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'Golden' tag grates with Lampard
Published : 12 Oct 2009 16:03:00
Frank Lampard has expressed his frustration at England's 'golden generation' tag. The term has often been used to describe the group of players - including John Terry, Steven Gerrard, Ashley Cole, Rio Ferdinand and Lampard - which is now either just past, or nudging towards, the 30 mark. Yet all too often, the phrase appears to have undermined any decent form England have managed to get themselves into - given the elite group of players have failed to deliver the major prize craved by an expectant nation. "The whole 'golden generation' thing is quite frustrating for us players," he said. "We didn't make up the term. I don't know where it got made." He added: "But the reason people talk about the 'golden generation' is that we have a good crop of players. "They are very talented individuals, but we have not made the most of it. We have all held our hands up to that many times." While the most recent feelings have been of disappointment - losing their 100% World Cup qualifying record in Ukraine on Saturday - in building an eight-match winning sequence to reach South Africa with two matches to spare, Lampard and friends have given themselves an opportunity to finally prove they are as good as that early hype first suggested. "Now is a great chance," he admitted. "I am not saying we are going to win the World Cup, but we are in better shape than we have been. "The team is working as a unit much better than it has done in the past. We have good individuals; we are experienced - and we have World Cups behind us. "But the proof will be in the pudding. It is up to us to take all those plus points and use them next summer."