Liverpool accused the English Football Association of incompetence after midfielder Steven Gerrard limped off during Wednesday’s friendly against France after playing longer than had been agreed with his club.
Article continues below ...
England coach Fabio Capello confirmed that Gerrard was only due to play for an hour, but had been kept on the pitch longer due to an injury to Gareth Barry during the 2-1 loss to the French.
The midfielder subsequently strained his hamstring and was forced off in the 85th minute, immediately provoking an angry response from Darren Burgess, Liverpool’s head of fitness and conditioning.
"Unbelievable from all associated with England and English FA with regard to SG’s injury," Burgess posted on Twitter. "Completely ignored agreement and past history."
Burgess added in another post: "Completely amateurish and now we pay for their incompetence. Absolutely disgraceful."
While Burgess quickly removed his messages as they spread across the internet, Capello said he understood why Liverpool was upset.
"We spoke with Steve and he said he would play one hour, but after Barry’s injury we had some problems," Capello said. "That was the reason he stayed on the pitch. If it’s possible, the players will play the time we agreed with the club.
"But Barry was really injured so we needed someone senior on the pitch because it was a really young team. He said he was good … I understand why they’re upset and I’m also upset."