Anfield skipper injured in match that never needed to take place.
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England’s first home defeat under Fabio Capello was capped off last night by a major row with Liverpool over Steven Gerrard’s injury in the disappointing 2-1 loss to France.
Capello’s makeshift team were comprehensively outplayed by their old rivals and at the final whistle they were booed off the pitch by those still left inside Wembley.
England’s Italian manager then walked into an argument over Gerrard, who picked up what looked like a serious hamstring injury in the 85th minute. The Liverpool captain limped away from the ground last night, saying: “It’s not good,” and will undergo a scan today to assess the damage.
Liverpool’s anger at Capello was expressed by their head of fitness and conditioning, Darren Burgess, who used Twitter to accuse England of reneging on an agreement concerning how long Gerrard would play.
Burgess wrote on the website: “Unbelievable from all associated with England and English FA with regard to SGs injury. Completely ignored agreement and past history.” He added: “Completely amateurish and now we pay for their incompetence. Absolutely disgraceful.”
The comments were put to Capello, who admitted there had been a loose agreement for Gerrard to play only 60 minutes but claimed injuries to Gareth Barry and Rio Ferdinand, who were both replaced at half-time, had left him short of experienced players.
Capello said: “We spoke with Steve and said he would play one hour, but after Barry’s injury we had some problems. That was the reason he stayed on the pitch. If it’s possible, the players will play the time we agreed with the club.
“But Barry was really injured so we needed someone senior on the pitch because it was a really young team. He said he was good so, for that reason, it’s good. We’re upset about what happened to Steve, of course.”
As the row blew up last night, Burgess went back to Twitter to delete his comments. The damage, however, had been done. (Independent)
Enough is enough. I am not one to usually join the whole club vs country debate and I am 100% fully behind the England national team but last night Fabio Capello made a big mistake and I see no good reason why Liverpool Football Club should not sue for the injury sustained by the Anfield skipper. Now I am not suggesting that the club makes a case for some astronomical fee but I think it only fair that due to an act of stupidity that went against agreements made between club and country, that the FA should pay Steven Gerrard’s wages for the period of time he is out injured.
Forget about the obvious impact the loss of such an influential player will have on the club, because to try to calculate the amount that may cost the club is practically impossible to formulate fairly. However it is time that club’s forced the relevant national team bodies for loss of players due to those players being over strained in completely pointless friendlies.
The assertion that Steven Gerrard was kept on the pitch due to the lack of senior players on the pitch a) devalues those young stars on show who Capello is essentially stating can’t cope on their own and b) ignores other senior stars still on show including Peter Crouch (who eventually came on for the Liverpool man) and Phil Jagielka.
The actions taken by Fabio Capello will surely bring the whole issue of playing these mid-season friendlies at all back into the spotlight. Other than being a money making exercise, what do such games actually serve to prove? If there was a competitive international on the horizon then such a warm up may make some sense but there isn’t another Euro 2012 qualifier until March, and guess what? There is a planned game against Argentine just a month before that, so why are England playing in mid November anyway?
Something does need to be done and this is not just the knee jerk reaction of a Liverpool fan who is clearly aggrieved. Think of all the other players who got injured last night, there are sure to be a dozen plus players who took part in the myriad of matches played yesterday who can now not take part in matches on the weekend, and why? No reason at all as far as I can see.
We always talk about overly long football seasons and the stress and strain placed on the modern day footballers and then an international friendly is planned slap bang in the middle of the season and nowhere near an actual qualifying match, the purpose of which is clearly only a money making exercise for their respective FA’s. If you don’t believe me, take a look at how many high profile matches took place last night, games that are clearly designed to make as much money as possible. Argentina Vs Brazil, Portugal Vs Spain, England Vs France, coincidence? Of course not. These games were planned solely to make money and for no other reason.
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