Chelsea’s Frank Lampard has been named captain for Englands friendly at Wembley against Denmark on Wednesday night.
The 32 year old will take over from Rio Ferdinand who is out injured, as is vice captain Steven Gerrard. With both injured playing for their respective clubs at the weekend, Capello also announced he would bring in Jack Wilshere of Arsenal for his first international start.
Lamps said, “I am very proud, it is quite unexpected,”
It’s the first time the player has captained his country, despite doing the job for Chelsea on many occasions.
“I’ve been in the squad for quite a long time now and I feel like one of the old stagers. It will be one of the proudest moments of my career to lead out the boys.
“I’ll try and do what I do for Chelsea. I’m not going to change just because of the armband. The team will always need leaders and I will try and do my usual job but try and have an influence on the team.”
Lampard, who has scored 20 goals in 83 appearances for his country has only just come back from injury, and hasn’t played for England since August.
“I spoke with him about injuries that he has suffered and I have been monitoring the last five games he has played. He has improved a lot,” said Capello.
“I watched him against Liverpool and he played a really good game. Probably he is fresher than the other players.”
Capello also confirmed Chelsea’s Ashley Cole would start at left back, making him England’s most capped full-back and Darren Bent of Aston Villa will start up front.
Talking about Wilshere, 19, Capello said he would play in a defensive role to allow Lampard to flow forward.
“I monitored Wilshere for a long time at start of the season and he played well but was not ready for the seniors,” Capello said in Copenhagen.
“The last two months he has improved, he is confident and the other Arsenal players are confident with him. I spoke to Arsene Wenger about the position to play him in on Wednesday and he said he was good going forward and also playing further back.
“I hope the option will be for him to stay in front of the back four, like a centre-back.”
Lampard added: “I don’t think he needs much help, the way he’s playing. He’s been fantastic for Arsenal.
“Some players take a while in the transition into the full team. He looks like he’s got the mental attitude to fit right in. I’m looking forward to playing alongside him.”
Capello is looking forward to the opportunity to try out new things. “In this team I found every time a good spirit,” he said. “I am really happy with the players. Sometimes people can’t see that they play with pride. Every time the players play with 100%, but sometimes that is not enough.
“Wednesday is a friendly game and lots of the players aren’t here. But it will be interesting to see the other players who can be the future. Friendlies are important for experiments.
“The players are really happy to play tomorrow [Wednesday] for England. The Champions League will be the next thing they go on to after this. I haven’t a problem with the clubs or managers. Every time we speak they help me every time.
“Denmark are a good team, who played in the World Cup. Their style is not unlike the northern European countries – they prefer to play in an Arsenal or Spain style. It will be important to see how we play against teams that play with style.”