Gary Neville responds to Stan Collymore's home truths about the Golden Generation

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Listening to the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, and Gary Neville on punditry at the World Cup, you can't help but feel they're a little envious of the current England set-up.

Gareth Southgate's men are just the third set of Three Lions players to win their opening two group games at a World Cup following their 6-1 thrashing of Panama.

They achieved the same feat in 1982 and 2006, but on neither occasion were they able to go all the way. Who knows what this year will bring?

There's a huge amount of positivity surrounding Southgate's relatively young squad and many England fans have already been comparing them to the so-called 'Golden Generation', which promised so much but failed to progress past the quarter-finals.

On Sunday, Ferdinand was analysing the freedom with which England had just played and lamented that it wasn't the same when he was in the team under Sven-Goran Eriksson.

However, there's another school of thought that says the players themselves, rather than the manager or the system, should be blamed for the national team's shortcomings in the 21st century.

Stan Collymore has made exactly that point with a series of tweets taking aim at the Golden Generation.

(1st row fromL) English forward Wayne Ro

When you think that England had Lampard, Gerrard, Beckham, Rooney, Neville, Terry, and Cole all in the same XI, it's criminal that they never really made an impact on the world stage.

Collymore's tweets will spark debate 

Yet, Collymore suggests that maybe they just weren't as good as we all remember:

In the last couple of years, there seems to have been an increase in self-awareness and several members of that team have recognised that they should have done better.

Gary Neville responds 

Neville, for example, might have been offended by Collymore's tweet, but instead replied:

Unfortunately, the ex-Liverpool forward has made a strong argument.

The full-backs were among the very few who were able to replicate their domestic form for England, whereas Rooney, for instance, scored just one goal at a World Cup in his 11 appearances.

Being a part of that generation of players carried a huge burden of pressure and it's been a relief to see the current XI going out there without the same weight of expectation.

Southgate's side may not be a 'Golden Generation', but they might have actually unearthed something more special.

Have the Golden Generation been overrated? Have your say in the comments. 

Frank Lampard
Steven Gerrard
Stan Collymore
Gary Neville
England Football
World Cup
Wayne Rooney
John Terry

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