As England prepare for a friendly match against Germany at Stamford Bridge Chelsea’s Frank Lampard reflects on the goal that never was in 2010 against them in 2010.
It’s been nearly four years since Lampard’s shot bounced off the underside of Manuel Neuer’s crossbar and well over the line at the Free State Stadium in 2010, it would have marked a dramatic first half comeback following a complete horror show from the England defence, but the referee and linesman decided otherwise and the Germans punished a sorry Three Lions side.
I don’t think any England fan is bitter because Germany won that game as they were by far the better side but it helped push along the introduction of goal-line technology as it’s ridiculous that decisions like that could be so wrong, and it would have given Lampard a first World Cup goal as well as England the slightest of chances.
It’s all in the past now but Lampard hasn’t forgotten and although he won’t be in the starting XI tonight he would love to feature in the match:
“I wouldn’t say it burns deep, but it is obviously in the back of everyone’s mind. I still get asked about it a lot, but there’s nothing you can do.
“But I really would love to play on Tuesday. That’s what we are here for, particularly against Germany. They are our rivals, not in a terrible way, because we have a lot of respect for them. But we want to beat them.
“There is no such thing as a friendly against Germany. There’s a lot of history and that’s the way it should be.
Lampard admitted that some good has come from his non-goal:
“It has created a change in football where we’ve got some goal-line technology which is a bonus.
“But it was disappointing because it would have changed the game. We came out in the second half at 2-1 down and then we hit the bar. I remember hitting the bar with a free-kick.”
The 35-year-old was presented with his 100th cap before the 2-0 loss against Chile, a game in which he captained the side, and although a certain talkSPORT broadcaster was a little harsh in his criticism of the ‘Lampard love-in’, it is hard to see how the veteran could be a key part of Roy Hodgson’s squad for the tournament in Brazil with his ageing legs, especially as he isn’t playing particularly well for Chelsea at the moment but he can perhaps have some impact.
Should Lampard make Hodgson’s list for the Three Lions’ World Cup squad next summer perhaps he would be best used in a situation in which you need someone that can nick a goal, someone you can throw on in an advanced position just like Jose Mourinho did when he brought Lampard on against Schalke in Oscar’s place before he set up Demba Ba for the third and final goal of the game.
As a player his best days are definitely behind him but think there’s more of a conversation about how to get the most out of an ageing great rather than needlessly slagging him off for his inclusion, which is something I’ve blogged about previously here.
It’s hard to see just how the officials missed this one but can Lamps’ make a cameo and score against Germany tonight?..