England centurion hails defensive duo
Frank Lampard has praised the solid performances of Gary Cahill and Ashley Cole against Ukrainie
England midfielder Frank Lampard has praised the performances of defenders and Chelsea teammates, Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill, against Ukraine on Tuesday night.
Lampard, who achieved his 100th England cap on Tuesday, believes Cahill is improving every time he plays, and could go on to be one of the greats.
"Gary has been consistent in a lot of difficult games we have played like the Champions League and Europa League finals," he told the official Chelsea website.
"He has always performed fantastically well on those occasions. He has come on so much considering he's only been with us [Chelsea] a couple of years and is now first choice for England."
The former Bolton defender joined Chelsea in January 2012, going on to win the FA Cup and Champions League in his first six months at the club. He was injured in Chelsea's FA Cup semi-final against Spurs, and only managed a weeks training before walking out to face Bayern Munich, partnering David Luiz, who also carried an injury.
Cahill has since proved a promising talent in defence as well as scoring a few wonderful goals for his club. For England, he made his debut in 2010 as a substitute in a 4-0 win against Bulgaria. The 27-year-old looks a mature player and a potential leader.
Lampard, who missed a late chance with a header to steal the three points, has also praised long-time Chelsea and England teammate Ashley Cole.
"I thought he was fantastic, he was our best player. He kept tight to their right winger and didn't give him a chance to get a run in. The speed and fitness at his age is fantastic. He has great awareness and people talk about him going forward but defensively he is absolutely top drawer," he added.
Cole missed the game against Moldova after Roy Hodgson selected Leighton Baines at Wembley, but the former Arsenal man's inclusion against Ukraine signalled his role as England's first choice left-back is secure for now.
Baines has been performing consistently well and will inevitably make the position his own when Cole is no longer able to maintain his performance levels, but for now, the 32-year-old is using his experience effectively.
"He really rises to the task of playing against top-class wide men. Ukraine had very good wingers and Ashley blocked them off straight away," he concluded.
England will play Montenegro and Poland at Wembley in their last two qualifying matches, and two victories will secure their place at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
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