Reds fuming over Gerrard injury

Published Nov. 18, 2010 7:15 a.m. ET

Liverpool fitness chief Darren Burgess claims there was an agreement to play Gerrard for only an hour. As it was the Liverpool captain limped off after 84 minutes after suffering a hamstring injury and he will undergo a scan on Thursday. It prompted Burgess, Liverpool's head of fitness and conditioning, to vent his anger on Twitter, in a post that was later deleted from his page. Burgess said: "Unbelievable from all associated with England and English FA with regard to Steven Gerrard's injury. Completely ignored agreement and past history." Fabio Capello, however, insisted he played Gerrard for longer than the hour because Gareth Barry had an ankle problem and Rio Ferdinand had picked up a muscle problem. Capello said: "We spoke with Steve and he said he would play one hour, but after Barry's injury we had some problems. 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. We're upset about what happened to Steve, of course." Capello admitted Liverpool had requested Gerrard not play more than an hour. He said: "They asked that he can play one hour if it's possible. They 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. The problem is that, when you play this game on Wednesday after a lot of Premier League, Europa League or Champions League games, it's possible there might be an injury for a player. "The Premier League, every time, is a tough league for the players." Karim Benzema and Mathieu Valbuena scored the goals for France while substitute Peter Crouch grabbed a late consolation for England, the 22nd of his international career, when he volleyed home a corner from close range. Capello, however, was pleased with the debut of Newcastle striker Andy Carroll. Capello said: "I'm really happy for the performance of Andy because he played very well. He'll be a player who'll be important for the future of England. "When he received the ball he played quickly and his movement every time was dangerous." Capello insisted England had cleared it with Newcastle to play Carroll, who had arrived at the England training HQ with a groin injury. "Franco (Baldini, England general manager) spoke with Newcastle before the game and we checked him before the game," said Capello. "I spoke with him (Carroll) at the hotel, personally, and after the warm-up here. After the first half, too. He told me he was fit to play every time. "No player has ever played with me who was not fit. Our doctor said he was fit, so the player was ready to play. He played 70 minutes very well, no problem." Capello admitted, however, that England were outplayed by France, especially in the first half. He said: "France played very well in that first half, when we played without confidence and with fear. "We missed a lot of passes and played the ball back, not forward. The only times we went forward were long balls to Carroll, which isn't the style we like. "It was important for me to see the value of the young players here. I've seen them play with their clubs and with the under-21s. Here is different. It's important to see how they react against a stronger team." France coach Laurent Blanc, who took over after the World Cup, was delighted with the progress made by his side. He said: "I am very pleased with the way the team played. England are physically strong but we bossed the first half. "We wanted to enjoy ourselves and I told the players that in their career they would only get one chance, maybe two, to play at Wembley. The players will treasure this game for the rest of their careers. "We imposed our own ideals, kept the ball on the deck and matched England physically. We matched them blow for blow in the individual battles. What really pleased me is that we had penetration up front and caused them problems. "Eric Abidal closed down the space in front of him. He also combined very well with Florent Malouda and caused England problems. "We're still building. It gives us confidence to speed that up a bit. We have another big test in February when we face Brazil in Paris. We are a bit more optimistic."