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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul 30, 2006

England flop Lampard blasts Sven blunder

Frank Lampard believes Sven-Goran Eriksson made a mistake in not taking Jermain Defoe to the World Cup.

The Swede attracted considerable flak before his final tournament as England manager for only selecting four strikers when both of his first choice pairing, Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen, were recovering from broken metatarsals.

The criticism was vindicated as Owen was sent home with a cruciate injury, leaving Eriksson with just two experienced forwards in Rooney and Crouch and one, Theo Walcott, who had never played top-flight football.

And Lampard said: '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 also revealed his interest in captaining England, the position having been vacated by David Beckham after the World Cup.

Although his Chelsea team-mate John Terry and Liverpool's Steven Gerrard have attracted strong support, Lampard considers it a job to which he would be suited.

'I have had the privilege of captaining Chelsea on a few occasions in JT(Terry)'s absence and have enjoyed it. I would love to do the same for England,' Lampard says in his book `Totally Frank', being serialised by the News of the World.

'If I was called on to lead the national team I know I would do a good job.

'It's more difficult than ever to be captain of England with the kind of press scrutiny that exists at all levels - everyone has an opinion about you and your life, but I know I could handle that.'

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