Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Kerrzy’s Notebook: Call of Duty

While they seemed to do fine without him this past weekend, there’s no question EPL giants Liverpool will miss Steven Gerrard.

The 30-year-old was hurt last week while on international duty for England for a friendly against France – he tore his hamstring, an injury that will put him out for about a month, says The Daily Mail. Even worse, Gerrard was apparently only supposed to play for an hour and suffered the injury in the 85th minute of the game.

Apparently Darren Burgess, Liverpool’s Head of Fitness, was so outraged by the news that he wrote a couple of angry ‘tweets’ and smashed up his Blackberry out of sheer frustration.

The Mail Online's Des Kelly says though, when a player is with the national team, he belongs to the national team, while lamenting the fact that in soccer international duty seems to be more about the money.

“When a rugby union or rugby league player pulls on the international jersey, it is the pinnacle of his career. Nothing else matters. It is the same mindset in the world of cricket and just about any other professional or amateur sport you care to mention. But in football, it’s about money. International matches are regarded as an inconvenience beyond the insane spikes of interest around major tournaments every two years.”

When the money is as good as it is for top players around the world though, that is bound to happen. After all, the business side of the game is what allows for top players to make hundreds of thousands of dollars per week playing a game!

Back to Wednesday’s game: the change in plans for England, when it comes to Gerrard, came when the team ran into some injury trouble. Here’s what manager Fabio Capello had to say after the 2-1 loss (via The Sun):

“If it’s possible, the players will play the time we agreed with the club. [Clubs] can’t decide how long a player plays with the national team. If it’s possible, he’d have played an hour. I understand why they’re upset and I’m also upset.”

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson says he’s “disappointed and even a little bit angry” about losing Gerrard, especially since the injury came in what was basically a meaningless game. That’s fine, but who’s going to pay Gerrard while he’s out?

The thing about high-end talent is that it costs a pretty penny to keep it around!

To soften the blow of losing a star player, the English Football Association is shelling out to compensate Liverpool for the time Gerrard misses, which could be up to five games (including a European tilt). For that, The Daily Mail reports the FA will pay about $811,600 to the club through an insurance policy taken out for just such an occasion.

The money is obviously nice, especially in today’s economic climate, but if they start to falter without Gerrard’s influence, they money won’t matter much, will it?

Liverpool are already nine points out of top spot and six points out of the top four, so they could really use all the help they can get at this point.

Do you know what the best part of a situation like this is though? It gives the English papers, most of which aren’t exactly in love with national team manager Fabio Capello, a free pass to openly mock him! I now present you with The Sun's adaptation of a Dr. Seuss classic entitled “The Prat In The Hat.” Enjoy!

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