This summer has given England fans plenty of reasons to be hopeful of the future.
The Under-17 and Under-20 sides both won the World Cup and the Under-19s prevailed at the European Championship.
Meanwhile, England’s youngsters also won the Toulon Tournament in June.
It’s clear, then, that England have plenty of talent coming through.
Whether they will get an opportunity at their respective Premier League clubs, however, is another matter.
That seems to be the biggest deterrent in the fortunes of the England national team, who haven’t won a major competition since 1966.
But how can a team that doesn’t struggle to produce fine players continue to disappointment on the big stage?
Frank Lampard thinks he knows the answer.
Lampard explains why England didn't want anything
Lampard was a part of the ‘Golden Generation’ of players that included John Terry, Wayne Rooney, Michael Owen, Steven Gerrard, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Ashley Cole.
Fine players who struggled to come together when it mattered. The best it got was appearances in the 2002 and 2006 World Cup and 2004 European Championship quarter-finals.
In Lampard’s opinion, going against the likes of Gerrard and Rooney week in, week out, wasn’t ideal when it meant he was expected to team up with the same players for England.
“The reality was when you went with England, I sort of stayed with John [Terry], Wayne Bridge, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Joe Cole, you know you’re kind of set in your ways and Stevie [Gerrard] would be with Carra [Jamie Carragher], whoever Liverpool might have had in the squad at the time.
“Unfortunately as a group that was a real negative with the England squad over the years. You look at the things that were the problem, sometimes we all came together in our little groups, we would play the game and then we all went away again.
Lampard: 'We missed the trick'
“I think Euro 2004 was my first championship and I think we had a really good team then. We missed the boat a bit.
“Over the years I played for England we all came together, we were playing at odds with each other probably through the season and then you’d come together and every competition you kind of hoped that all of us individually would play our football that we had been playing in our teams.
“I think maybe we missed the trick. The Spanish and the Germans who had started to develop were bringing through these groups from Under-21s all the through; great technical groups, all friends, all knew each other.
“I always remember Argentina and Hernan Crespo. He went to go and play and he would come back and he was talking about how great the spirit is in the camp.
“And for me it was because if you’re an Argentinian player, generally they all go over the world and they play at high levels, then they all come back to Argentina and they’re like, ‘this is our country’.
“Whereas I think we spent all year, not hating each other but going against each other and then it was expected just to come good.
“We didn’t hate each other, it wasn’t that. We all wanted the best, we were all passionate about our country but for some reason it didn’t… and I think now the FA are doing a bit better because they’re starting with the youngsters.
“Look at the Under-17s now, just won the World Cup. You need to bring them through now.
“We want to see five or six or seven of those in the squad.”
Check out Lampard’s brilliant analysis of England’s problems below.
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