england news

Gerrard set to feature in testimonial

September 4, 2010
By Harry Harris, Football Correspondent

England manager Fabio Capello has granted Steven Gerrard special dispensation to make a brief appearance in Jamie Carragher's Liverpool testimonial.

Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher
GettyImagesSteven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher are the beating heart of Liverpool

Carragher's testimonial takes place against an Everton XI at Anfield on Saturday, with the likes of Michael Owen, Luis Garcia, Jerzy Dudek, Emile Heskey, Steve Finnan and Stephen Warnock featuring.

England face a potentially difficult Euro 2012 qualifier in Switzerland on Tuesday, but Gerrard has been told he can make a ten-minute cameo.

An FA insider told ESPNsoccernet on Saturday: "The players are having a day off and will be seeing their family, but in the vicinity of the team headquarters.

"The only exception is Steven Gerrard, who has been allowed to fly this morning to Merseyside to play for his friend Jamie Carragher - he will play in his game for just ten minutes and will be back in time for dinner!"

Gerrard confirmed that he had been allowed to make a short appearance on Saturday afternoon shortly before kick-off.

"I think the deal with Capello was 'beat Bulgaria, play well and I'll let you go' and that was the case," he told Sky Sports News. "I'm going to use it as a warm-down really and just play ten minutes. Obviously I won't be playing at any kind of normal pace - I'll just be enjoying it and sharing it with Jamie. He's my best friend in football."

Meanwhile, Frank Lampard still remains firmly in Capello's thoughts despite the 4-0 win over Bulgaria.

Lampard has missed the international break after having hernia surgery and some observers feel Gerrard has looked more comfortable in the Chelsea man's absence, but a source close to the England coach said: "Yes, the midfield worked very well against Bulgaria, but Frank Lampard can give the team something different in terms of his ability to score goals and to create them.

"He is still regarded as a very dangerous player. Fabio was happy with the way the midfield performed at Wembley, but it doesn't mean that the players not available would now be discounted. That is not the case."