Frank Lampard defends Roy Hodgson over handling of Rio Ferdinand call up
England take on San Marino this week
Frank Lampard insists Roy Hodgson does not have a communication problem.
The botched manner of Rio Ferdinand's planned England return ahead of Friday's World Cup qualifier with San Marino at Wembley has raised questions about Hodgson's handling of the affair.
If the England manager had attempted to speak with the Manchester United defender before unveiling his squad last Thursday, he might have discovered for himself that Ferdinand was in no position to accept a return to fold.
But, compared to predecessor Fabio Capello, Lampard insists Hodgson is a "breath of fresh air".
"From the minute I first sat down with him at Chelsea when he came to meet a few of us there before the Euros, I found him a very personable bloke, very dedicated on the training ground, very driven, very pushed, very easy and friendly to talk to - in a good way," said the Chelsea midfielder.
"I have complete respect for him. With me, his communication has been fantastic."
Lampard's assessment extends to confirming he would speak with the 65-year-old before accepting any offer to leave Europe should Chelsea fail to come up with a contract extension.
"If there's ever a time, whenever it is, where there is an option of going outside Europe, I am sure Roy and I would have the conversation, whether it's before or during," said Lampard, who reached 200 Chelsea goals against West Ham on Sunday.
Nevertheless, the absence of Ferdinand is a blow given Gary Cahill joined the list of injured central defenders yesterday, triggering a first call-up for Newcastle's Steven Taylor.
It has been viewed by some as Ferdinand's revenge for his omission from Hodgson's Euro 2012 squad for "footballing reasons".
Lampard does not feel the situation is quite so simple.
"Rio hasn't become unpatriotic overnight," he said.
"He is a very driven man and is like that in anything he does in life.
"I don't know the individual circumstances, but he will want to carry on playing good football whether it be for Manchester United or England."
And to those who believe sitting out England duty to have a few massages is pretty shoddy, Lampard has a simple answer.
"The fitness people with England and Chelsea, the masseurs and that, they're not mugs," he said.
"If you want to be a top player these days you have to be aware of the whole package, how you train, when you go into the gym, in the swimming pool, getting massages at the right time.
"I'm not talking about massages where you're lying around with a little blonde bird. It's sports massage.
"You don't lie there for hours getting massage, but every player comes up with his own routine."
Latest in Sport
Today’s St James Palace looks a cracker and there has been sustained money for Dawn Approach since t...
by Gareth Purnell
18 June 2013 02:01 AM
Newcastle don’t need a football director – they need a new medical team after finishing bottom of the injury league
Newcastle United have shocked their fans by appointing Joe Kinnear as director of football but new f...
by Alex Miller
17 June 2013 04:39 PM
Italy come here with pretty much a full strength squad and can be very relaxed about their World Cup...
by Gareth Purnell
15 June 2013 02:01 AM
ACT Brumbies v British and Irish Lions - player ratings
Alan Pardew set to issue Joe Kinnear with a warning: I am still the manager of Newcastle United
The best and worst Premier League kits for the 2013/14 season
In pictures: Royal Ascot 2013 - Opening day
Exclusive: Cristiano Ronaldo advised to stay at Real Madrid for further 18 months before making possible switch to Manchester United
- 1 Freedom fighters? Cannibals? The truth about Syria’s rebels
- 2 Breaking the Silence: In the reality of occupation, there are no Palestinian civilians – only potential terrorists
- 3 Special Report: US troops are stationed in Japan to protect the nation. But to sex workers in Okinawa, they bring fear, not security
- 4 Vice pulls 'breathtakingly tasteless' fashion shoot glorifying the suicides of famous female authors from Sylvia Plath to Virginia Woolf
- 5 Iran to send 4,000 troops to aid President Assad forces in Syria