Harry Redknapp recently came out with a startling revelation that several Tottenham players, when he was managing the North London outfit, came to him and express their desire to be left out of the England squad. They plan to do so by feigning an injury just before the international break. This startling revelation has shocked many England fans including Steven Gerrard. The Liverpool midfielder says that Redknapp should consider coming out on naming those players in the public so as to shame them.
He says that it is the only way to eradicate players would not play with their 100% for the national team. The English have been underachieving in world football ever since winning the 1966 World Cup. Not much was expected from them at the 2014 edition, but they performed poorly and were knocked out of the competition of the group stages. They suffered two defeats in the opening two matches to render the third and final match meaningless. Gerrard is expected to sit out from the match against Costa Rica with Frank Lampard being the captain.
A veteran of several world cups, Gerrard has played for the England national team with the same passion that he does for Liverpool. However, he says that he has never seen a player who does not want to play for England. “I don’t know who he means. Is it five years ago? 10 years ago? We need names. If it’s the case, it’s disgusting. I can guarantee that is not the case here. Nobody here wants to go home. 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,” said the England captain.
This is likely to be the last World Cup for Gerrard and several players like Lampard.
At the time of writing, Italy remain at around 18-1, on average, to win the World Cup. You may think this is understandable; the Azzurri aren’t generally thought to be a strong squad despite their convincing 2-1 win over England.
Also, you may think there are stronger teams left in the tournament. Brazil remain favourites to win overall despite a generally lacklustre couple of games, whilst Germany have come in a little, understandably, after their easy win over Portugal. Argentina remain joint second favourites with the Germans after their opening win against Bosnia-Herzegovina, whilst the Dutch have come right in to around 10-1 after their incredible 5-1 drubbing of the Spanish. The holders, meanwhile, who were fourth favourites before the tournament began at around 5-1, have drifted all the way out to 12-1, whilst France are 16-1 shots after their convincing 3-0 opening win against Honduras. Continue reading Italy still look good value
Not everyone can win the World Cup, but you are sure to go down in the history books regardless of how your team does in the competition, if you earn the Player of the Tournament accolade, also known as the Golden Ball trophy. For some, it is the last opportunity to show their consistent class and talent on the grand stage, but for others, they have scores to settle and points to prove, with the World Cup being the best stage possible for re-emergence. Continue reading World Cup 2014 Player of the Tournament Award
Manchester City’s number one goalkeeper Joe Hart has revealed that he has to thank his backup – Costel Pantilimon and Richard Wright – for the contribution they did in the season that has given City their second Premier league title. Hart lost his place during the middle of the campaign after a string of performances. Romanian international Pantilimon stepped in his presence and did well for a few weeks. The absence from the spotlight during this period helped Hart regain his confidence. Since then, he has never looked back and is now set to go with the England national team has their number one goalkeeper for the World Cup 2014.
Wright has also been a backup on several occasions during the season. Towards the end of the campaign, Pantilimon was largely used in cup matches. Despite this impressive run of form, the Romanian National looks set to leave the club in the summer. At 27 years of age, he needs to play regularly in order to sustain his place within the Romanian national team squad. Romania have a great chance of qualifying for the Euro 2016 as they have been grouped in a relatively easy group.
Pantilimon has made more than 15 appearances for the national team, but the 27-year-old is under threat from newcomers.
“It’s been a great year for me – a really exciting year. I think it emphasises what a squad you need to win a Premier League. I was having a tough time, Costel came in and did fantastic for the games he was in and then proceeded to back me up, same as Richard Wright. I can’t thank them enough for how they’ve been this year and they’re a big reason why we’ve won the league. He (Pellegrini) is a winner, he wants us to win,” said the goalkeeper.