• England

Redknapp: Players dodged international duty

ESPN staff
June 22, 2014
Should Roy Hodgson be sacked?

Harry Redknapp has claimed some English players tried to find ways to skip international duty during his time as Tottenham manager.

Redknapp - speaking after England were knocked out of the World Cup with one group game still remaining - said the Italy and Uruguay teams who had defeated them were "average" and that Roy Hodgson's squad had more talent.

The QPR boss, who had been tipped to become national manager before Hodgson's appointment in 2012, told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme: "I can tell you that, when I was at Tottenham, when full internationals came around there were two or three players who did not want to play for England.

'I'm your man'

No England manager has ever lost their opening two World Cup games before © PA Photos
  • Roy Hodgson insists his desire to manage England has not diminished despite their early World Cup exit and he is the man to lead the side at Euro 2016.
  • Click here to continue reading

"They would come to me 10 days before the game and say: 'Gaffer, get me out of that game, I don't want to play in that game' - that was how it was.

"That is the truth, so it makes you wonder ... and I think it's only going to get worse. You see the stick the England players get. They're earning fantastic money at their clubs, they're all playing in the Champions League. They wonder: 'Do I need the aggro?'"

Redknapp, whose England stars while at Spurs included Ledley King, Aaron Lennon, Peter Crouch, Jermain Defoe, Michael Dawson, Tom Huddlestone and Scott Parker, said this year's failure in Brazil was a missed chance because Group D's opponents should have been beatable.

Like the FA, Redknapp has backed Hodgson to remain in his job, but added: "For Costa Rica to top the group by beating Italy and Uruguay ... that tells you all you need to know.

"For me, it's the worst Italy team for years. Uruguay have two world-class strikers but then not too many players you'd fancy in the Premier League, let alone playing for your country."

He said England had players who "are good week-in, week-out in the Premier League" and claimed: "We've got better players than them but for some reason, with good manager after good manager, we just don't get results."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close