PURCHASE, N.Y. – Frank Lampard sat at home with his wife Monday, watching England bow out of Euro 2016 following a shocking loss to Iceland.
But what was more disappointing than that loss, for the New York City FC midfielder, was the reaction of the English press on Tuesday morning.
“I’ve read a lot of comments this morning in the English press, really critical stuff about players and individuals on the team. I don’t like that,” Lampard said, “When you’ve been a player and you’re in it, you understand it’s not that simple.”
Of course, the former England midfielder understands the basis of the criticism for a defeat many are considering the worst in English soccer history.
“Getting knocked out of any tournament in any way is bad, but the lads under-performed. You can’t dance around that. That’s what happened,” Lampard said. “You have to give immense credit to Iceland, the nation they are. The work rate they put in, I thought was incredible. Fair play to them on that front.”
Still, Lampard said, considering the quality of the roster Roy Hodgson assembled, a win over the minnows of Iceland should have been a foregone conclusion.
“As an England team, the quality of players we’ve got, we should be beating them. The lads will know that and it will be a very hard time for them,” Lampard said. “I feel for them in that way because there’s no lack of desire as an England team or individually as players who want to go out there and win a tournament desperately. It’s what the people are waiting for back home, but they didn’t do it.”
On Sunday, NYCFC will have their chance at revenge back at Yankee Stadium (12 pm ET; ESPN; Ticket Info).
“We can’t forget the 7-0, but at the same time we’ve got to use it in a positive way to inspire us to turn it around,” Lampard said. “For me there certainly isn’t a gap of seven goals between us in a game. I think we’re in better shape now than we were then as a team, the way we’ve been playing in the last games. It’s up to us to turn it around.”
“I know we’re not seven goals worse than them,” Lampard said. “We’re a team that can beat them, it’s as simple as that. But we need to show it on the pitch.”