England manager Roy Hodgson has said that he is certainly not worried about the fitness of captain Steven Gerrard ahead of the crucial match with Sweden at the Euro 2012.
England only managed a 1-1 draw with France in the opening group game. Steven Gerrard was extremely influential in the match after he was responsible for the goal scored by Joleon Lescott in the first half. Even though France equalised through Samir Nasri, England were praised for their hardfought display that was reminiscent of the way Chelsea won the Champions League this season. After the match, there was certain doubts that Steven Gerrard would be unable to make it into the Sweden game due to the exertions from the France match.
Hodgson has confirmed to Liverpool news website that Steven Gerrard and Scott Parker are not 100% at the moment, but he has said that both will be most likely to make it to the Sweden game. Due to the absence of Frank Lampard, the presence of Steven Gerrard in the midfield becomes even more important. However, due to the fact that both players are over the age of 30, their recovery times are much less than younger players according to Roy Hodgson.
“Scott’s 31 and Steven 32, we’re not talking about old players. Certainly Sweden have players considerably older than our team and I think I heard that we are the third youngest squad in the tournament. Age doesn’t bother me, obviously when you go into the third game you are going to be concerned for all your players, not just Steven Gerrard and Scott Parker. You’re going to be concerned for them all whatever age they are because three games played in Ukraine in heat takes it out of everybody,” said Roy Hodgson after the 1-1 draw with France.
Steven Gerrard admitted England were “heartbroken” following the penalty shoot-out defeat by Italy, which ended their Euro 2012 campaign.
England battled gamely in the quarterfinal in Kiev, but were second best for most of the contest, and could count themselves fortunate to take the game into extra time.
“I feel for the players who, from day one, have given everything, and today we did the same,” Gerrard told BBC Sport. “But, again, we’re going home with heartbreak, which is hard to take.” Read more »
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has said that captain Steven Gerrard might delay the international retirement in order to reach 100 caps for England. The influential midfielder is currently on 90 caps for England, but was recently disappointed by the caretaker manager Stuart Pearce, who overlooked Steven Gerrard for the England captaincy post. It was eventually handed to Tottenham midfielder Scott Parker, which seems to have upset Gerrard a lot. However, the Liverpool captain is set to soldier on in a bid to reach 100 caps for England according to manager Kenny Dalglish.
Gerrard recently revealed that he is currently contemplating retirement from the international scene after the Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine in the summer. Gerrard has had a stellar career with England, but has not been yet to lift any major trophy. Former England manager Fabio Capello saw Steven Gerrard as the ideal candidate to replace John Terry when the initial scandal involving Terry and Wayne Bridge broke out. Scott Parker has only 11 caps for England, which seems to have hurt Gerrard, as he had not been considered for the England captaincy despite this superior experience. Kenny Dalglish made 102 caps for Scotland before retiring.
“I don’t know what Steven is thinking. I’ve not had a conversation with Steven on anything as deep as that. He obviously must enjoy representing his country if he’s done it 90 times. To get 100 caps for your country is a proud achievement. To represent the football club you have supported all your life is an equally proud achievement as well,” said Kenny Dalglish. Steven Gerrard has been blighted by a number of injury problems in recent seasons. The Liverpool captain expects these to improve once he has retired from international duty, which could well be in the summer.