Football

I will not name them

PHOTO: AFP

Harry Redknapp has refused Steven Gerrard's demand to name and shame the ex-Tottenham stars the Premier League boss claims skipped England duty.

Redknapp, now manager of QPR, claimed some English players asked him to pull them out of national games when he was in charge at White Hart Lane.

England captain Gerrard believes anyone who dodges international duty is wrong and he called on Redknapp to name the players in question.

It is not something Redknapp, who was Spurs boss from 2008-2012, is about to do.

Redknapp told Sportsmail: "I understand Steven's concern but I don't want to get into naming names because it wouldn't be fair to the players.

NOT UNUSUAL

"Every Premier League manager past and present knows what I'm talking about.

"Probably even Roy Hodgson. But sadly, this attitude is not unusual these days.

"You've only got to look at how many players pull out of an international game on a Tuesday and Wednesday then are running about for their clubs the next Saturday to see that this is a very real issue."

England manager Hodgson said: "In the two years I've been here, I've seen a greater interest in playing for England, so Harry's comments come as a bit of a surprise."

Former England manager Graham Taylor joined in the debate telling BBC Radio 5 Live: "As much as we blame players, they are put under pressure - sometimes by their club managers.

"The World Cup final is the pinnacle - I have no doubt about that, but the World Cup is only every four years.

"The Premier League and the Champions League are every year. There's bags of money - therefore club football rules the roost."

Former England striker Matt Le Tissier also spoke about the subject.

He said he was baffled - but not surprised - by Redknapp's claims of players avoiding international duty.

Le Tissier, having won only eight England caps despite his prodigious talent, does not understand the mindset.

Speaking on BBC, 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." - PA Sport.


You've only got to look at how many players pull out of an international game on a Tuesday and Wednesday then are running about for their clubs the next Saturday to see that this is a very real issue. 

- Harry Redknapp

World Cup