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England's 'Golden Generation' Affected by Club Rivalries, Says Rio Ferdinand

Former England internationals Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard recently revealed that the much spoken about ‘golden generation’ of English football did not achieve success in proportion to their quality because of their intense club rivalries.

News18 Sports

Updated:November 27, 2017, 6:25 PM IST
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England's 'Golden Generation' Affected by Club Rivalries, Says Rio Ferdinand
File Image of the England team from 2006. (Image: AFP)
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Former England internationals Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard recently revealed that the much spoken about ‘golden generation’ of English football did not achieve success in proportion to their quality because of their intense club rivalries.

The three former players who are now part of an expert panel analysing the English Premier League on BT Sport spoke about their differences whilst in the national team set-up.

All three, who played for premier clubs like Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool insisted that the increasing intensity of their domestic rivalries had a detrimental effect on their performances in an England shirt.

Ferdinand who came through the ranks alongside Lampard at West Ham before moving to Leeds United, said their relationship changed dramatically he left London.

The former Manchester United defender said that communication "disintegrated" once they moved out of West Ham and further added, "It was down to, from my perspective, the obsession with winning.

"I didn't want to see Frank have an edge on me. It was the same with Steven Gerrard and England, when we were battling them Liverpool for the Premier League.”

"I didn't want to sit around and have a beer with him, because I didn't want to hear what Liverpool were doing. I think that's what held us back."




Former Liverpool captain and a legend of Anfield, Gerrard added that one of the reasons England did not do well was because they players lacked the closeness that they were used to in their club squads.

He added: "I think it was more of a respectful relationship around England rather than a closeness where there was love there.”

"Philippe Coutinho can't wait to go away with Brazil -- it's the best 10 days of their season. But you didn't get that feeling with England."

Gerrard who believes that the current national coach Gareth Southgate was working on better relationships and friendships within the team, added that would only result in better performances.

"I think that will help results on the pitch."

Chelsea legend Lampard pointed out that it had not always been easy to replicate the intensity of club performances at international level.

He added: "You feel so passionately about the club, your own performances, that to be a bit pally with someone you're competitive with was difficult.”

“It may have held England back.”

"We didn't hate each other, but by nature we would sit on different tables."

He said the fact that England's players are almost all drawn from the Premier League, in contrast to other national teams whose squad members play in a number of countries, meant that "every week, we were at each other."

(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat in the Lok Sabha elections and state Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you don a psephologist’s hat and turn into an election expert. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections and see our informative graphics. Elections = News18)
| Edited by: Abhimanyu Sen
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