Frank Lampard believes England have the potential to go far at the World Cup and has urged the more experienced players to step up and showcase their leadership credentials.
Lampard was part of an England side which headed out of the 2014 World Cup and didn’t get past the group stage but he remains hopeful that Gareth Southgate’s side will fare better during the tournament in Russia.
The former Chelsea midfielder also thinks that the tournament could provide the perfect platform for England’s more experienced faces to show off their credentials and guide the Three Lions into the latter stages of the tournament.
“I am hopeful about England’s chances,” Lampard told Goal at BBC media day.
“I think expectancy levels are slightly less and that is probably a good thing for the squad. They have a good team in terms of youth, particularly in attacking areas. England have some good players who are playing very well for their clubs in the Premier League.
“I just hope it can come together. Gareth Southgate is working very hard with the squad. We can certainly beat teams on our day. It is about getting momentum at the tournament. I expect us to get through our group and then we will see how far we can go.
“The World Cup is the time for new leaders to come out. Henderson is showing leadership at Liverpool in their run to the Champions League final, Kane in his performances and stature in the game is a leader.
“So I think there are players who are already leaders and will become leaders. And tournaments like the World Cup are moments when you have to stand up a little bit. I’d like to think England are not short on leaders.”
England’s youth teams have had considerable success over the past year, including triumphs at the European Under-17 Championships and 2017 Under-20 World Cup, and Lampard says that the relationships formed at youth level will leave the senior team in good stead going into future tournaments.
“Everyone is doing the same now with youth setup and I think England were late to the party. The Spanish, French and Germans have had their academies for years and now England have that as well,” he added.
“And you are seeing the benefits with underage teams winning tournaments. But competition remains high across the board and we have talented groups of youngsters coming through in groups, which is great because it allows them to form relationships as they grow up.
“And hopefully we can have success again at major tournaments in the next five to 10 years.”
Indeed, England beat Tunisia 2-1 in their opening game, and face Panama on Sunday. They will take on Belgium next week.
The BBC will provide extensive coverage of World Cup 2018 across TV, radio and online from June 14.