Roy Hodgson has refused to enter the debate about Steven Gerrard’s injury sustained whilst playing for England on Wednesday. An agreement between club and country had proposed that Liverpool’s captain be replaced after an hour’s football. Fabio Capello chose to play Gerrard on beyond the hour. Inevitably, Liverpool’s captain pulled up with a hamstring injury in the 84th minute.
His captain, it seems, wants no more recriminations and Hodgson is prepared to adhere to his wishes. “My interest is Liverpool FC and Steven Gerrard is very much an important part of that,” he told The Guardian. “When I spoke to him this morning he was at pains to say to me: ‘Don’t prolong this debate, please say as little as you can and be as diplomatic as you can, I know how you feel.’”
No Johnson rift.
Roy Hodgson has often been critical of media intrusion into his job as Liverpool manager and the treatment of his relationship with Glen Johnson is no different. An irked Hodgson said to skysports.com: “Once again we are talking about storms in teacups and people trying to make something out of nothing.”
With the full-back returning to fitness, Hodgson said he should return to the starting-XI. “As far as I’m concerned he’s the Liverpool right-back and the England right-back and we’re very happy to welcome him back into the team now that he’s fit again.” As such, Hodgson has poured water over the rumours that Johnson will leave Anfield in January.
Team news latest.
Steven Gerrard’s hamstring injury exacerbates glaring problems in an already threadbare midfield for Liverpool. Lucas Leiva misses the West Ham United fixture through suspension, having been dismissed last weekend at the Britannia Stadium. Another potential replacement, youngster Jay Spearing, will also sit out the match injured. Much maligned Dane Christian Poulsen is in line for a recall.
On a more positive note, Dirk Kuyt looks set to partner Fernando Torres in attack, the Daily Telegraph reports, having come through international duties unscathed. Glen Johnson may put his recent contretemps with Roy Hodgson behind him by returning to the team at right-back.