England's Gerrard not concerned by Ferguson criticism

AFP, Tuesday 12 Nov 2013

Gerrard says that Ferguson is one of the best managers in the world, but insists that the most important thing is what (Liverpool manager) Brendan Rodgers and (England manager) Roy Hodgson are thinking

Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny fights for the ball with Liverpool's Steven Gerrard, during their English Premier League soccer match, at the Emirates Stadium, in London, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 (Photo: AP)

England captain Steven Gerrard has shrugged off a claim by former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson that the Liverpool midfielder is "not a top, top player".

Ferguson made the remark in his autobiography, which was published last month, but Gerrard says the Scot's attempts to sign him suggest he did value his ability.

"Listen, he's entitled to his opinion," Gerrard told Tuesday's edition of British newspaper the Daily Mail.

"I'm a fan of his; he is one of the best managers in the world. I won't lose any sleep over it. Throughout my career I have had praise from all types of people -- including him -- and I am not vain enough to take it all.

"I have had some unbelievable praise from him and he tried to buy me, certainly on one occasion. Maybe even two.

"For me, the most important thing is what (Liverpool manager) Brendan Rodgers and (England manager) Roy Hodgson are thinking. I think they are really pleased with me and that is all I will worry about."

Gerrard, 33, is expected to win his 108th England cap in the forthcoming friendly games against Chile and Germany, which would take him level with 1966 World Cup-winning captain Bobby Moore.

"107 caps isn't bad for someone who isn't 'a top, top player', is it?" he added.

"I never expected to get that amount of caps. When I made my debut, I set myself the personal target of trying to get 50 caps and score 10 goals if I could. So to have 107 is something I am really proud of, particularly being among those names."

Rodgers claimed last week that Gerrard is likely to retire after next year's World Cup in Brazil, but the player himself says he is not allowing himself to think too far ahead.

"For me the ambition is this: can I help get the team past a quarter-final?" he said.

"I haven't really thought about what I will do after the World Cup. It is all about going to enjoy this World Cup. What an experience it will be in Brazil.

"I am absolutely delighted to help the team get there, it was a great achievement. But now the attention has to switch to: what can we do there?"

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