GERRARD BACKS ENGLAND

Steven Gerrard has said that England should go into their next World Cup qualifying match against Ukraine with self belief.

England is currently at the top of the Group H points table. They have got 15 points in 7 matches. Montenegro also has got the same no. of points, but, they are no. 2 on the basis of goal difference.

Ukraine which is at the 3rd position is also not too far behind. They have managed to secure 14 points in 7 games.

So, the game between Ukraine and England is extremely vital. The outcome of this game can change the positions of the top 3 teams in the points table and Gerrard admitted that.

Talking to the reporters ahead of the game, the England captain said, “This is a huge match; no doubt about that. But, we will have to back our abilities and go onto ground with the belief that we can win. If we manage to secure 3 points, we will be in a commanding position.”

England will enter the match against Ukraine without its two main strikers i.e. Danny Welbeck and Wayne Rooney. Welbeck is out because of suspension, while, Rooney is not 100% fit.

In the absence of these two players, the 31 years old Rickie Lambert is going to be the leader of the visitors’ attack. The Southampton striker has already found the net a couple of times in the 2 matches that he has played for England so far.

When asked about Lambert, Gerrard said, “He has been terrific in his first couple of appearances for England. He is in great nick and I think he is going to play a big part in tomorrow’s game.”

After this game against Ukraine, England will play two more World Cup qualifiers. Both of them will be the home games.

LAST CHANCE WITH ENGLAND

Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard has said that he could be in his final year of international football and he wants to make the most out of it. The 33-year-old is likely to play at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

However, he has conceded for the first time that it could be his last involvement with the national team. He does not see himself part of the national team in three years time when he will be 36 years of age. The midfielder recently made 100 appearances for the national team, thus putting him amongst the elite group of players to have achieved this record.

He is regarded as one of the finest midfielders of his generation and England will certainly miss him once he retires. Gerrard has said that he is aware that he does not have a long time left in football. Hence, he wants to enjoy the current run of matches more than ever. The midfielder, though, is confident that England will be able to find a suitable replacement for him. In fact, he has suggested that Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere could be the very replacement. After coming through the ranks at Arsenal, Wilshere has already made his debut for the national team.

"I've got to assume it's my last year. I can't assume I'm going to be here in two or three years' time. I've got to make the most of every single game. For all I know, I might be out of the picture in a year's time. I want to make the most of it. Jack is so good I am sure when he gets to my age he will be sitting in my position with the armband on talking about another 100-cap player. I've got no doubt he can (be the man who succeeds him)," said Gerrard.

100 PERCENT

The Liverpool skipper, Steven Gerrard, has got back to 100% fitness and he has started full training.

This is great news for the Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and also, for the manager of the England team Roy Hodgson.

Gerrard had discovered a shoulder injury while playing in a Premier League match against Newcastle United towards the end of the last season. He went for the scan after the match. The scan reports suggested that the injury was serious and the surgery was required.

Gerrard went through the surgery immediately and was ruled out for the rest of the season. He missed Liverpool’s last couple of Premier League games of the season against Fulham and Queens Park Rangers.

Because of that surgery, Gerrard was also not able to take part in England’s friendly matches against Brazil and Ireland either.

Gerrard’s recovery went quite well after the surgery and he regained 100% fitness in quick time.

The Liverpool players will gather for pre season training in the first week of July, but, Gerrard has come back to the training ground a couple of weeks earlier. He has been training hard at the Melwood ground since the last few days.

Gerrard is supposed to feature for the Reds in their first pre season contest against Preston North End at Deepdale on 13th of July.

After that match, the Reds will go on pre-season tour of Indonesia, Thailand and Australia. They will play three matches on the tour against Indonesian XI (20th July), Melbourne Victory (24th July) and Thai National Team XI (28th July) respectively.

The Liverpool team will then return to UK to face Olympiakos at Anfield on 3rd of August. That will be Steven Gerrard’s testimonial match.

The Reds will play two more pre-season games after that against Valerenga and Celtic respectively before starting their Premier League campaign against Stoke City on 17th of August.

LUCAS BELIEVES IN GERRARD

Liverpool are on the brink of elimination from the Europa league after suffering a 2-0 defeat in the first leg against the Russian club Zenit St Petersburg. The five-time European champions have been unable to qualify for the Champions League in the last few seasons, and the Europa league has also not been fruitful to them.

However, the midfielder Lucas is extremely confident they will be able to progress into the next round due to the home advantage in the second leg. He has also said that the leadership of Steven Gerrard will be able to carry them as it has on several difficult situations in the past.

The former Porto winger Hulk scored the first goal for Zenit St Petersburg, which was followed by the goal by Sergei Semak. If Liverpool are knocked out of this competition, then the FA Cup remains as the realistic opportunity to win a silverware this season. Lucas has said that the club not only needs to play attacking football in order to get the goals, but they also need to be aware in defence as well. Lucas has recalled how he has been playing with Steven Gerrard for the past six years, and he has not seen the hunger to win diminish within the England international.

“I’ve been playing with him for six years already and every week we can see Stevie still has the hunger to win games and be the special player that he has always been for the club. He’s playing in a different position than he used to a few years ago and he’s still able to change the game. I’m just very happy that we have him on the team — his leadership always makes our life easier. We know about the special European nights at Anfield that the crowd give us," said Lucas.

KEEP GERRARD

The Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has said that the club should be working hard enough to tie the 32-year-old midfielder Steven Gerrard on a long-term contract. The Liverpool midfielder has been one of the influential players for the club over the past decade.

Despite turning 32 years of age recently, he still has a massive influence on the team according to the manager. He also looks after himself extremely well, which means that he still has many years left ahead of him. Hence, the manager has persuaded the Liverpool board to consider offering Steven Gerrard a new contract.

The Liverpool captain's contract comes to an end in just over 18 months. Even though he has previously rejected the possibility of joining other teams, Rodgers has said that it is extremely important that the club secured the future of one of their important players. Despite entering into the twilight of his career, Gerrard has been able to make it into the starting lineup of every Premier league match. He recently scored in the matches against Aston Villa and Fulham. Even though it has not been a great scoring season for Gerrard, his influence on the pitch cannot be doubted.

Gerrard has made more than 600 appearances for the club since making his debut as a teenager. "I don't think there's any question we want to extend his contract. Steven has a real hunger to succeed. He's 32 years of age but he's still got so much left. He's still been making the runs and his influence within the team has been outstanding. His influence for me, especially once he's started to understand what I'm looking for, has been absolutely first class," said Rodgers. In total, Gerrard has made 18 appearances in the league and has scored four goals. Liverpool are in the eighth position in the league table.

COACHING BADGES NEXT

The Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard has said that he is very much interested in taking his coaching badges once he retires from international football. The 32-year-old England midfielder recently made his 100th appearance for the national team in the friendly match against Sweden.

England lost the match 4-2 after four spectacular goals from the PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Still, it was a momentous occasion for the Liverpool midfielder, who also took time to reveal his future plans. He has said that will be making an effort into becoming a coach once he retires from playing football.

In order to prepare himself for coaching career, he will start taking his coaching badges when he eventually retires from international duty. Gerrard will be undergoing the coaching badges during the international weeks. Right now, he is not only involved with Liverpool, but also the England national team. This means that he does not find enough time to take coaching badges. Even though he is interested in becoming a coach, Gerrard has revealed that he would only pursue a career in management only is he thinks he is good enough. He does not want to believe that being a decent player has made him a good football manager as well.

“I’m going to go into my coaching badges after my England days are over and when I’ve got the time. When the international breaks are on, I’ll go and do my coaching badges and we’ll see where it goes. I’ve always said I’ll only become a coach or a manager if I’m good enough. I don’t think you go down that road because you’ve been a decent player. That’s a mistake that a lot of footballers have made," said Steven Gerrard. The 32-year-old has been largely overshadowed at Liverpool by Luis Suarez this season.

KEEP THE FAITH

The captain of Liverpool, Steven Gerrard, has said that the Liverpool players need not to panic and should keep themselves calm and composed. Gerrard gave this statement while talking to the reporters after the match against Manchester United.

Liverpool were defeated by United in that match by a close margin of 2-1, which was predicted by one of the liverpool fanzines. The Liverpool team was playing on its home ground, but, Brendan Rodgers’ boys disappointed the home fans.

There was a huge excitement among the fans of both the clubs regarding this match. More than 44,000 people were in the Anfield Stadium to watch this high profile encounter.

Manchester United continued its winning streak and won its fourth Premier League match in a row.

On the other hand, Liverpool’s poor run continued as the team lost its third match in the ongoing Premier League. Liverpool is currently at the 18th position in the points table with only two points in five matches. But, Steven Gerrard believes that there is no need to panic too much as the team can still make a comeback in the competition.

In the post match press conference, the Liverpool skipper said, “It was always going to be a tough match for us keeping in mind the current form of Manchester United. They are a great team and some of the United players are in the form of their life at the moment.”

“But, you can’t hide your mistakes by crediting your opponent. We obviously made some mistakes and that’s why we lost the match. We badly need to win some matches, but, we can do that only if we keep ourselves composed.”

“If we get panicked too much, we would struggle in the upcoming matches as well. There are still quite a lot of matches to be played and the team is good enough to make a comeback”.
Liverpool will now take on West Bromwich Albion on 26th of September at The Hawthorns.

LIVERPOOL MISS LEIVA

Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard has said that one of the main reasons for the disappointing season Liverpool had last season was the absence of Lucas Leiva. The Brazil international has grown into one of the important members of the squad due to his defensive abilities and also the ability to start an attack.

Even though the 32-year-old Steven Gerrard missed large portions of the last season, he has said that the absence of Lucas Leiva was more crucial. Liverpool finished the season in eighth position, while it was the record lowest after many seasons. In the second half of the campaign– when Lucas Leiva was injured – Liverpool's form would have placed them in the 17th position had it not been for the points accumulated in the first half of the season.

The 25-year-old was initially criticised for his poor performances during the reign of Rafael Benitez. However, he has gone on to become one of the important members of the squad. After more than six months out of the first team, Lucas Leiva finally made his first appearance in the pre-season friendly match against Toronto FC. Steven Gerrard has expressed his confidence that the team will be able to do well this season with the Brazilian international back in the squad.

"It [Lucas' injury] was a big factor [on our season], because when he got the injury he was probably our best player, form-wise. He was playing superbly well, and he plays that position in the team where he does the ugly work, the work you don't really like to do: breaking up the play, protecting the back four, and when we lose the ball and teams counter-attack, he stops a lot of goals. It's great to have him back. He's a great person; he's great for the squad," said Steven Gerrard.

WE WILL PREVAIL

England midfielder Steven Gerrard has said that he is extremely confident that the national team can overcome the disappointment they suffered at the Euro 2012 the form of penalty shootout defeat at the hands of Italy.

Steven Gerrard was one of the bright aspects of the England team at the Euro 2012. However, at the age of 32, it is unlikely that Steven Gerrard will be able to play at the Euro 2016. This calls for the replacement of one of the high profile players within the team and it is certainly not going to be easy. Gerrard reckons that Roy Hodgson should resort to using a number of young players in the World Cup qualifiers that will begin shortly after the start of the new season.

The technical deficiency of the England players came to the fore in the Euro 2012 after they were outclassed and outpaced by a number of opponents. Gerrard reckons that it is extremely vital that the English Football Association takes a hard look at the youth academy and the development of the youngsters in very much the same manner the Germans. After completely overhauling the youth academy almost a decade ago, Germany now compete for everything at the international level. Jack Wilshere is one of the few techniclly gifted players coming through.

"The education of the young kids is vital. But I hope it doesn't take 10 years. I hope we're good enough to improve and bridge the gap with these big teams before that. Keeping the ball - especially at this level - is fundamental. It's key if you want to beat the big teams in these tournaments. You work so hard without it your opponent ends up running you into the ground and creating chances. Football's a mad game at times. If we had won the penalty shoot-out we would have been through to the last four," said Gerrard.

GERRARD BACKS HODGSON

Former England captain Steven Gerrard has welcomed the appointment of former Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson as the new manager of England. The English national team were without a manager since the resignation of Fabio Capello a few months ago.

The English FA have not been swift in appointing a new manager as a replacement, which has led to many speculations surrounding the team. However, the English FA have now acted in order to help the team in the preparations for the Euro 2012, which is only a few weeks away. As a result, they have appointed West Brom manager Roy Hodgson, who was out of contract in the summer.

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp and West Brom manager Roy Hodgson were the front-runners for the job. However, the English FA have decided to go for the latter option without having second thoughts because it meant that they need not pay a huge severance fee to the club.

Due to the long contract Harry Redknapp has with Tottenham, it would have cost the English FA at least £ 10 million to secure his services. Roy Hodgson, meanwhile, did not cost a huge amount of money. Roy Hodgson had a disastrous spell with Liverpool a few seasons ago, but Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has welcomed the appointment.

"I've worked with Roy. He's a good man and a good manager. It's important he's given a chance and I'm looking forward to working with him again," Gerrard said after the appointment was confirmed by the English FA. Roy Hodgson has said that his immediate target will be to make it into the quarter-finals of the Euro 2012. Hodgson refused to comment on the future England captain given that John Terry has recently been sacked from the post. It was John Terry's removal from the captaincy that led to the resignation of Fabio Capello.

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