Rafa Benitez and his training staff never had a problem with Fabio Capello and the national team staff up until this week; but they do now. Gerrard’s “pointless exercise” has a lot to do with the new battle over club versus country.
Fabio Capello still faces a struggle to repair his relationship with Liverpool over his insistence that Steven Gerrard be assessed by England’s medical staff.
Gerrard, along with Frank Lampard, returned to his club yesterday after doctors confirmed Liverpool’s initial diagnosis that the midfielder is suffering from a small tear to a groin muscle, an injury that is likely to sideline him for up to 10 days. The Merseysiders, while unable to prevent Capello flexing his muscles, have privately bemoaned what they consider to have been a “pointless exercise” with Gerrard having been asked to make a 400-mile, eight-hour round trip to England’s Hertfordshire base. (The Guardian)
This is clearly a situation that will never go away. Gerrard is one of many players that have been forced in recent years to show up at the national team training facility to prove (or disprove) fitness to the staff. Whilst it might be seen as an inconvenience to Rafa, Capello and his staff do have the right to ask him to make-good on his honour to play for his country. Let the debate rage on!
What do you make of the situation? Was it crazy of Capello to ask Gerrard to make the trip to the Hertfordshire base for a fitness test?