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You could not make it up

Eton Blue at the Chelsea Megastore

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Gerrard is "crocked" and out the first England friendly just a few days before the football season kicks off.

I'd put a bet on it happening again, but reckon the bookies will stop further bets on the subject.

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if i was capello i would tell him where to go

it's a disgrace that he continually shuns his national team. if he doesn't want to play then retire him

it's not like he brings much to the national team anyway. lampard is the only consistant performer for england and gerrard can't play beside him. simple solution don't pick him

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Yep, saw this and laughed out loud. Essentially, he might as well just come out and say 'unless it's a big game, I can't be arsed to play for England, so don't bother picking me for meaningless friendlies and routine qualifiers.'

Of course, no media backlash, as expected, but I do think more and more England fans are getting a bit fed up with his endless string of convenient 'niggles' that keep him out of these games.

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Capello is no fool and it is this type of game that sorts out the loyal men of England from those that are only in it for themselves. Gerrard is far from being the first name on the team sheet, even though the Scousers always think he is, and I can see Fabio giving him a wake up call pretty soon if he continues to be half-arsed about turning out for his country.

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By way of contrast, this is what Frank Lampard has to say:

Lampard sights on history

Midfielder admits season could define a generation of players

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard is hoping to enjoy a history-making season by helping England to win the World Cup.

England's only previous World Cup success was back in 1966 on home soil and the closest to a repeat came in 1990 when the late Sir Bobby Robson's side lost on penalties to West Germany in the semi-finals.

But, following a 100 per cent start to qualifying for next summer's tournament in South Africa, hopes are high that the national team can be crowned world champions again.

And Lampard admits the upcoming campaign could help to define the so-called golden generation which has flattered to deceive in recent years.

"We can be defined by what happens this season," said Lampard.

"You only have to look at the high regard the 1966 team are held in, and quite rightly so being the only team to have won it.

"We want to win the World Cup. If we could it would be history-making. But many great players have not managed it. Winning the World Cup is not easy."

Worst feeling

England failed to qualify for Euro 2008 after losing in the quarter-finals of the three previous major tournaments and Lampard concedes defeat at Euro 2004 was the hardest to take.

"Getting knocked out of a major tournament is the worst feeling in football," he said.

"The Euros were the worst because we had some really strong momentum and felt we were going to go on and win the trophy. Then, in a second, we were out and going home.

"No-one forgets that feeling and we don't want it to happen again."

Honest answers from an honest player.

Steven who?

Edited by Lofty
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