Fabio Capello insists he had no choice but to play Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard together in his time as England manager – despite their notorious struggles when deployed as a midfield duo.
Gerrard and Lampard are two of the greatest midfielders in Premier League history, enjoying legendary careers at Liverpool and Chelsea respectively.
But the pair infamously failed to gel while playing alongside one another for England, meaning the likes of Capello, Sven Goran Eriksson and Steve McClaren never truly got the best out of them.
Former Real Madrid and AC Milan boss Capello believes Gerrard and Lampard woes came down to positioning, while also suggesting he had no better alternatives at the time.
When asked by The Guardian why he couldn’t get the best out of them, the 73-year-old said: “Because they played in the same place.
“Why not remove one, then? Because the other players aren’t better!”
Capello also denied ever shifting Gerrard out to the left, adding: “No, only when defending. When we had the ball Gerrard was free.”
But Capello insists he had no better alternatives at the time
The Italian was appointed England manager in December 2007, taking the reins after Steve McClaren was sacked for failing to qualify for Euro 2008.
He managed to secure the Three Lions’ place at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, however, where they were knocked out by Germany in a controversial first-round knockout tie.
Capello’s Three Lions were knocked out of the 2010 World Cup by Germany, with Lampard denied an equaliser that clearly crossed the line
(Image: Mandatory credit: Newscom/Kyodo/WENN.com)
In the end, Capello’s side were thrashed 4-1 by the eventual champions, but Lampard was somehow denied a clear equalise with the score poised at 4-1.
The Chelsea star’s deft touch flew over Manuel Neuer and clearly…