Friday, 18 October 2013

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was keen to be Harry Redknapp's ... -

"A lot of the goals you remember Steven scoring are from the big games. The one that stands out is the West Ham goal in the FA Cup final. Early on in his career he scored some brilliant goals, he scored one against Arsenal when he ran through. He has always scored quality goals.''

At St James' Park on Saturday, Gerrard goes hunting his 100th Premier League goal for Liverpool.

"He is at the stage in his life where everybody looks at him as the leader, the captain and inspiration, but I always remind people you can't forget he's a world-class player,'' continued Rodgers.

"Jack Wilshere will learn from him. The boys in the England squad will learn from him. England should be honoured to have some like that on and off the pitch. I know through working closely with him that he's very proud to play for his country. He probably knows this [tournament] will be his last shot, and he will give everything.

"He's a wonderful ambassador. He always thinks of others. He doesn't say a great deal but when he does, the senior players and the younger players, all of them listen.

"He's probably the best player I've ever worked with at playing with quality when the tempo is really high in games, and I've been fortunate to work with world-class players at Chelsea and some great technicians at Swansea. He's a remarkable man, a remarkable captain. He works so hard, he's so professional and he's still got a number of years in him.

"I have no worries about him for this weekend [against Newcastle United]. Earlier this season he played extra time against Notts County and then a few days later was brilliant against Manchester United and put in his highest exertion physically into a game this season. He may have played in midweek but I'm sure he will be flying for Newcastle.''

Thinking of Gerrard and other England internationals, Rodgers made a pertinent point about the English national team.

"I've always thought England have the talent and the technical players, it's whether they are asked or encouraged to do that,'' said Rodgers, who was tempted by the possibility of working with England.

When he was at Swansea, Rodgers was asked on April 1 at White Hart Lane by Redknapp whether he would be willing to assist England should the then Spurs manager be offered the chance to be Fabio Capello's successor.

"He was very confident about being offered the national team job,'' said Rodgers. "He asked me about the possibility of going to work with him for the European Championship.

"It was a quick conversation. I have total respect for Harry. He knows what he wants from a team, knows the players, knows the exciting style of football. What he wanted was someone to come and implement those ideas.

"I spoke to Swansea about the possibility. It was a great honour that Harry mentioned it. It would have been an opportunity to show that British players can play football, that they are technically and tactically very strong. They just need that support and confidence.

"I was certainly going to consider it but at the end of it there was no decision to make. The job was given to Roy [Hodgson] and he's done a brilliant job.''

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