Gerrard anger at growing injury list
• Captain describes loss of squad members as ‘massive blow’
• Gary Cahill latest out after suffering double fracture of jaw
Steven Gerrard admits he is “angry” that England have lost so many key players through injury in the build-up to Euro 2012, with Gary Cahill the latest casualty.
Gerrard does not blame Belgium’s Dries Mertens for pushing Cahill during Saturday’s friendly at Wembley, which led to the Chelsea defender colliding with Joe Hart and suffering a double fracture of the jaw.
It means England have now lost the third-choice goalkeeper John Ruddy, the midfield duo of Gareth Barry and Frank Lampard plus Cahill ahead of the tournament in Poland and the Ukraine. Martin Kelly, Gerrard’s club-mate, has been called up to replace Cahill.
“Losing Gary is a massive blow,” said the England captain. “His performances in the last six months have been colossal for Chelsea. He was a colossus in the Champions League final win over Bayern Munich. We needed him.
“I am angry because we have lost some big players with a tournament eight or nine days away. That’s the blow and that’s the price you pay for these warm-up games. To do well in these tournaments you have to have your big players and to lose Gary is another huge blow on the back of Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry.”
In regards to Mertens, Gerrard added: “I don’t think you can blame the guy because he was itching to score a goal. Maybe he got carried away but I don’t think you can put any blame on the kid.”
Mertens was quick to apologise for the consequences of his actions, although he is adamant there was no malice in his challenge. “It was an accident. It was unintentional,” said the PSV Eindhoven player, who was booked for the challenge on Cahill. “He [Cahill] blocked me off and he’s hit his head [on Hart’s shoulder]. But there was no malice in what I did.
“Absolutely, I feel for him. If that was me in his place, getting injured like that a week before the Euros, I’d feel so bad. I’d feel terrible. I’m sorry he’s not able to go.” Read More