Lampard gets Le Tissier backing

03 June 2010 07:52
Matt Le Tissier has backed Frank Lampard to continue as England's first-choice penalty taker despite his recent misses.[LNB] The Chelsea midfielder has a good record from the spot but his miss in the FA Cup final was followed by another in the friendly win over Japan on Sunday.[LNB]Former England midfielder Le Tissier was one of the best from 12 yards, converting 48 of the 49 penalties he took during his career.[LNB]He said of Lampard: "If he backs himself then you've got to take that on board. Half the battle is if the player wants to be there.[LNB]"Obviously if he misses five in a row then you might have to take the decision out of his hands but if he's still confident then let him have them."[LNB]And Le Tissier's advice to his countrymen is simply to be positive.[LNB]"For me it was a case of getting every negative thought out of my mind," said Le Tissier.[LNB]"Coming in visualising the crowd erupting when the ball hit the back of the net was the thing for me and I always looked forward to taking penalties because it was the best chance I was going to get to score a goal in a game."[LNB]England's record in shoot-outs is famously woeful but Le Tissier, who won eight caps for England in the 1990s, does not believe that should be a major factor in their fortunes this time.[LNB]He said: "It might have an effect because everybody talks about it so much but you just have to try and put that our of your mind.[LNB]"At the end of the day, they've got to stand up there and be confident and be arrogant enough to think, 'this is a free shot from 12 yards, surely I'm going to score'."[LNB]The confidence surrounding England's chances in South Africa has subsided somewhat with injuries and indifferent form affecting a number of players but Le Tissier is backing Fabio Capello's men to go far.[LNB]"I'm pretty confident," he said. "I think we can at least make the semi-finals and from that point on it's anyone's competition."[LNB]The 41-year-old, meanwhile, has also tipped Diego Maradona's Argentina and Holland to challenge for the trophy.[LNB]He continued. "Brazil and Spain are everyone's favourites but I'd be watching out for Argentina. I know they've struggled in qualification but often you find teams that do struggle a little bit all of a sudden pick up when they get to the World Cup finals and they could be one of those teams. Holland are a pretty good bet, they could be dangerous."[LNB]And it is a Dutchman that Le Tissier is predicting will be the star of the show.[LNB]He added: "Obviously Lionel Messi's had a fabulous season with Barcelona and he'll be one a lot of people will be looking for to be top man at the tournament.[LNB]"But I'd go for a little dark horse who didn't play much at the back end of last season but is now fit again and that's Robin van Persie. I think he's a fabulous footballer and if he fires he could be the tournament's top scorer."

Source: Team_Talk