Gerrard quits as Lampard gets frosty reception in New York
End of the Golden Generation as one bows out and the other is hauled over the coals
On the day one of England's so-called 'Golden Generation' finally retired from international football, another found himself vilified in one of New York's biggest-selling papers.
Back in 2001 Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard were two of England's brightest young talents, a Liverpudlian and a Londoner who between them – so we were told - would restore the glory years to the national side. It didn't quite work out like that. The form they showed week in and week out for Liverpool and Chelsea was never replicated on the international stage in the 220 appearances the pair made between them for their country.
Gradually the sheen wore off the 'Golden Generation' as England underachieved at tournament after tournament (if they qualified). The denouement came in last month's balls-up in Brazil when the Three Lions failed to win a game and exited at the group stage for the first time since 1958.
Gerrard captained the squad in Brazil and the 34-year-old on Monday announced he was retiring from international duty after 114 caps in which there have been desperately few highlights. Perhaps the pinnacle of his international career was reaching the quarter-final of the 2006 World Cup; it certainly wasn't when England failed to qualify for the 2008 European Championships.
Ironically, Gerrard retires a week after Philipp Lahm, who in 113 appearances for Germany, appeared in one European Championship final and captained his country to victory in the World Cup.
Gerrard will now see out his days with his beloved Liverpool but for Lampard the immediate future appears to be less appealing. Having been released by Chelsea at the end of last season, the 36-year-old midfielder is rumoured to be on the brink of signing a lucrative deal with New York City FC.
But the Daily Telegraph says Lampard is likely to "receive a less than warm welcome" if he does move to the States after the New York Daily News reminded its readers of an incident 13 years ago. Lampard, notes the Daily News, was one of four players who outraged American tourists stranded at a hotel near Heathrow Airport following the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. The paper adds: "Just 24 hours after the tragedy, Lampard and his Chelsea teammates drunkenly stripped, swore and vomited in front of the upset US tourists."
Lampard, along with his then fellow England Under 21 stars Jody Morris, John Terry and Frank Sinclair, found themselves at Heathrow after their game against Bulgarian team Levski Sofia had been called off out of respect for victims of the 9/11 attacks. The players went on what the BBC described at the time as a "five-hour binge" and were consequently each fined two weeks' wages by the club, the total sum of £100,000 being donated to help families of the 9/11 attacks.
The Telegraph says that the revelations have not gone down well with New York City fans with one writing on the club's message board: "He better be down there sweeping the grounds at 1WTC EVERY DAMN DAY, after he publicly apologises to every American for being a s***bag of highest order. Maybe then, and only then, will I consider supporting him." ·