Steven Gerrard talks the talk about Germany
Speaking ahead of Tuesday’s friendly meeting with Germany, England captain Steven Gerrard believes his side are a much stronger proposition than the last time they faced Joachim Low’s side.
England were soundly beaten 4-1 in the last encounter between the two nations at World Cup 2010 in South Africa. The intervening years have not exactly suggested a narrowing of the gap between the two sides, but Gerrard thinks England are in a much better shape this time around.
“I’d say we’re better now,” said Gerrard, presumably convinced than an influx of Southampton players was all that was needed to transform England into a world class side.
The evidence of Friday night’s defeat to Chile suggests otherwise, but Gerrard thinks otherwise.
“We’re a lot stronger. If we were to meet Germany tomorrow in a World Cup, I don’t think we’d leave the pitch having been beaten 4-1,” he added.
“There is a good mix of youth and experience in the squad at the moment. We are all moving forward and improving all the time.
“If you look at how they’ve performed in recent tournaments and where they’re ranked, then maybe we are slight underdogs. But if you look at both squads and both starting XIs on Tuesday night, I wouldn’t say we’re huge underdogs, no. Maybe slight.”
“I have never gone out on to a pitch scared of anyone,” the Liverpool captain added.
“I’ll openly admit I’ve gone out and thought: ‘Our backs are against it today’ when I’ve come up against Barcelona in the Champions League.
“But I’ve never gone in scared. I’ve always gone in with the idea of it being a great opportunity to be the underdog for a change and that the underdog can come out on top.”
As rallying cries go it’s hardly Churchillian from Gerrard, but it does, at least, demonstrate a refreshing sense of realism from the man wearing the captain’s armband.