World Cup 2014: Matt Le Tissier 'not surprised' by Harry Redknapp's claims about Tottenham players skipping England duty

Steven Gerrard challenged the QPR manager to name and shame

Monday 23 June 2014 15:06
Matt Le Tissier
Matt Le Tissier

Former England forward Matt Le Tissier is baffled - but not surprised - by Harry Redknapp's claims of players avoiding international duty.

Redknapp told BBC Radio Five Live on Sunday that some English players asked him to pull them out of national games when he was in charge at White Hart Lane.

That does not surprise Le Tissier but, having won only eight England caps despite his prodigious talent and started only three of those games, he does not understand the mindset.

Also speaking on Five Live on Monday morning, he said: "I think there are times - especially when its friendly matches - where there are players who aren't that fussed about pulling on the England shirt.

"From that point of view it doesn't really shock me that he came out and said that.

"As someone who would have killed for more England caps, I never understood it, but it doesn't surprise me that it went on."

Redknapp claimed players would come up woth 'any excuse' to get out of playing

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard's desire to represent his country has never been in question but the midfielder's international career could be at an end after he asked coach Roy Hodgson for time to consider whether or not he will retire.

And Le Tissier said: "That decision has to be made by Steven.

"It depends on how his body feels. If he still feels fresh enough and still feels he can make a contribution why make that decision to retire?

"I don't know why as a pro footballer you'd want to retire (from international football) unless your body couldn't cope."

England's disappointing World Cup campaign and the possible exit of Gerrard and Frank Lampard, as well as full-back Ashley Cole before the tournament, will increase the focus on England's young generation as they embark on qualification for Euro 2016.

Le Tissier thinks Ross Barkley is the man to lead England into the future

And in Gerrard and Lampard's midfield berths, Le Tissier is convinced Everton's Ross Barkley is the man for the future - and could even follow the pair in leading his country.

"You can see him being the hub of the England midfield for years to come," he said. "If he stays fit you might look at him as a possible future England captain."

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