Steven Gerrard and Roy Hodgson slam Harry Redknapp England claims
Redknapp reveals that some Tottenham players avoided international duty when he was at White Hart Lane
June 23rd, 2014
The bitterness of Harry Redknapp knows no bounds. Having been axed as Tottenham manager and overlooked to take charge of the England side, the QPR boss has spoken out after the Three Lions recent World Cup exit in Brazil.
Redknapp claims that part of the problem lies in the fact that the players aren’t too keen to pull on the white shirt for England, revealing that some of the squad members at White Hart Lane actively looked for excuses to get out of playing for their country when he was in charge at the north London club.
These comments have been met with anger from Roy Hodgson and Steven Gerrard, with the latter stating that Redknapp should give out the names of players who actually wanted to avoid representing their country rather than make such a vague and barely plausible statement.
“I can tell you when I was at Tottenham, when full internationals came around, there were two or three players who did not want to play for England,” Redknapp told BBC 5 Live. “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.’
“That was how it was. 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. And I think it’s only going to get worse. You see the stick the England players get and they come home, they’re earning fantastic money at their clubs, they’re all playing in the Champions League. They think: ‘Do we need the aggro?”’
Steven Gerrard responded with the following in a recent press conference:
“I tell you what, I’d be interested to find out who those players are,” he said. “If Harry is making a comment like that, he should name them and embarrass them. Hand on heart, no one in this group wants to go home. No one has said to me they don’t like playing for England or that they don’t want to be here. If [what Redknapp says is] the case, it’s disgusting. For me, if a player doesn’t want to be here, he doesn’t deserve to be at a World Cup.
“But should Harry not name them? ‘They’ didn’t want to play for England. Who? Name them. We need names. Is it Aaron Lennon, Kyle Walker, Andros Townsend? I don’t know who he means. Does he mean five years ago? Or 10 years ago?” Hodgson interjected at this stage to insist it could not have been Defoe. “I’ve spoken to Jermain Defoe and he’s devastated [not to be in Brazil],” said Gerrard. “Harry Redknapp is a fantastic coach and a big character in the game, so for him to make a comment like that’s a big question in this room, but we need names. We need names or we can’t agree or disagree. But it’s not [been the case] here. I can guarantee 100% it’s not here.”