Former England captain Frank Lampard rejects the notion that the current national team lack desire as the inquest into their humiliating Euro 2016 exit continues.
Lampard’s former international team-mate Jamie Carragher was among the most critical voices in the wake of England’s failure to progress beyond a last-16 clash against Iceland, with the ex-Liverpool defender dubbing Roy Hodgson’s squad “the Academy Generation”, referring to a lack of mental toughness and an unwillingness to take responsibility.
But Lampard argued that the current crop of England players possesses the necessary passion to win a major tournament.
He told MLSsoccer.com: “Getting knocked out of any tournament in any way is bad, but the lads underperformed. You can’t dance around that. That’s what happened.
“You have to give immense credit to Iceland, the nation they are. The work rate they put in, I thought was incredible. Fair play to them on that front.
“As an England team, the quality of players we’ve got, we should be beating them. The lads will know that and it will be a very hard time for them.
“I feel for them in that way because there’s no lack of desire as an England team or individually as players who want to go out there and win a tournament desperately.
“It’s what the people are waiting for back home, but they didn’t do it.”
The 38-year-old midfielder is in action for New York City on Sunday, when his side will seek to avenge a 7-0 defeat against rivals New York Red Bulls in MLS.
Lampard, who has scored twice in five MLS appearances this season, said: “We can’t forget the 7-0, but at the same time we’ve got to use it in a positive way to inspire us to turn it around.
“For me there certainly isn’t a gap of seven goals between us in a game. I think we’re in better shape now than we were then as a team, the way we’ve been playing in the last games. It’s up to us to turn it around.”