Gerrard keen to
Steven Gerrard insists there is no way he would end
his England career on such a dismal note as the recent World Cup
Three Lions players Paul Robinson and Wes Brown have controversially
shunned call-ups from manager Fabio Capello for Wednesday's friendly
against Hungary at Wembley, with both announcing their retirement from
the international stage.
But 28-year-old Liverpool midfielder Gerrard is adamant he would not
turn down a chance to play for England, and that the recent
disappointment in South Africa has made him even more determined to do
well for his country.
"I think everyone is entitled to their own opinion and decisions in
life," Gerrard said in a press conference on Sky Sports News. "That's
something that I can't control.
"But I think if the manager picks you for England, for me, my opinion is
you should come and play.
"Players are different, some players have injury problems, some players
are disappointed they haven't been picked and have been left out of
major tournaments and are frustrated.
"I haven't experienced those feelings yet in my career so I don't know
how I'd deal with those feelings if I was in their shoes.
"But for me, after the experience in South Africa, there was no way I
was going out after that experience. I want to go out as an England
player on a high."
Capello has included some younger, less experienced players in his squad
to face Hungary, although only members of the South Africa party are set
to feature in the starting line-up in front of a Wembley crowd that will
inevitably vent their World Cup frustration.
Gerrard accepts the manager's decision to put the World Cup team in the
line of fire, but is hoping the new blood in the squad will bring a
fresh approach to England's game.
"I think it would be very unfair on the young lads if all the
experienced players were excluded from this squad and they were all
thrown in at the deep end together," he said.
"Hopefully the young lads can help the experienced lads as well by
freshening things up.
"Hopefully we can regroup and move forward together and if we can get a
positive result and performance on Wednesday night then hopefully that
will be the starting process in turning things around from South
Gerrard also insists he has a healthy relationship with manager Capello,
and says he is happy to play in whichever position the Italian wants
"I've got a good relationship with the manager," he added. "I don't feel
I was playing out of position (at the World Cup).
"I feel I did a decent job, personally, and moving forward I'll do
exactly what the manager wants me to do. I won't cause a big issue over
where I'm playing in this team."
Gerrard: Capello can
still call on me
Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard insists he will not
call time on his international career despite England's World Cup
The midfielder skippered Fabio Capello's side through their faltering
Group C campaign followed by the 4-1 second-round loss to Germany.
Since the defeat, Liverpool team-mate Jamie Carragher - who was
persuaded to come out of retirement for the tournament by Capello - has
again announced his withdrawal from the England scene.
The Italian boss is also thought to be planning to make wholesale
changes to his side, replacing some of the 'old guard' with younger
But Gerrard insists he will not be quitting England duty - and he
desperately wants to add to his 84 caps and make amends for the Germany
He told Liverpool's official website: "There is no way I want the
disappointment of the Germany game to be my last for England.
"It was such a low and I am determined to do as much as I can to make
amends for what happened.
"I expect there to be a lot of changes to the squad and it is up to the
manager whether I am selected, but I am going to continue to make myself
available for my country."
Gerrard refuses to comment
on liverpool manager search
By Matt Monaghan - Goal.com
England captain Steven Gerrard has refused to be drawn
on the debate over who should succeed Rafael Benitez as Liverpool
Gerrard, 30, has moved to the centre of the Three Lions' set-up after
Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand was ruled out of the tournament
with injury. All eyes in Merseyside, however, have been on the search to
find the next Anfield supremo.
Speaking to the press, Gerrard declined the opportunity to offer his
opinion about the situation.
"I said on the record in Austria I wouldn't be speaking about matters at
Liverpool," Gerrard noted.
"That remains the case.
"Now I want people to show me respect. I'm two days from a massive day,
leading my country into the World Cup and I want to concentrate on
Gerrard has no plans to leave Liverpool
By Ben Moss - Sport.co.uk
Steven Gerrard is adamant that he will see out his
contract at Liverpool.
The 29-year-old England midfielder still has three years left on his
Anfield deal but that has not stopped speculation being rife that he is
keen to move on this summer after a disappointing campaign for Rafa
However, Gerrard says nothing will distract him from representing
England in the World Cup unlike four years ago when stories about a
possible transfer to Chelsea did affect him.
"Yes I was distracted then. I was going back to my hotel room and
driving myself mad," he said. "This time round I won't make the same
mistake. I guarantee to everyone that my focus is on doing well for
"Liverpool's season wasn't good enough. As a squad and a team we
under-achieved and we are not happy about it.
"But now I am here with England and the training has started I think it
is important to park club issues and focus on the job in hand for
"If people want to speculate about my future, that's up to them. I
cannot control that, I can only control what I am thinking myself. What
is important to me now is the World Cup and focusing only on the World
"I have to realise that I am coming up to 30 years of age and these big
tournaments only come round once every four years so maybe this is going
to be my last one I have to be mindful of that, make the most of it and
Liverpool and England star Steven Gerrard admits he
has not been at his best this season.
The Reds skipper, though, has vowed that he is still more than capable
of returning to the top of his game at any chosen moment.
Gerrard admits he needs to improve, but he has his sights firmly set on
making the top-four in the Premier League - whilst also making the
Europa League final.
"I think it can be better, if you look at my form through the season as
a whole I am not totally happy, I have not reached the level I would
like to be at," he told Sky Sports News.
"It is not worrying me as I still have confidence that it can switch and
turn at any given time to where I would want it to be at any given time,
I have played well this season but I have come out of games when I have
not been totally happy.
"I am my own worse critic, I know myself when it is good and when it
needs to be stepped up and the challenge for me now in the remaining
games is to step up and drive Liverpool into fourth, try to go to the
Uefa Cup [Europa League] final and go to the World Cup."
Gerrard, now England vice-captain, is confident of the Three Lions'
chances ahead of the World Cup finals this summer.
"Time will tell, we are in a good situation - we are winning and
confidence is high but we have learning to do and some improving to do
if we are to go all the way," he said.
"You need that bit of luck to keep players fit and the squad healthy -
so we are in a good situation at this time but there is still a long way
to the World Cup, a lot can happen.
"I believe with this manager in charge the key time will be when we meet
up, and up to the first game - when we basically will be living
together, training - maybe twice a day, and we can learn a lot from each
other and hopefully by the time the first game comes around every
individual we will be well drilled, and know what we need to do to get
out of the group as that is the first challenge."
Gerrard also feels for David Beckham, who will miss the finals because
"We want everyone fit and available, David is an experienced player," he
"He has become more of a squad player recently, but we want every player
fit and available - it is a big blow for David but it gives
opportunities for other people to step up to the plate - but I am gutted
He also admitted that retired team-mate Jamie Carragher is still good
enough to play for his country.
"It is too late for that and Jamie has made his decision," he stated.
"I certainly think he is still good enough to play for England as I rate
him very highly.
"He had a dip in his form but he has come back very strong and is
playing at the top of his game again and that is great to see as I am
very close to Jamie and he has been fantastic for Liverpool over the
last few months."