Frank Lampard scored the winning goal in England’s 2-1 win over Brazil at Wembley on Wednesday night. However, the best player on the pitch was his teammate Jack Wilshere who was making a first start for his country for more than eighteen months.
British bookmakers make Lampard a short price to be selected for the England squad for the World Cup in Brazil next year. However, England are not yet assured of a place at the finals and face a crucial match away from home against Montenegro next month.
Lampard is a veteran of two European Championships and two World Cups but he will turn 36 during the finals next summer. He looks like leaving Chelsea on a free transfer at the end of this season. However, the England coach Roy Hodgson feels he is still has a role in his squad.
Wayne Rooney and Lampard scored the goals at Wembley for England who beat Brazil for the first time in 23 years to give Hodgson his eighth win in 13 internationals as the national head coach. The match also marked Ashley Coles’s 100th game for England and he was cheered from the pitch when he was replaced at half-time.
Despite the contribution from Lampard it was Wilshere who was named man of the match. The 21 year old was out of the game for 17 months due to injury. On the form he showed against Brazil he can be a part of the England midfield for the next decade at least.
Wilshere was excellent in his return to the England starting eleven. In a performance that showed pace, skill and determination the highlight was a great pass for Rooney’s goal that opened the scoring in the first half. One player cannot carry a team but England look so much stronger with Wilshere in the side.
The short term problem for England is that the 2014 World Cup is being played in South America. No European side has the tournament in that part of the world. No matter how good England are with Wilshere in the side the World Cup winners will almost certainly come from the Southern Hemisphere, with hosts Brazil, Argentina and Mexico the leading contenders.
Steven Gerrard, Cole and Lampard are coming to the end of their international careers but Wilshere is a player to build the side around for many years to come.