Football

OH.

Owen Hargreaves offers theory as to why England's 'Golden Generation' failed

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If you watched England defeat Slovenia 1-0 thanks to a Harry Kane goal deep into injury time on Thursday night, you're a trooper.

Under Gareth Southgate, and a few regimes before him in fairness, the Three Lions have hardly looked formidable.

In fact, you'd probably have to go back to Euro 1996 for the last England side that truly looked like a world power.

Still, many England fans regard the team of the early 2000s as the Three Lions' 'Golden Generation' and there is plenty of reason to do so.

If you look at the likes of David Beckham, Steven Gerrard, Michael Owen, Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, Sol Campbell, John Terry, Ashley Cole, Paul Scholes and Wayne Rooney amongst others, all of those players were in the world-class bracket at some point.

They also enjoyed plenty of success at club level, but for whatever reason, they couldn't make it work on the international stage.

Speaking on 5Live radio alongside former international teammate Darius Vassell, Owen Hargreaves opened up as to why he believes the Golden Generation faltered, and he has an interesting take:

As for the manager at the time, Sven-Goran Eriksson was often accused of failing to see that Lampard and Gerrard could not play together in the same team, but he rejects that notion and the idea his England side were not successful.

“I don’t get fed up of it,” he told the Daily Mirror. “But during my time there, when they more or less played together every game, I think we lost one qualifier in five and a half years.

Austria v England

“At the big tournaments, we lost twice on penalties and once against Brazil. I think they did well.

“Of course, two great footballers like Gerrard and Lampard can play together. They can both defend, they can both attack, they can both pass the ball, they can both score goals.

“We discussed it many times – one of you goes and makes deep runs, the other one, you sit. They were good at it, both of them. One goes and one stays – if your name is Lampard or Gerrard, who cares?”

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