Belfast Telegraph

Liverpool brand England 'disgrace' over Gerrard injury

By Jim Gracey

Angry Liverpool were today embroiled in a furious club v country row with England after Steven Gerrard was left facing three to four weeks on the sidelines.

Liverpool hit out at an “absolutely disgraceful” England set-up as Gerrard prepared to undergo a scan after hobbling off with a hamstring injury towards the end of England's 2-1 friendly defeat by France at Wembley last night.

Anfield boss Roy Hodgson believed he had an agreement with England coach Fabio Capello to play Gerrard for only an hour.

Gerard's injury in the closing minutes prompted fierce criticism from Liverpool with their star man, and key to their revival, now crocked by an avoidable injury, in their view.

The Liverpool skipper slid in for a challenge with France midfielder Yoann Gourcuff with six minutes remaining and immediately pulled up before being replaced.

The depth of Liverpool fury emerged first as Darren Burgess, Anfield’s head of fitness and conditioning, used the Twitter network to reveal Capello had ignored a request for Gerrard to be substituted earlier in the match.

“Unbelievable from all associated with England and English FA with regards to SG’s injury,” said Burgess.

“Completely ignored agreement and past history. Completely amateurish and now we pay for their incompetence. Absolutely disgraceful.”

Burgess later removed the comments from his Twitter account but it is clear Liverpool are deeply unhappy with England’s conduct.

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