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Veteran duo eyed for England roles

Published 22/05/2015

Jack Grealish has played 22 times for Aston Villa this season
Jack Grealish has played 22 times for Aston Villa this season

Roy Hodgson wants Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard to take on coaching roles with England when they finish their respective spells in the United States.

After 37 years' collective service, Gerrard and Lampard will play their final games in the Barclays Premier League this weekend.

Seventeen years after making his debut, Gerrard will don the Liverpool shirt for the final time at Stoke and Lampard's 20-year spell in the top-flight will end following Manchester City's home game against Southampton.

Both are heading to the States to see out their careers. Gerrard will play for the Los Angeles Galaxy and Lampard will play for New York City FC.

Having worked closely with the pair during his time as England manager, Hodgson knows the leadership qualities the pair possess and he believes it would be a waste if they did not go into coaching.

Hodgson admits Liverpool and Chelsea are likely to be the prime contenders for the duo's services, but thinks it would be foolish of the Football Association to overlook their talents and employ them as national team coaches, just as he has done with Gary Neville.

"Probably, yes," Hodgson said when asked if they could form part of the England backroom staff in the future.

"Before that, I'm sure the first people who will try to get hold of them when they return will be Liverpool and Chelsea. I'm pretty sure of that.

"But who's to say they can't be members in an English set-up as well? "They certainly know England. They've both had 100 caps. But it's not only their playing ability. It's their leadership qualities. They're both leaders."

Neville splits his time between coaching with England and forming part of Sky Sports' punditry panel.

The former Manchester United captain is regarded as one of the best pundits around, but is considering going into full-time management.

Gerrard and Lampard are both doing their coaching badges and Hodgson believes the pair have real potential to be successful managers.

"Both of them have the same ability to do that," he said.

"I wouldn't want to put a cigarette paper between them in that respect."

The England boss dodged a question on whether the pair are nailed on to occupy the post he holds one day in the future.

"I don't select the England manager. That's a question for (FA chairman) Greg Dyke," Hodgson replied, curtly.

The England manager was more forthcoming when asked about his admiration for the pair, who have 220 England caps between them.

Gerrard captained England under Hodgson's reign and Lampard was the Liverpool midfielder's deputy.

Despite their advancing years, Hodgson had no doubt about including both players in his World Cup squad last year and the 67-year-old even discussed the possibility of the pair playing on after the tournament last summer.

And the former Fulham manager delivered an emotional tribute to the two former England internationals ahead of their respective farewells.

"Their effect on English football has been quite incredible," said Hodgson, who also worked with Gerrard during his ill-fated and brief spell as Liverpool manager.

"But I'd rather speak personally. What they've done for me during my time as England manager has been quite fantastic not only on the field as players and in training as players, but also as leaders and characters, they've both been outstanding and I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart.

"They've been real role models for the rest of the players, they've had a natural authority due to the fact they are such good players but they have used their authority in the right way to encourage the younger players to make certain that their strong ethos, which as a coaching staff we share, is spread out amongst all the players.

"I can't thank them enough for what they've done. I really hope they enjoy their American adventures and they will come back even stronger individuals and leaders than they already are.

"We will see an awful lot of benefits going forward with those two players. I can't imagine a long-term future in English football without major contributions from Gerrard and Lampard."

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