England captaincy excites Gerrard

Startbeitrag von Anfield73 am 05.02.2007 13:11

hat er sich auch verdient...

Steven Gerrard admits it will be a massive honour to captain England for the friendly with Spain on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old will skipper the side for the first time in three years, with John Terry unable to play the full 90 minutes following a back injury.

Gerrard said: "It means an awful lot to me. To walk out at the front and lead the boys into battle is extra-special."

Liverpool's skipper also said he had no problem with Joey Barton, despite his criticism of Gerrard and Frank Lampard.

Manchester City midfielder Barton, called up by England for the first time, said in January that Gerrard and Lampard could not play together in the same midfield as they "needed a ball each to succeed".

He also condemned some England players for bringing out autobiographies after the dismal showing in the World Cup last summer, of which Gerrard was one.

But Gerrard added: "I haven't seen Joey yet but I'll give him a knock on his door and present him with a signed copy of the book so he can read it over the next couple of days.

"There's no hard feelings between myself and Joey, the interview he's done has pretty much gone over my head.

"It's great that there are such rivalries in the Premiership, it shows what a competitive league it is, but there has got to be that respect when you join up with your country."

Gerrard also admitted he was looking forward to going head-to-head with Liverpool colleague Xabi Alonso in Wednesday's Old Trafford contest.

"It will be strange to play against Xabi in a competitive match. I'm so used to him being by my side and we're playing quite well together at the moment," said Gerrard.

"He's a terrific player, a great guy and it's exciting to go into battle like this head-to-head.

"We're both looking forward to it, the banter has been flying around for ages and I don't think whoever loses will much want to go in to work on Thursday.

"Spain will provide tough opponents and the game is perfect preparation for a couple of really big qualifiers next month."

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