Capello could demote Lampard from XI

Capello could demote Lampard from XI

Published Sep. 3, 2011 1:00 a.m. ET

Frank Lampard's international soccer career may be over after England manager Fabio Capello said he was not sure he would pick the midfielder in his starting XI again, The (London) Sunday Times reported.

Lampard came on as a substitute in England's 3-0 win against Bulgaria in Sofia only after Capello had sent on James Milner. With Steven Gerrard and Jack Wilshere soon to return from injuries, and Scott Parker and Gareth Barry preferred in a 4-2-3-1 formation, the Chelsea star appeared to have been relegated to fifth choice.

Friday marked the first time he had been left out of an England starting XI for a competitive game since 2007.

Lampard, who turns 34 during next year's Euro 2012 finals, was among a group of senior players who considered their futures at the end of England's World Cup campaign in South Africa last year and nobody would be surprised if those thoughts returned.


Though Capello did not rule out using Lampard against Wales at Wembley on Tuesday, he is again likely to be no more than a substitute.

The relegation of a player who has 87 caps and scored 22 England goals sends a signal to the remainder of the so-called golden generation, including Gerrard, John Terry, Rio Ferdinand and Ashley Cole.

With Capello bringing in youngsters such as Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Tom Cleverley, and identifying Wilshere as the player around who he wants to build his Euro 2012 side, a changing of the guard is taking place.

In a statement that could apply to any of the "golden generation," Capello said of Lampard, "He's one of the best English midfielders but as the manager I need to choose the players and not the name."