For almost two years, English fans trembled in fear and bowed their heads in shame. For over a decade, the glorious tandem of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard had bravely led the Three Lions to countless second rounds. Sadly, it appeared that Don Fabio Capello had forever axed the dynamic duo following World Cup 2010. Brits feared that they may never see the terrific tandem together in action again. Luckily, in one simple announcement, Roy Hodgson has revived the dreams of a nation.
Despite having only being in the driver’s seat for a few months, Hodgson has called upon both Lampard and Gerrard for this year’s Euros. He courageously ignored both players’ ages and league form and instead relied upon their CVs stacked with Round of 18 showings. As they say, form is ephemeral, class is eternal. Additionally, both Frankie and Stevie have monopolized the domestic cup competitions. Brits hold their breath and dare to ask: can Carling and FA silverware translate to a painful second round loss?
Sadly, the optimism crashed into reality almost immediately. An incident occurred on the bus to the team’s first training session. Roy had planned on Gerrard sitting up near the front row- just behind Andy Carroll and maybe Rooney. Frankie was to sit just in front of his Chelsea and real-life teammate England’s Brave and Loyal John Terry and alongside England’s Even Braver and Loyaller Scott Parker. However, to the manager’s chagrin, Stevie and Frank both ignored his seating assignments and vehemently insisted on sitting in the smack middle of the bus. Even worse – they insisted on sitting in the exact same seat.
Without Rio Ferdinand there to intervene with a diplomatic merking, and Terry too busy sharing creepy pictures of teammates’ wives from strange and uncomfortable new angles, the two midfielders tussled before eventually Gerrard sat on top of the Chelsea midfielder – like a big blue beanbag – to the comfort of nobody.
Carroll and Rooney both felt isolated, and Parker eventually complained of overcrowding, before adjusting his fringe and leaving his seat in disgust.
Hodgson was his political, if indecisive self. “Great players can always play together,” the manager proclaimed. England fans can only hope for the best, and by the best, with Frankie nursing a training ground injury, their dreams of a second round exit hang in the balance.