-man squad — a squad that included untried Arsenal wonderkid Theo Walcott as potential cover for Michael Owen, who was still struggling for fitness.

 

 

Damage

 

 

Those fears were underlined when Owen's world came crashing down in the final group game against Sweden when he limped out of the tournament with cruciate ligament damage.

 

Lampard writes: "Questions had been asked about why we didn't have five strikers in the squad when two of our forwards went into the tournament trying to recover fitness. Personally I'd have included Jermain as well. I played with him at West Ham and he is a natural goalscorer. In terms of the line-ups for each match I don't think they would have been affected.

 

"I'd have preferred some insurance, though, and it would have given us more options. In that respect I would have taken Defoe."

 

Lampard is careful not to pile all the blame on Eriksson for England's shortcomings and even insists the Swede handled this tournament better than any other.

 

Lamps writes: "I noticed a step up and what is very clear is that the manager knows football inside out."

 

But Lampard clearly feels he should have been pushed far harder in training sessions.

 

He recalls that he had just returned from a short holiday in Antigua and, although he trained every day without a ball, when he joined his England team-mates for a pre-tournament get-together, he writes: "My legs were really heavy. It's one thing running but football needs a different kind of fitness. And there were days when I became frustrated — I know what I need to do to be sharp — because the manager gave us the day off when I'd rather have been training.

 

"I prefer to keep pushing myself. The day before we were due to return from Portugal we were due to take the day off so Rio Ferdinand and I did some work on our own.

 

"When we returned to London we trained every day with a heart monitor strapped to us. Though I was told I was the fittest player in the squad when we were in Portugal, I knew I was still a bit short of my optimum level.

 

"Sometimes a manager needs to trust his players to know what they need. In retrospect maybe I should have been more forceful."

 

And the digs don't stop there. Lampard had scored only two goals in the Premiership and fought off 'flu to play in England's 1-0 World Cup qualifier win in Wales last September.

 

But after a poor display Eriksson turned on Lampard and accused him of being a ‘slow starter'. Lamps says: "Criticism from outside is something you learn to live with but when it comes from within it can knock you off balance and I wasn't prepared for what happened after we beat Wales.

 

 

Grilling

 

 

"I had suffered from 'flu the week of the match and had seen the team doctor. I insisted I was fine to play and asked him not to let on to the manager.

 

"I trained the day before and felt sluggish but I would never put personal interest ahead of the good of the team.

 

"On Saturday morning I felt fine — I'm not offering illness as an excuse for anything. I felt a bit leggy in the warm-up and it's hard to get out of that — harder because we didn't play well.

 

"In the aftermath Mr Eriksson was given a grilling by the Press and as part of his summary he said that I was ‘a slow starter'.

 

"I was annoyed. When a manager speaks about you in that way it's embarrassing and to be criticised by someone you hold in such esteem naturally hurts.

 

"Also I didn't agree with him. I didn't feel it was a valid comment and I was a bit upset it had been said in public.

 

"I would have preferred that he had come to me privately and asked me if there was a problem.

 

"If he had told me the same thing face to face I would have made my case and that would have been the end of it. I didn't respond at the time because I didn't feel I had to and didn't want to get into a public disagreement with the England manager."

 

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Frustrated after defeat

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Lampards a twat, whats the point in coming out with all that bollox now - its done, its over. We all know Sven did things wrong, so its not news to us. He should have been telling Sven all this crap at the world cup not after it, when its too late. Wanting to sell more books are you Lamps? Youve already got more money than the people who will buy your shitty book. So fook off.

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