Lamps eager to win back England place

Now 32, the Blues vice-captain is currently going through the

longest injury lay-off of his career so far, having been out since

August with a hernia problem. Lampard was a part of the England

side that failed so dismally at this year’s World Cup, with

criticism of his performances still ringing in his ears. Lampard’s

absence has also seen long-standing partner Steven Gerrard become

the centre-piece of England’s midfield, but the former West Ham

youth product has insisted he is up for the challenge of winning

back his place. “I don’t mind people saying that,” he told The

Times when asked whether he faced an uphill battle. “It’s their

opinion. And obviously I’ll disagree and try to get back and show

what I can do. “England is very up and down. You have to ride that

storm – maybe storm isn’t the right word, but ride the flow that

comes with it.” He was also critical of those who felt that many of

the old guard should be changed in favour of younger players,

insisting that they should be bedded in rather than thrust into the

spotlight. “There was some very lazy talk after the World Cup of

‘Let’s get rid of all the old boys, let’s bring all the kids in,”

Lampard continued. “I just think that is the laziest thing to say.

You don’t have to have any knowledge of football to say that. The

intelligent thing to say is, ‘Yes, we need to bring the kids in,

but we need to keep the experienced players to help that

evolution.’ “If you’re talking about bringing in a team of

19-year-old and 20-year-olds, putting all the pressure on them, you

might ruin a few careers.” Lampard has also admitted that he would

jump at the chance to manage Chelsea should he be given the

opportunity. “I’m going to try to get all my coaching badges over

the next few years and then I would love to give it a go. To be

honest I would love to manage Chelsea one day,” he added. “Whether

you could walk straight into that job, I’m not so sure. I’m sure

John (Terry) has similar ideas because we have both been at the

club a number of years and become very affiliated to it.”