Gerrard: England the pinnacle

Steven Gerrard insists playing for England is the 'pinnacle', but would not be drawn on Rio Ferdinand's decision to withdraw from the squad for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.

Last Updated: 22/03/13 at 15:31 Post Comment

Steven Gerrard: Wants to lead England to the World Cup in Brazil

Steven Gerrard: Wants to lead England to the World Cup in Brazil

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Ferdinand had been recalled to the England party for the away double-header, but pulled out due to a pre-planned fitness programme.

It subsequently emerged that the Manchester United defender has travelled to Qatar to be a TV pundit for Friday's game against San Marino and prompted Roy Hodgson to adopt a 'wait-and-see' stance on the centre-half's England future.

Gerrard, meanwhile, has outlined his commitment to the national team and the England captain is determined to lead his side to the World Cup in Brazil next year.

"Playing for England is the pinnacle of everyone's career," said Gerrard. "If I'm not playing [against San Marino], I'll be very disappointed, which shows what it means to me.

"First of all, I don't know if Rio has turned his back on it. I don't know the details from his side. But that's what I want to achieve; help take this team to a World Cup in Brazil.

"At my age, there's no better stage for a footballer to play on. Especially after beating Brazil, on our day, with a full-strength squad, we're capable of beating the best.

"I have my own personal programme I stick to, but that's the same as any other player. Two days of recovery after a game, taking it easy so I'm fine."

England are expected to comfortably beat San Marino away from home after recording a 5-0 victory at Wembley earlier in the qualifying campaign.

However, Gerrard can still recall the Euro 2008 qualifier against rank outsiders Andorra in Barcelona when England were ridiculed by their own fans after a goalless first half before winning 3-0.

The midfielder said "The pressure grows (against such sides) and the fans get frustrated which adds to the pressure. Then you get more tense, so it's about us getting that breakthrough as early as we can.

"We know they will be happy to stop us and keep the scoreline down.

"They'll slow the game down, give stupid fouls away, get onto the referee - basically do anything they can to stop us scoring.

"I am sure their plan will stay the same for 90 minutes - it certainly did at Wembley.

"But in any case, if we don't win the game by more than four goals, we'll get it (criticism) anyway."

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terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

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he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

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o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

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