Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and John Terry - three old dogs of war with almost 300 international caps between them and over 1000 professional appearances.

For years these have been the players England fans have hung their hopes on, the names on the back of the replica shirts, the main men for club and country.

But it seems that time is coming to an end. Terry has already retired from international football but still plays an important role for Chelsea. Gerrard is not as dynamic as he once was and injuries have dogged him in recent years. The oldest of the three, Lampard, has had a tough time of late.

Lampard has seen his stock fall under the tenure of Rafa Benitez, who thought the midfielder was starting to lose some of his influence and ability. However, last season saw him make some telling contributions from his limited appearances, and it seems he has proved that he still has something to offer.

Unfortunately at the age of 35, time is against Lampard and while it looks like he'll bring his 98 caps up to a century, he is certainly in the twilight of his England career.

He still manages to impress for Chelsea but, with Jose Mourinho back in the manager's office, it remains to be seen how much longer he is considered an asset. Jose knows more than most just how good a player Lampard is, but was quick to say that his charges from his last spell  with the club would receive no favours.

Another man who hopes to impress the new boss is John Terry. Having been installed as captain at the age of 23, he has been a mainstay of the club for over a decade. The prominent banner 'Captain, Leader, Legend' is just one example of how the fans show their affection for this one-club man.

However, his off-field antics mean he is reviled outside of Stamford Bridge as much as he is within it. Claims of racism have driven wedges between teammates and it would be laughable to suggest that he be considered for the national team given the amount of trouble he has caused.

At 32 Terry is nearing the end of his career and, with Gary Cahill being brought into the team as a long term replacement, it seems the club and the player are resigned to the fact.

He has a few seasons left in him it seems, if injuries don't slow him down too much. Certainly the fans will want him to stay on as long as possible. There are few captains as loved by their supporters. One name that springs to mind is the next on the list.

Steven Gerrard is already a Liverpool legend, coming second to Kenny Dalglish in the poll '100 Players Who Shook The Kop.' He has scored over 100 goals from midfield including vital strikes in the finals of the FA Cup, League Cup, UEFA Cup and Champions League. He is the only player to have scored in all four finals, and this is testament to his strong mentality and his reputation as a 'big game player'.

Debuting for Liverpool in 1998, he has never played for anyone else. He is famous for his passing, shooting and passion on the pitch, driving the team forward. He has also been consistently impressive for England after injuries early on threatened his career.

At Liverpool he should be able to play for at least another two seasons, perhaps moving back to a deeper position, more of a playmaker than an attacking midfielder. It also seem he won't leave his beloved club, having been tempted by Chelsea amongst others over the years. He has committed his long term future to the club, and is happy to play out his days in the pursuit of Liverpool's holy grail, the Premier League trophy.

So it looks like the three warhorses of English football still have a little left in the tank. They may be getting on in years, but as Ryan Giggs has shown, if you're good enough, you're never too old.


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