The Rio Report

Should Redknapp name and shame England ‘traitors’?

The Rio Report

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Steven Gerrard and Roy Hodgson reacted angrily to Harry Redknapp's claim that several of his players at Tottenham would do anything to get out of playing for England.

Redknapp, speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, said, "I can tell you when I was at Tottenham, when full internationals came around, there were two or three players who did not want to play for England.

"They would come to me 10 days before the game and say, 'Gaffer, get me out of that game, I don't want to play in that game'. That was how it was. I'd say, 'You're playing for your country, you should want to play'.

"(They would say) 'Nah, my girlfriend is having a baby in four weeks, I don't want to play' and that is the truth, so it makes you wonder.

"And I think it's only going to get worse. You see the stick the England players get and they come home, they're earning fantastic money at their clubs, they're all playing in the Champions League. They think, 'Do we need the aggro?'"

Redknapp's words provoked a huge instant reaction, with Matthew Le Tissier - who, infamously, was barely capped by England despite being one of the finest players of his generation - describing the revelations as "a knife through your heart".

The words were put to England skipper Gerrard and manager Hodgson as they prepared for England's final group stage match, a dead rubber against Costa Rica - and both men were furious at what they'd heard.

"The comment is a comment, like 'them' and 'they' didn't want to play for England. Who? Name them? We need names. I don't know who he means. Five years ago? 10 years ago?" said Gerrard. "If it's the case, it's disgusting... I can guarantee that is not the case [with this squad]. Nobody here wants to go home."

Hodgson was both annoyed and perplexed by Redknapp's claims.

"If you make comments like that, you have to name them," the manager said.

"I could name a player with an educated guess, but 'players'? It's unfair to ask people to look back historically.

"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."

We've a fair amount of sympathy for Gerrard and Hodgson, both probably caught off guard - because this has instantly become an unseemly mess that serves absolutely no-one.

Redknapp should not have made the initial comment, and Gerrard should not be demanding names.

Even if the England captain intended to challenge the assertion rather than uncover the traitor in his own family, it will only lead to more debate over the squad’s commitment – specifically the 12 England players who worked under Redknapp at Tottenham.

While the England captain was guilty of nothing more than a rash press conference answer under trying circumstances, Redknapp’s remarks were wildly unhelpful and liable only to unsettle a dejected England team further.

The QPR boss could be forgiven some sense of grievance at missing out on the England job, but if – as he claims – he has the team’s best interests at heart, he would speak privately to Hodgson instead of broadcasting his views on national radio.

As for who the players are? Well, as Hodgson pointed out it'd be possible to make an educated guess.

But we'll leave that to you: these are the 12 men under the spotlight, who were England players during Redknapp's tenure at White Hart Lane.

Peter Crouch

Jermain Defoe

Aaron Lennon

Darren Bent

Scott Parker

David Bentley

Jermaine Jenas

Michael Dawson

Tom Huddlestone

Jonathan Woodgate

Ledley King

Kyle Walker

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