Tag Archives: hertfordshire

Steven Finn Watford football shirt

Finn when you're winning! England cricket star pays tribute to hometown club Watford on tour in New Zealand

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

00:50 GMT, 1 March 2013

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UPDATED:

08:09 GMT, 1 March 2013

Steven Finn can be forgiven for smiling.

Things have been going pretty well for the England bowler of late.

Not only has he forged a reputation for himself as one of the most feared pacemen in world cricket, but his beloved Watford are closing in on promotion back to the Barclays Premier League.

Golden boy: Finn proudly shows off his Watford shirt in Queenstown

Golden boy: Finn proudly shows off his Watford shirt in Queenstown

Finn, born and bred in the Hertfordshire town, has made no secret of his love for his hometown club and he proudly tweeted this picture of himself with a Hornets shirt with his name on the back while on tour with England in Queenstown, New Zealand.

The 23-year-old has been rested for
England's only warm-up match before the three-Test series starting next
week in Dunedin, where Finn is almost certain to join James Anderson and
Stuart Broad in England's pace attack.

By
then Watford, currently second in the Championship, could have moved another step closer to the
Premier League with fixtures against Wolves and Sheffield Wednesday
coming up.

Flying Finn: The Middlesex seamer starred in the ODI series and is expected to play a key role in the Tests

Flying Finn: The Middlesex seamer starred in the ODI series and is expected to play a key role in the Tests

Flying Finn: The Middlesex seamer starred in the ODI series and is expected to play a key role in the Tests

Andre Santos banned from driving for 12 months

Arsenal defender Santos handed year ban from driving after speeding at up to 145mph

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UPDATED:

12:27 GMT, 27 September 2012

Arsenal defender Andre Santos was banned from driving for 12 months on Thursday after admitting speeding at up to 145mph in rush-hour traffic.

The 29-year-old failed to stop as he was pursued by police and wove between lanes on a busy motorway on the morning of August 17, a court heard.

Ban: Andre Santos left court after being banned from driving for 12 months

Ban: Andre Santos left court after being banned from driving for 12 months

The Premier League star evaded
officers as he drove his black Maserati on the A1 and M25 in
Hertfordshire before he pulled over and was arrested close to Arsenal's
training ground.

Santos, of
Church Mount, Barnet, pleaded guilty to driving without due care and
attention during a hearing at Hendon Magistrates' Court in north west
London.

He was also ordered to pay 3,600 in fines and costs.

Taking part: Santos played in Arsenal's 6-1 thrashing of Coventry on Wednesday

Taking part: Santos played in Arsenal's 6-1 thrashing of Coventry on Wednesday

Taking part: Santos played in Arsenal's 6-1 thrashing of Coventry on Wednesday

The court heard that PC Chris Hurt and a colleague spotted Santos's Maserati accelerating at high speeds after passing a speed camera on the A41 towards Stirling Corner at around 9.15am.

Prosecutor Inder Gohlar said Santos failed to stop when the officers turned on their police car siren in pursuit of his vehicle, before he drove on to the A1 dual carriageway.

It was estimated that Santos was travelling at speeds in the region of 135mph-145mph – double the road's limit of 70mph.

The Brazil international then drove on to the M25, forcing some drivers to brake quickly to avoid collisions as he moved between the motorway's lanes, the court was told.

Santos eventually pulled over just 400 metres from Arsenal's training ground when he told officers he had been driving quickly as he was late for training, Ms Gohlar said.

He told officers he had been unaware his car was being pursued as his music was playing loudly, she added.

In a statement given to police after his arrest, Santos said: 'My music was on loud and I was not paying attention.

'I apologise to the police and for the trouble I've caused.'

Jermain Defoe says he is driven by summer tragedies

Summer of sadness is driving me, insists Spurs striker Defoe

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UPDATED:

22:16 GMT, 4 September 2012

From the darkness of personal tragedy comes Jermain Defoe, a new man and a new footballer with a determination to savour every second of his career at the top.

It has been a sad summer for Defoe, first the death of his father at the age of 49 and then his cousin, just days before her 21st birthday and it has, he believes, changed his outlook on life and football.

‘I am living the dream,’ said Defoe. ‘When I was a kid I always wanted to play for my country and now I am here I will enjoy it. That’s it. Life is short. While you are here it is important to enjoy the good times.

Driven: Jermain Defoe wants to enjoy every moment at the top

Driven: Jermain Defoe wants to enjoy every moment at the top

‘When you are young nothing is more
important than football but as you get older, you get married, have kids
and lose people. Then you realise your family is more important. This
comes with age.

‘Family is important, especially when you have lost your dad and your cousin. It’s normal to think like that.’

As Defoe prepared for the European
Championships at England’s training base in Hertfordshire, in May, he
would visit his father Jimmy each day in hospital in West London, where
he was being treated for throat cancer.

The squad were in Krakow, in Poland,
when he died, just a few days before England played France in their
opening game of the tournament. Defoe flew home before returning for the
game in Donetsk and came on as a second-half substitute.

He flew home for the funeral after the
final group game against Ukraine and then joined the team again for the
quarter-final against Italy in Kiev.

‘It happens in life,’ said Defoe. ‘You
get disappointments in life and then everything turns good but it has
been difficult for my family. It’s been hard, especially with my dad.

‘From day one, when he was diagnosed, I
was with him from the first meeting in the hospital. I am only 29 and
to deal with that was quite difficult. I had to tell dad: “It will be
okay and be positive, keep praying and have faith”.

‘We had a training camp and every
afternoon I got a car to go to the Royal Marsden, where I’d spend a few
hours with my dad. The manager said: “Make sure you see your dad every
afternoon and be back for the meetings.” That was really nice.

Keep the faith: Defoe told his dad to stay positive

Keep the faith: Defoe told his dad to stay positive

‘I’ve always known about cancer but to
be around someone who has cancer and to see what it does in such a
short space of time was mad. It makes you think about your life.

‘I have a big family and we have
always been close. It does make you think about life and what is
important. If you have an argument with someone and you sulk, sometimes
you don’t want to speak to them. But it is important to keep your
friends close to you and do the right things.’

It was not the first time the family
had been hit with tragedy. Two years ago, Defoe’s half-brother Jade was
killed in a street attack at the age of 26. Then the curse struck again.

Defoe was on tour with Tottenham in
the United States when he heard of his cousin Hannah’s fatal accident.
She had been on holiday in the Caribbean when she jumped into a swimming
pool and was electrocuted.

‘I have never heard of that before,’
said Defoe. ‘She was only 20 and when that happened you start to ask:
Why is this happening You have to be strong. I was in America and had
to fly home again to be with my family. It has been hard.

History: Defoe's family has been hit by tragedy before

History: Defoe's family has been hit by tragedy before

‘The only time I am really at peace is
when I am training and playing. Obviously when you are on your own you
start thinking stuff. You think about your life. You don’t know for sure
whether you will be here tomorrow.’

When Defoe scored the winner in last
month’s friendly against Italy, in Switzerland, he dedicated the goal to
Hannah. It would have been her 21st birthday on the day of the game.

It was his 16th goal for his country
in only 17 starts but it was his 49th appearance overall and he will
take great pride if he reaches the half-century in Moldova on Friday.

With Andy Carroll and Wayne Rooney
out, he might start for the first time in two years, since he suffered
an ankle injury in Switzerland four days after he struck a thrilling
hat-trick against Bulgaria at Wembley.

‘To win 50 caps would mean the world,’
said Defoe. ‘It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while,
speaking with my family and stuff. It’s a good achievement. Not many
players can say they’ve done that.

‘I can remember the first one, coming on against Sweden away when we lost 1-0, and my first start in Poland, when I scored.

‘It’s been ups and downs. At times it
has been frustrating and I’ve had great moments. Scoring the hat-trick
for my country was fantastic and 50 caps is a dream.’

Andre Santos arrested and bailed by police after 130mph car chase

Arsenal defender Santos arrested and bailed by police after 130mph car chase

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UPDATED:

05:43 GMT, 22 August 2012

Arrested: Santos was stopped by police on Friday morning

Arrested: Santos was stopped by police on Friday morning

Arsenal footballer Andre Santos was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving just a couple of miles from the club's training ground, police said.

The 29-year-old defender, from Sao Paulo in Brazil, was apprehended by officers who noticed a car being driven erratically by a driver who failed to stop.

The incident happened last Friday morning – the day before the north London team's first game of the season – Scotland Yard said.

It is thought Santos, who was on the bench for the Gunners' opener against Sunderland on Saturday, was behind the wheel of a powerful sports car.

He was picked up by officers close to Arsenal's training ground in London Colney in Hertfordshire, just inside the M25 motorway.

The Sun newspaper reported a car was being driven at speeds of up to 130mph in a high-speed chase.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: 'Shortly after 9.30am on Friday August 17, a 29-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and failing to stop for police on the A1, near to Junction 22 of the M25.

'Officers' attention was drawn to the vehicle due to the manner of its driving.

Bailed: Santos was on the bench for Arsenal on Saturday

Bailed: Santos was on the bench for Arsenal on Saturday

'The man has been bailed to return at a date in mid-September to a north London police station.'

Santos was not breathalysed, police added.

Gylfi Sigurdsson scores on Tottenham debut against Stevenage

Stevenage 0 Tottenham 2: Super Sig strikes on debut with AVB regime underway

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UPDATED:

07:04 GMT, 19 July 2012

Andre Villas-Boas got off to a good start as Tottenham manager with a solid victory – and his first signing Gylfi Sigurdsson did so as well.

The former Swansea man netted just 10 minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute, drilling into the corner of the net after he was set up by Andros Townsend.

Impact: Gylfi Sigurdsson struck on his Tottenham debut

Impact: Gylfi Sigurdsson struck on his Tottenham debut

One of the gang: Spurs celebrate the opener

One of the gang: Spurs celebrate the opener

The win was sealed with two minutes
left by Iago Falque who cut in from the right before drilling past Steve
Arnold in the Stevenage goal.

Jan Vertonghen played 45 minutes in
what was his first appearance in a Spurs shirt, while Tom Huddlestone
and Jermaine Jenas, who missed large chunks of last season through
injury, took part in Hertfordshire.

In charge: Andre Villas-Boas instructs David Bentley

In charge: Andre Villas-Boas instructs David Bentley

Engine power: Steven Pienaar bursts through

Engine power: Steven Pienaar bursts through

Mark Ramprakash retires from cricket

Ramprakash retires with immediate effect after losing his place with Surrey

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UPDATED:

17:24 GMT, 5 July 2012

Mark Ramprakash refused to mourn an unfulfilled England career as he ended a cricketing odyssey spanning quarter of a century.

The 42-year-old has retired from the game with immediate effect after being told by Surrey he no longer figured in their selection plans.

One of the most prolific and stylish batsmen in county cricket, he amassed 114 first-class centuries and 35,659 runs at an average of 53.14.

I quit: Mark Ramprakash announces his retirement from cricket on Thursday

I quit: Mark Ramprakash announces his retirement from cricket on Thursday

That average dropped to 27.32 during his 52 games for England, leading to the mystery of why such a gifted and technically brilliant player had struggled in the Test arena.

But Ramprakash enters retirement, announced at a press conference at The Oval on Thursday afternoon, satisfied he had given international cricket everything.

'I've been asked many time in recent years about regrets over my England career,' he said. 'You do the best you can at that time. I know I couldn't have trained any harder, I listened to other people and I did the best I could at that time.

'If you've done that, then you don't look back with any regrets. I went through many ups and downs at international level, but had some highlights.

'Playing my first Test in 1991 when we beat the West Indies was one, another was here in Ashes matches.

Ramprakash factfile

1969: Born at Bushey, Hertfordshire.

1987: Makes Middlesex debut.

1988: Man of the match after brilliant 56 in NatWest Trophy final win over Worcestershire.

1989: Scores maiden first-class century against Yorkshire at Headingley.

1991: Makes Test debut in England's home series against West Indies.

1993: Scores first Test half-century, 64, against Australia at The Oval on recall after a year out of the side.

1997: Appointed Middlesex captain.

1998: Scores maiden Test century, 154, against West Indies at Bridgetown.

2001: Moves to Surrey. Scores first Test century in England, 133 against Australia at The Oval.

2002: Wins last of his 52 Test caps during indifferent tour of New Zealand.

2003: Century against former club Middlesex makes him the first player to have scored a ton against all 18 first-class counties.

2006: Scores 2,278 first-class runs, including a career-best 301 not out, and averages more than 100 during his 20th county season. Achieves more fame as winner of TV show Strictly Come Dancing.

2007: Scores 2,026 runs at 101.3 to become first batsman to average more than 100 in consecutive English seasons. Named Wisden Cricketer of the Year.

2008: Scores 100th first-class century against Yorkshire at Headingley.

2010: Is again the highest run scorer in England with 1,595 at an average of 61.34.

2011: Scores the 114th and final first-class 100 of his career but fails to reach 1,000 first-class runs in an English season for the first time since 1998 and averages only 33.33.

2012: Is dropped by Surrey after a poor start to the season.
July 5: Announces his retirement from first-class cricket.

'The best innings I ever played was here against Australia in 2001 (he scored 133). You remember any win for England.'

Ramprakash's last Test was in 2002, but he was touted for a comeback in the 2009 Ashes series on the back of his prolific county form which continued into 2010.

The decline began last season, however, when he averaged 33.33 and this year he was dropped by Surrey for the first time and subsequently failed to regain his form.

Media work will keep Ramprakash in the game, while the winner of Strictly Come Dancing in 2006 may also pursue coaching.

'I had a tough start to this season, but I continued to try and remain fit and wanted to play,' said Ramprakash, whose contract was due to expire in September.

'However, last week I was informed I was not in Surrey's selection plans and therefore I felt the time was right to step aside.

'It was a very difficult decision to make. I wanted to finish my career strongly and felt September would likely be the time I look to new pastures.

'But having had a tough start and being left out of the side, that brought things forward. The last thing you want is to go on too long.

'I still felt I had something to offer and I want to go out and play tonight.

'I feel I can still play at this level, but a playing contract with another county isn't really in my mind at the moment

'I'm not sure what the future holds, but professional cricket has taught me many things about life. I look forward to new opportunities.

'Coaching does interest me without doubt, I enjoy bringing young players on.

Top class: Ramprakash hit 114 first-class hundreds in a long career

Top class: Ramprakash hit 114 first-class hundreds in a long career

'I've done the qualifications, so coaching is an option. I hope to pursue some media work as well.'

On the question of the toughest bowler he had faced, Ramprakash named four who stood out.

'I've faced spells where I've thought “this is tough, this is really quick” – Malcolm Marshall, Allan Donald, Brett Lee and Wasim Akram,' he said.

'There have been times when I thought “I'm struggling to get a bat on this”.'

Averaging 42 in 12 Tests against Australia only strengthens the enigmatic view of Ramprakash, but he remains proud of a career that began at Middlesex in 1987.

'I'd like to be remembered as someone who gave everything,' he said. 'I tried to be very competitive, fight for my side and contribute. I tried to do the hard yards for my team.'

EURO 2012: Jordan Henderson replaces Frank Lampard as England sweat on Scott Parker

Henderson in, Lampard out… and England sweat over Parker for Euro 2012

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UPDATED:

08:28 GMT, 1 June 2012

Euro 2012 email button

Roy Hodgson is facing a midfield
crisis ahead of Euro 2012, with Frank Lampard now ruled out of the
tournament along with Gareth Barry while concerns persist over Scott
Parker.

The England manager said the news was
a ‘huge blow’ before calling up Jordan Henderson last night. There is
also worry inside the camp that Parker could start the tournament still
some way short of the player he was for Tottenham earlier this season
because of an achilles problem.

Stepping up: Jordan Henderson is now on his way to Euro 2012

Stepping up: Jordan Henderson is now on his way to Euro 2012

He played just one minute of his club’s last four games, and while he did manage an hour against Norway on Saturday — thanks to injections in the achilles — it was obvious there remains much room for improvement. Not least when it comes to the 31-year-old’s mobility.

Barring any further setbacks, Parker will start against Belgium tomorrow and against France in England’s opening group game on June 11.

But it is a far from satisfactory situation for Hodgson when he will have only Phil Jones and Henderson in reserve to play alongside skipper Steven Gerrard.

Boost: Frank Lampard (third from left) says Chelsea's triumph can help England

Boost: Frank Lampard (third from left) says Chelsea's triumph can help England

Blue boys: John Terry, Lampard and Ashley Cole can bring a winning mentality to the squad

Blue boys: John Terry, Lampard and Ashley Cole can bring a winning mentality to the squad

A scan confirmed yesterday that Lampard was out of Euro 2012 because of a thigh injury he suffered in training on Wednesday.

Liverpool midfielder Henderson was in London last night waiting for UEFA
to give clearance for him to join the England squad in Hertfordshire.

Lampard’s scan has been sent to the UEFA medical team, who have to agree
he did not have the injury prior to the final squads being submitted on
May 29 before allowing the FA to call in a replacement.

As the FA said
in a statement last night: ‘Jordan Henderson will be called into the
squad, subject to agreement from UEFA’s medical team.’

The FA do, however, consider UEFA’s approval a formality.

Munich men: Gary Cahill (right) and Cole (centre) were outstanding in the Champions League final

Munich men: Gary Cahill (right) and Cole (centre) were outstanding in the Champions League final

Update: Lampard backs goal-line technology installation

Update: Lampard backs goal-line technology installation

A disappointed Hodgson said: ‘It’s a huge blow for the team,
especially coming after the loss of another senior player in Gareth
Barry. The fact the doctor cannot guarantee Frank could take part in any
of the group matches means we have to replace him in the central
midfield area.

‘Apart from it being a huge blow to me and the team, I’m especially
disappointed for Frank himself. He has been in very good form and was
looking forward to the tournament. He made a huge contribution towards
us qualifying for the Euros so it is cruel to be forced out through
injury just before the tournament.’

It is a major concern for Hodgson when it might not have been his
intention to play Gerrard for all 270 minutes of the group games in
Ukraine. The Liverpool skipper has had his own injury problems this
season.

England captain Steven Gerrard meets holocaust survivors Zigi Shipper and Ben Helfgott

True heroes: England captain Steven Gerrard meets Holocaust survivors Ben Helfgott and Zigi Shipper. The England squad will visit Auschwitz concentration camp when they fly out to Poland for Euro 2012

England Holocaust Survivor Zigi Shipper addresses the England squad

Holocaust survivors Ben Helfgott and Zigi Shipper (C) speak to England manager Roy Hodgson

Moving: Holocaust Survivor Zigi Shipper addresses the England squad

Moving: Holocaust Survivor Zigi Shipper addresses the England squad

But the alternative would be the inexperienced Henderson or Jones and
with Lampard and Barry out it means he has no choice but to start with
Parker.

Had Lampard not suffered this setback, he would have been pushing for a
starting place when there is the feeling Parker still needs to be
nurtured back to full fitness.

The plan against Norway last weekend was to play him for just 45
minutes. In the end Hodgson left him on the pitch for the first 15
minutes of the second half but it is unlikely he will play the full 90
at Wembley tomorrow. England staff are not sure he is capable of playing for the full 90 minutes.
Beyond the four central midfielders Hodgson is taking there are other options.

James Milner has some experience of playing in a central role for club
as well as country, and there is a belief that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
has the versatility to play there too.

But this is not the kind of situation England would have wanted so close
to the tournament, particularly when they had already lost Jack
Wilshere to injury.

It leaves Hodgson just one injury setback away from a completely
makeshift central midfield when he already has to contend with the
suspension of Wayne Rooney for the first two matches and the loss of
Kyle Walker to injury, too.

But the FA have stressed again that calling up Michael Carrick was not an option.

The FA were informed in January that the Manchester United midfielder no longer wanted to be a member of the squad.

EURO 2012: Jordan Henderson replaces Frank Lampard as Englans sweat on Scott Parker

Henderson in, Lampard out… and England sweat over Parker for Euro 2012

|

UPDATED:

07:09 GMT, 1 June 2012

Euro 2012 email button

Roy Hodgson is facing a midfield
crisis ahead of Euro 2012, with Frank Lampard now ruled out of the
tournament along with Gareth Barry while concerns persist over Scott
Parker.

The England manager said the news was
a ‘huge blow’ before calling up Jordan Henderson last night. There is
also worry inside the camp that Parker could start the tournament still
some way short of the player he was for Tottenham earlier this season
because of an achilles problem.

Stepping up: Jordan Henderson is now on his way to Euro 2012

Stepping up: Jordan Henderson is now on his way to Euro 2012

He played just one minute of his club’s last four games, and while he did manage an hour against Norway on Saturday — thanks to injections in the achilles — it was obvious there remains much room for improvement. Not least when it comes to the 31-year-old’s mobility.

Barring any further setbacks, Parker will start against Belgium tomorrow and against France in England’s opening group game on June 11.

But it is a far from satisfactory situation for Hodgson when he will have only Phil Jones and Henderson in reserve to play alongside skipper Steven Gerrard.

Boost: Frank Lampard (third from left) says Chelsea's triumph can help England

Boost: Frank Lampard (third from left) says Chelsea's triumph can help England

Blue boys: John Terry, Lampard and Ashley Cole can bring a winning mentality to the squad

Blue boys: John Terry, Lampard and Ashley Cole can bring a winning mentality to the squad

A scan confirmed yesterday that Lampard was out of Euro 2012 because of a thigh injury he suffered in training on Wednesday.

Liverpool midfielder Henderson was in London last night waiting for UEFA
to give clearance for him to join the England squad in Hertfordshire.

Lampard’s scan has been sent to the UEFA medical team, who have to agree
he did not have the injury prior to the final squads being submitted on
May 29 before allowing the FA to call in a replacement.

As the FA said
in a statement last night: ‘Jordan Henderson will be called into the
squad, subject to agreement from UEFA’s medical team.’

The FA do, however, consider UEFA’s approval a formality.

Munich men: Gary Cahill (right) and Cole (centre) were outstanding in the Champions League final

Munich men: Gary Cahill (right) and Cole (centre) were outstanding in the Champions League final

Update: Lampard backs goal-line technology installation

Update: Lampard backs goal-line technology installation

A disappointed Hodgson said: ‘It’s a huge blow for the team,
especially coming after the loss of another senior player in Gareth
Barry. The fact the doctor cannot guarantee Frank could take part in any
of the group matches means we have to replace him in the central
midfield area.

‘Apart from it being a huge blow to me and the team, I’m especially
disappointed for Frank himself. He has been in very good form and was
looking forward to the tournament. He made a huge contribution towards
us qualifying for the Euros so it is cruel to be forced out through
injury just before the tournament.’

It is a major concern for Hodgson when it might not have been his
intention to play Gerrard for all 270 minutes of the group games in
Ukraine. The Liverpool skipper has had his own injury problems this
season.

England captain Steven Gerrard meets holocaust survivors Zigi Shipper and Ben Helfgott

True heroes: England captain Steven Gerrard meets Holocaust survivors Ben Helfgott and Zigi Shipper. The England squad will visit Auschwitz concentration camp when they fly out to Poland for Euro 2012

England Holocaust Survivor Zigi Shipper addresses the England squad

Holocaust survivors Ben Helfgott and Zigi Shipper (C) speak to England manager Roy Hodgson

Moving: Holocaust Survivor Zigi Shipper addresses the England squad

Moving: Holocaust Survivor Zigi Shipper addresses the England squad

But the alternative would be the inexperienced Henderson or Jones and
with Lampard and Barry out it means he has no choice but to start with
Parker.

Had Lampard not suffered this setback, he would have been pushing for a
starting place when there is the feeling Parker still needs to be
nurtured back to full fitness.

The plan against Norway last weekend was to play him for just 45
minutes. In the end Hodgson left him on the pitch for the first 15
minutes of the second half but it is unlikely he will play the full 90
at Wembley tomorrow. England staff are not sure he is capable of playing for the full 90 minutes.
Beyond the four central midfielders Hodgson is taking there are other options.

James Milner has some experience of playing in a central role for club
as well as country, and there is a belief that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
has the versatility to play there too.

But this is not the kind of situation England would have wanted so close
to the tournament, particularly when they had already lost Jack
Wilshere to injury.

It leaves Hodgson just one injury setback away from a completely
makeshift central midfield when he already has to contend with the
suspension of Wayne Rooney for the first two matches and the loss of
Kyle Walker to injury, too.

But the FA have stressed again that calling up Michael Carrick was not an option.

The FA were informed in January that the Manchester United midfielder no longer wanted to be a member of the squad.

Harry Redknapp joked Tottenham"s poor game harmed England prospects

Redknapp admits Spurs' spluttering display against Stevenage did not aid England prospects

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp admits his chances of becoming the next England manager will not have been helped by his team's poor display in Sunday's 0-0 FA Cup draw against Stevenage.

Stevenage began the day 47 places below Spurs in the league ladder, but they defied the odds to stifle the Barclays Premier League title chasers with an impressive display in the fifth round tie at the Lamex Stadium.

Spurs may be the highest ranked team in the competition but they were second best for large parts of today's game against their npower League One opponents.

Struggle: Tottenham could not find a way past Stevenage

Struggle: Tottenham could not find a way past Stevenage

There was no evidence of the enterprising attacking football which they have put on all season and their passing was very sloppy, allowing the home side to dominate large parts of the match.

Intriguingly for Redknapp, the man tipped to be England's next manager, one of the men who will decide who succeeds Fabio Capello – FA chairman David Bernstein – was in the crowd at the game.

The Spurs boss admits he cannot have been impressed with what he saw.

'I bet he was impressed with the football I served up, yeah,' Redknapp said with a huge smile. 'He was probably thinking – “who is this geezer!”'

Spurs made six changes to the team that beat Newcastle 5-0 last weekend, but their side still contained seven internationals and should have beaten Stevenage given the excellent form they have displayed this term.

The Londoners only had one real chance of note, however – a second half shot from Gareth Bale which was well saved by Chris Day.

The other job: Harry Redknapp knows the performance won't have improved his England prospects

The other job: Harry Redknapp knows the performance won't have improved his England prospects

Redknapp was not impressed by his team's display, but admitted the bobbly pitch at the home of the Hertfordshire minnows inhibited his team's ability to play their natural passing game.

'I just had a feeling today, looking at the pitch and everything, that it would be tough,' Redknapp added. 'It was bobbling around everywhere.

'We started lumping it. That wasn't part of the plan but the lads weren't comfortable passing the ball out there and we ended up going long.

'I thought we would come here and win but the longer it went on the more thought we would take the draw.”

Joel /02/19/article-2103555-11D0012D000005DC-3_468x286.jpg” width=”468″ height=”286″ alt=”Satisfied: Stevenage manager Gary Smith enjoyed his side's display” class=”blkBorder” />

Satisfied: Stevenage manager Gary Smith enjoyed his side's display

Tough: Louis Saha toiled but to no avail

Tough: Louis Saha toiled but to no avail

The Stevenage boss was delighted with his team's effort, and a return to managing in a competition he missed dearly while Stateside.

'I honestly thought we were capable here of being in the hat for the last eight,' he said.

'Our players were terrific. Being involved in the FA Cup, with all its history is wonderful.

'There was a real intensity and tenacity. It's a wonderful competition and am really pleased we are still in it.'

Redknapp, meanwhile, revealed a number of his players are struggling for fitness ahead of Sunday's crucial north London derby at Arsenal.

Benoit Assou-Ekotto had a minor groin operation on Monday and is a doubt for the weekend while Emmanuel Adebayor injured his knee in training and also could miss the game against his old club.

Luka Modric missed today's clash with the flu and is also a doubt for next weekend and Rafael van der Vaart was also absent with a calf problem.

Redknapp added: 'Benoit had a small operation at the start of the week. Adebayor did his knee on Friday morning, he twisted it.

'We thought he might have opened his ligament up but it's not too bad and then Luka had an unbelievable temperature. He was really ill.'