World Cup 2014: Steven Gerrard challenges Harry Redknapp to name and shame players who avoided England duty

England captain demands answers after allegations about anonymous Tottenham men and reveals Hodgson wants him to stay on

Rio de Janeiro

Steven Gerrard has challenged Harry Redknapp to name and shame the players whom the former Tottenham Hotspur manager has alleged tried to pull out of England squads when he was in charge of the club.

LIVE: Follow tonight's game - USA vs Portugal

In a blunt response to Redknapp’s allegations, made on BBC Five Live, that unnamed Spurs players would plead with their manager to make up excuses to get them out of England duty, Gerrard said that Redknapp had an obligation to name them. Otherwise up to 12 England players from Redknapp’s time in charge of Spurs would be under suspicion.

Read more: Sam Wallace picks his England XI for 2018
What next for the 23 men in Roy Hodgson's squad?
Footballing glory no closer for England than it has been in decades

The England captain even went as far as saying that he knew that Jermain Defoe was not under suspicion. He said he had spoken to the former Spurs man who was “devastated” at not making the World Cup finals squad.

 

Speaking together for the first time since England’s elimination was confirmed on Friday, Gerrard said that Roy Hodgson had asked him to stay on as captain of the team. The 34-year-old has asked Hodgson for time to consider his future. Gerrard said he felt “broken” by England’s elimination from the tournament and needed time to decide. On Redknapp, he said: “I tell you what, I’d be interested to find out who those players are. If Harry is making a comment like that, he should name them and embarrass them. No one in this group wants to go home.

Harry Redknapp claimed his expensive squad had ‘done well’ after the upheaval of last summer Harry Redknapp claimed his expensive squad had ‘done well’ after the upheaval of last summer  

“Should Harry not name them? If he’s not naming them, I can’t answer that. If it’s the case, it’s disgusting. For me, if a player doesn’t want to be, he doesn’t deserve to be here at a World Cup. The comment refers to ‘them’. ‘They’ didn’t want to play for England. Who? Name them? Is it Aaron Lennon, Kyle Walker, Andros Townsend? I don’t know who he means. Five years ago?

“I’ve spoken to Jermain Defoe and he’s devastated [not to be in Brazil]. I can understand why you’ve asked the question, with Harry Redknapp a big coach in the game, but we need names. But it’s not here [in the current squad]. I can guarantee it’s not here.”

Redknapp had said earlier in the day that there were “two or three [Spurs] players who did not want to play for England.” He 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’. That was how it was. I’d say, ‘You’re playing for your country, you should want to play’.

“[The players 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?’ ”

There have been issues with players withdrawing from Under-21 games. In the past Andy Carroll and David Bentley have pulled out of tournaments. Gerrard said: “Well, he should be embarrassed if there’s one player. When you go down into the younger age groups, they’re younger lads. They might not want to be away from their families. But when you’re picked at this level and find any excuse not to be here, you don’t deserve to be here.”

Hodgson said that Redknapp’s remarks “come as a bit of a surprise”. He said: “If you make comments like that, you have to name them. I could name a player with an educated guess, but players? It’s unfair to ask people to look back historically. Let’s see how it will be moving forward. Let’s keep our standards high.”

 

England travelled to Belo Horizonte today before tomorrow’s final World Cup group game against Costa Rica.

Hodgson said he would give opportunities to the members of his squad who have not played so far. Frank Lampard will captain the side. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has had a set-back in his recovery from a medial knee ligament injury and will not feature. Leighton Baines has a hamstring injury and is not available. Luke Shaw will start.

Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
Sport
football
Life and Style
Agretti is often compared to its relative, samphire, though is closer in taste to spinach
food + drink
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Kelly Osbourne will play a flight attendant in Sharknado 2
people
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
The dress can be seen in different colours
i100
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?