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'Name and shame disgusting dodgers'

ESPN staff
June 23, 2014 « Gerrard's captaincy comes under fire | Rashid's burst takes Yorkshire top »
Steven Gerrard believes representing England is an honour © Getty Images
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Steven Gerrard has called on Harry Redknapp to name and shame the Tottenham stars he claims dodged England duty.

Redknapp surprised the squad in Brazil on Sunday when he claimed players asked him to help them find a way out of playing in England games when he was in charge at White Hart Lane.

"If Harry is making a comment like that, he should name them and embarrass them," Gerrard said. "No one in this group wants to go home.

"If it's the case, it's disgusting. For me, if a player doesn't want to be, he doesn't deserve to be here at a World Cup.

"They didn't want to play for England. Who? Name them? Is it Aaron Lennon, Kyle Walker, Andros Townsend? I don't know who he means. Five years ago? 10 years ago? I've spoken to Jermain Defoe and he's devastated.

"We need names. But it's not here. I can guarantee it's not here. He should be embarrassed if there's one player. When you go down into the younger age groups, they're younger lads. They might not want to be away from their families. But when you're picked at this level and find any excuse not to be here, you don't deserve to be here."

Redknapp has refused to expand on his claim by identifying the players he referred to in an interview with the BBC, insisting it would be "unfair". But there is little doubt his claims have stung the England squad.

The Queens Park Rangers manager had said "there were two or three players who did not want to play for England'' when he was in charge at Tottenham.

The allegation will not have gone down well either with the long list of Spurs players who represented England from 2008-2012, when Redknapp was at White Hart Lane.

Defoe, Peter Crouch, Lennon, Darren Bent, Scott Parker, David Bentley, Jermaine Jenas, Michael Dawson, Tom Huddlestone, Jonathan Woodgate, Ledley King and Walker were all managed by Redknapp and played for England. Townsend represented his country after Redknapp's departure.

Manager Roy Hodgson also cast doubt on the claim. He said: "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."

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