The Three Lions are going to look mighty different this Fall.
Frank Lampard has joined Steven Gerrard as former members of the England national team, announcing his retirement from international football.
The longtime Chelsea man and current Manchester City midfielder — on loan from New York City FC — was rumored as a ‘surprise’ call-up for Roy Hodgson ahead of next month’s qualifiers, but this obviously squashes that idea.
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The 36-year-old Lampard was capped 106 times for England dating back to 1999, and scored 29 goals. Toss in Gerrard, and England is replacing 220 caps and 50 goals worth of international experience.
With Adam Lallana and Ross Barkley injured, England’s upcoming qualifiers could have a host of new midfielders in the park. Jordan Henderson, Jack Wilshere and Raheem Stirling participated in this summer’s World Cup, while Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverley have also featured in the last 12 months.
Who else could get a look in the Sept. 3 friendly against Norway or the Sept. 8 Euro qualifier against Switzerland? Swansea’s Jonjo Shelvey has long-been linked with an England call-up, and Wayne Rooney could obviously drop into a more central role. Craig Gardner of West Brom? Could be more grim times in the immediate future for England.
After scoring five goals against Newcastle United, Sergio Aguero may have to wait a bit of time to get back to scoring in the Premier League.
The Manchester City striker lasted just 25 minutes in Argentina’s World Cup qualifier on Thursday, as he was stretchered off with a hamstring injury.
Aguero underwent testing in Argentina, and told the local media “I think I’m going to be out for a month.”
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Manchester City and Argentina teammate Nicolas Otamendi said Aguero was in tears in the dressing room, and some reports have penned the injury as a torn hamstring.
If Aguero were to be ruled out for a month, he would miss City’s Champions League clash vs. Sevilla, as well as the massive Manchester derby away at United on October 25.
To make matters worse for City supporters, David Silva was forced off after just ten minutes while playing for Spain today. Silva took a harsh challenge from behind, and hobbled off with what looked to be an ankle injury. If Silva’s injury ends up being more than just a knock, City could be without their two most important players in the attack.
Mario Gotze could be out of action until 2016 after picking up a groin injury on international duty.
The Bayern Munich midfielder suffered a tendon tear in his abductor muscle while stretching for a ball in Germany’s 1-0 loss to Ireland in EURO qualifiers on Thursday. He was taken off in the 35th minute.
Ruled out for 10-12 weeks, Gotze is likely to miss the rest of the first half of the season for Bayern. Their last league match of 2015 is on December 19, which is 11 weeks away. The Bundesliga then goes on winter break, with Bayern’s next match not until January 23.
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Gotze will miss both of Bayern’s upcoming Champions League matches against Arsenal, which is good news for the Gunners as they are in desperate need of a result.
However, Arjen Robben is back in training and will make his return to action within the coming weeks. After starting the Bundesliga seasons with eight wins out of eight, Robben’s return would add just another weapon to Pep Guardiola’s dominant attack.
Robben has not played since being injured in early September while playing for the Netherlands, and could feature for Bayern against Werder Bremen next week.