Steven Gerrard blasts Harry Redknapp over comments about former player

Roy Hodgson and Steven Gerrard exit  a press conference at Urca Military Training Ground, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Roy Hodgson and Steven Gerrard exit a press conference at Urca Military Training Ground, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Roy Hodgson and Steven Gerrard think Harry Redknapp was wrong to come out and claim some of his former Tottenham players tried to skip England duty.

And the duo insist there are no players in the current England squad who are not fully committed to the cause.

Redknapp, speaking on BBC Radio Five Live’s Sportsweek programme, claimed he had dealt with some players who did not want to play for England during his three-and-a-half-year spell at White Hart Lane.

“When I was at Tottenham, when full internationals came around, there were two or three players who did not want to play for England,” the QPR boss said.

“They would come to me 10 days before the game and say, ‘gaffer, get me out of that game, I don’t want to play in that game’.

“I’d say, ‘you’re playing for your country, you should want to play’.

“(They would say) ‘Nah, my girlfriend is having a baby in four weeks, I don’t want to play’ and that is the truth, so it makes you wonder.”

The claim will not have gone down well with the long list of Spurs players who represented England from 2008-12 - and Redknapp’s comments have not gone down well in the England camp either.

“If you make comments like that, you have to name them,” England manager Hodgson said.

“I could name a player with an educated guess, but ‘players’? It’s unfair to ask people to look back historically.”

Captain Gerrard shares Hodgson’s thoughts on the matter.

“The comment is a comment, like ‘them’ and ‘they’ didn’t want to play for England. Who? Name them? We need names. I don’t know who he means. Five years ago? 10 years ago?

“If it’s the case, it’s disgusting.”

England may have just experienced their fastest World Cup exit in history, but Gerrard insists a lack of desire and effort was not the reason why.

“I can guarantee that is not the case here,” Gerrard said. “Nobody here wants to go home.”

Hodgson added: “In the two years I’ve been here, I’ve seen a greater interest in playing for England, so Harry’s comments come as a bit of a surprise.

Gerrard said one former Spurs player was “devastated” by Redknapp’s comments.Meanwhile, England will offer a glimpse of the future in their final World Cup match against Costa Rica, with manager Roy Hodgson planning sweeping changes for the clash.

The Three Lions’ elimination has already been confirmed following defeats to Italy and Uruguay and Costa Rica’s victories over both of those sides.

It means England have fallen at the group stage for the first time in 56 years and Hodgson will use Tuesday’s clash against Los Ticos to give his squad players a run out.

Frank Lampard, James Milner and Rickie Lambert are likely to start in Belo Horizonte, as well as younger members of the squad like Ross Barkley, Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones.

“I will be picking it with a view to making certain that all the players, if possible, that have been with us here get some game time.”