While we all debate and discuss whether Frank Lampard makes sense for the LA Galaxy and whether the longtime England man has surpassed Brazilian attacker Kaka as the MLS champs’ primary Designated Player target, let’s not lose sight of something fairly critical in all this:
Frank Lampard has a pretty big say in it – and he won’t be looking at things from an LA Galaxy perspective.
Clearly, Lampard is right to view things in terms of what makes most sense for him. Every player does, but none more than Chelsea’s longtime, faithful servant, who has also represented England with such a highly qualified and professional aplomb.
The situation remains fluid, too, as England’s 34-year-old midfielder continues to show that, where he is concerned, 34 can be the new 30.
It is possible that Chelsea changes its tune and attempts to keep Lampard around Stamford Bridge for another year. Chelsea officials have said otherwise – but we know these things can change, especially as fan pressure builds.
Lampard has 93 full international appearances for England; reaching that milepost 100th cap would certainly mean a lot. Lampard seems a shoe-in to turn up on England’s roster for an upcoming February friendly against Brazil, and quite likely for March World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.
If he appears in both, that leaves the cap count at 96. We know that MLS isn’t held in highest regard abroad, and certainly not in England, where respect has been grudging all along. So this is a fair point; it seems that Lampard’s England ambitions may indeed be part of the decision process.
International roundup: Schweinsteiger, Keane say goodbye; Denmark bags five
Max Meyer picked up from his remarkable Olympics by firing home, and Mesut Ozil also scored for the Germans in a match that was not about the winner. Bastian Schweinsteiger called it a day on his international career in the win, his 121st cap. The Manchester United man finishes his career with 24 goals, a World Cup title and a EURO runner-up finish. Not too shabby.
ROI all-time leading scorer Robbie Keane fittingly ended his tenure as an international player with yet another goal, bringing his career tally to 68 goals in 146 caps. Stoke City’s Jon Walters scored twice for the Boys in Green, and Robbie Brady (Norwich) also netted in the win.
It took the hosts a half-hour to break down the visitors, but a pair from Feyenoord striker Nicolai Jorgensen opened the floodgates and Andreas Cornelius, Viktor Fischer and Jens Stryger Larsen finished the scoring in a blowout at the CASA Arena in Horsens. It was Larsen’s first cap.
Elsewhere Turkey 0-0 Russia
Albania 0-0 Morocco
Estonia 1-1 Malta
Norway 0-1 Belarus
Lebanon 1-1 Jordan
3. Dieumerci Mbokani, loan from Dynamo Kyiv to Hull — While Robbie Brady, Timm Klose, and Nathan Redmond got a lot of the headlines, Mbokani was a powerful part of the Canaries’ attack in an ill-fated campaign. At 30 he’s far from a long-term fix, but Mbokani should provide strength and skill to a Hull City side facing a very challenging campaign. Per 90 minutes, no one on Norwich touched him last year (courtesy advanced stats site Squawka):
2. Jack Wilshere, loan from Arsenal to Bournemouth — We want so badly to make this our No. 1 for many reasons, but can’t take that risk thanks to the risk presented by Wilshere’s injury history. For Jeff Mostyn, Eddie Howe, and the Cherries to win the rights to bring Wilshere to town is big for a lot of reasons. That Arsene Wenger allowed him to go is another. Frankly, this could be a game changer for two clubs’ PL fortunes.
— Honorable mention — Wilfried Bony is a nice pick-up for Stoke, but Bruno Martins Indi gives the club freedom to use Geoff Cameron in other ways. … Georges-Kevin Nkoudou is another good piece for Spurs’ attacking depth ahead of the UEFA Champions League.
Islam Slimani, permanent from Lisbon to Leicester — The Algerian striker was sold on King Power Stadium by fellow Desert Warriors attacker Riyad Mahrez, and now gives the Foxes even more danger whether counterattacking or taking their talents to the opposition. With Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez, and Ahmed Musa joining Slimani, Leicester has the depth to dance in Europe.