Tag Archives: midfielders

Lewis Holtby to leave Schalke: Arsenal and Liverpool on alert

Holtby could return to England on a free as Arsenal and Liverpool tells Schalke he's off

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UPDATED:

12:55 GMT, 28 December 2012

Arsenal and Liverpool have been given the green light to move in for Lewis Holtby after the Germany midfielder scrapped contract talks with Schalke.

After months of negotiations with Schalke’s board, the 22-year old midfielder announced his intention to quit the Bundesliga club, in a development that will alert a host of admirers headed by the Barclays Premier League pair.

Both Arsene Wenger and his Liverpool counterpart Brendan Rodgers have expressed an interest in him and will be keener than ever, now he can be snapped up for a knockdown fee next month or for nothing at the end of the season.

London calling London are on red alert after Schalke revealed Lewis Holtby intends to quit the German club

London calling London are on red alert after Schalke revealed Lewis Holtby intends to quit the German club

Signed from Alemannia Aachen in 2009, Holtby has developed into one of Germany’s most prominent young midfielders and was considered integral to Schalke’s hopes of challenging the likes of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga.

They were hoping he would follow another Arsenal target, Holland striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar, in committing his future to the club, but board member Horst Heldt was forced to concede defeat.

‘We had hoped Lewis saw his future at Schalke beyond the end of this season,’ said Heldt. ‘But he has made a personal decision that we respect.

Up for grabs: Holtby, who has an English father, has represented Germany three times at senior level

Up for grabs: Holtby, who has an English father, has represented Germany three times at senior level

We are sure he will give everything between now and the end of the season.’

Arsenal and Liverpool must now decide whether to battle it out over personal terms in the summer or part with a cut-price fee now to land him in the January window.

Holtby’s English father Chris is a lifelong Everton fan, and the Schalke playmaker recently admitted that he, too, has an allegiance to the Goodison Park club.

Though he chose to represent Germany at international level, rather than England, and has been capped three times since his debut against Azerbaijan 18 months ago, he has made no secret of his wish to play in the Premier League.

In demand: Holtby, who is also fancied by Liverpool, spent a successful loan spell at Mainz in 2010

In demand: Holtby, who is also fancied by Liverpool, spent a successful loan spell at Mainz in 2010

Steven Gerrard put in a masterful performance against Fulham

Rolling back the years: Gerrard puts on a masterclass in 4-0 rout of Fulham

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UPDATED:

22:10 GMT, 23 December 2012

It was a moment that provided a reminder of a glorious past but one which also offered a tantalising glimpse of what the future may hold.

As Steven Gerrard surged on to a perfectly weighted ball from Stewart Downing then smashed a drive inexorably past Mark Schwarzer, he gave a demonstration of the skills which have consistently set him apart and also reinforced the point that, contrary to what some of his detractors may think, he remains one of the most influential midfielders in the Barclays Premier League.

Masterclass: Gerrard (pictured) scored one, set up two and covered a whopping 6.31 miles in Saturday's 4-0 rout of Fulham

Masterclass: Gerrard (pictured) scored one and set up two in Saturday's 4-0 rout of Fulham

This was comfortably Gerrard's finest display of the campaign. Aside from providing two assists in the 4-0 demolition of Fulham, nobody ran further than the 6.31miles he covered and another example of his current well-being can be seen in the fact he has played in every minute of Liverpool's 18 Premier League games.

Gerrard only has 18 months left on his current contract but this was the type of performance that showed why – even at 32 – Liverpool can ill-afford to be without him and it left Brendan Rodgers adamant that a new deal should be drawn up for their talismanic captain.

'He was at the top of his game,' Rodgers observed after a rout which was completed by Martin Skrtel and Luis Suarez.

Goal: Gerrard's goal come from a wonderful reverse pass from the rejuvenated Stewart Downing

Goal: Gerrard's goal come from a wonderful reverse pass from the rejuvenated Stewart Downing

'The mixture of his short passing and long passing was perfect, and he got his goal. I have no qualms about him whatsoever.

'He is right up there as one of the most influential midfielders in the Premier League; he's at the top in chances created, passing, possession all the important things.

'I find it incredible he can have had any criticism at all. It is absolutely ridiculous.

Stamina: The 6.31miles he covered was more than any other player on the pitch

Stamina: The whopping 6.31miles Gerrard covered was more than any other player on the pitch

'He may not be getting the goals he did five or six years ago, but that doesn't stop you influencing the game, and his influence for me – and especially once he was starting to understand what I'm looking for – has been absolutely top class, up there with the very best.

'We are improving, we are growing, and he has influenced that. He is vital to us, and I recognise that.

'I know he has 18 months left on his contract, but I would want him to go beyond that for this club and this team.

'I want him to stay beyond his current contract. There is absolutely no question about that.'

Rodgers, clearly, has never had any doubts about Gerrard but the same cannot be said of Downing, who was told last month he was free to leave in January if Liverpool received the right offer but with just eight days until the window opens, the England winger may have earned himself a reprieve.

Downing was outstanding against Fulham. Aside from creating Gerrard's goal, he got one of his own and caused havoc on the flanks with his pace and trickery.

It was particularly intriguing to see him perform like this, given that Daniel Sturridge is potentially ear-marked for Downing's role once his 12million move from Chelsea is officially ratified.

This type of performance showed why Kenny Dalglish was so desperate to spend 20million to bring him from Aston Villa.

Sturridge underwent a medical on Merseyside yesterday after several minor glitches in the deal were ironed out but Downing is in no mood to surrender his spot after describing the moment Rodgers told him he could go as being 'the kick up the ****' he needed.

Silenced: Stewart Downing silenced his critics with his first league goal for Liverpool since his 20m move from Aston Villa last August

Silenced: Stewart Downing silenced his critics with his first league goal and first league assist for Liverpool since his 20m move from Aston Villa last August

'I want to stay,' said Downing. 'I never wanted to leave but I was out of the team, I was frustrated and in that situation you have to look at something if it crops up.

'The only thing I can do is play well and make him keep me here. All I am trying to do is make him pick me for the team and stay in the team.

'If I keep playing like I did against Fulham, that will happen.'

David Beckham has put MLS on the map in a way America fails to grasp – Laura Williamson

No MVP for DB… but Beckham has put MLS on the map in a way America fails to grasp (so ignore the phoney facts and figures)

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UPDATED:

00:01 GMT, 29 November 2012

MLS Best XI 2012

Goalkeeper:

Jimmy Nielsen (Sporting Kansas City) –

Defenders:

Victor Bernardez (San Jose Earthquakes)
Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City)
Aurelien Collin (Sporting Kansas City)

Midfielders:

Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle Sounders FC)
Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)
Chris Pontius (D.C. United)
Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

Forwards:

Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls)
Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy)
Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

When Major League Soccer (MLS) announced their 'best XI' this week, there was one name notably absent: David Beckham.

This list is not merely an arbitrary line-up scribbled down in a bar on the back of a beer mat. In a sporting culture obsessed with numbers and statistics, it is supposed to 'recognise the League’s top 11 players at each position on the field'.

It is an honour to be included and Beckham was not, yet again. The former England captain has only made the cut once in his six seasons in the USA.

Beckham has never been shortlisted for the MLS’ Most Valuable Player, either. He has never even been LA Galaxy’s footballer of the year. Being an ‘MVP’ might sound like some sort of four-wheel drive to British ears, but awards and titles such as this really do matter in the States; try as they might to bring a quantitative appraisal to the whimsical, wonderful world of sport.

Take a bow: David Beckham is set to play his final game for LA Galaxy in the MLS Cup final on Sunday

Take a bow: David Beckham is set to play his final game for LA Galaxy in the MLS Cup final on Sunday

But, judging by the numbers – 20 goals in 117 matches in five-and-a-half years and one MLS Cup, with the prospect of another on Saturday – Beckham’s figures do not add up to success. That the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star is not thought to be even one of the best four midfielders in US soccer suggests they are hardly in mourning that this weekend’s clash against Houston Dynamos will be his last match for LA Galaxy.

Off the field measures suggest muted improvement, but nothing like the ‘history-making’ Beckham pledged when he joined the Galaxy in 2007. Average attendances have risen from 15,500 per match to 18,800. There are now 19 franchises in the MLS, compared to just 13 in Beckham’s first season.

Living the American Dream: Beckham arrived in Los Angeles in a blaze of publicity in July 2007

Living the American Dream: Beckham arrived in Los Angeles in a blaze of publicity in July 2007

Television viewing figures remain fairly stagnant, with just over one million people tuning in to watch Beckham win his first MLS Cup with the Galaxy last November. That is a miniscule figure in a country of that size. It’s no wonder the taxi driver taking me to the game did not even know how to get to the stadium.

The millions of dollars of cash, the razzmatazz, all those journeys back and forth across the Atlantic: were they really worth it Or has Mrs Beckham, with her highly successful fashion line, been a more productive British export than her husband

‘Beckham was paid 21million to change the face of soccer in Los Angeles and barely hung around long enough to change his socks,’ wrote Bill Plaschke in the Los Angeles Times after Beckham’s first MLS triumph last year. ‘He helped bring this town a soccer title, but he was supposed to help bring it an entire soccer movement, and he never even tried.’

Love-hate relationship: Galaxy supporters make their feelings known in July 2009 after Beckham's first loan deal with AC Milan. Beckham also exchanged angry words with fans during a match

Love-hate relationship: Galaxy supporters make their feelings known in
July 2009 (above) after Beckham's first loan deal with AC Milan. Beckham also
exchanged angry words with fans during a match. But the former England captain proved his loyalty and went on to help the Galaxy win the MLS Cup last December (below)

Glory days: Beckham helped the Galaxy to win the MLS Cup last December

Glory days: Beckham helped the Galaxy to win the MLS Cup last December

But just take a look at some of the other names on the ‘best XI’ this year. Thierry Henry, Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan. Would these ‘designated players’, whose wages do not count towards their clubs’ salary caps, have joined the MLS – or stayed – without Beckham It’s hard to imagine.

Beckham’s influence, I would argue, cannot be boiled down to the cold facts and figures American sport so reveres. There is no magic Moneyball formula here. He has brought much-needed focus and attention to the MLS; not always with his performances on the pitch, but by moving to the States when he did and, crucially, seeing out his five-year contract – and then extending it.

Beckham went to America as a Spanish league champion at the age of 32. He was not in the prime of his career but he was certainly not a battered old has-been. The general consensus was he was leaving top-class European football too early; something Beckham, perhaps, quickly realised, too, resulting in two loan moves to AC Milan when he understood former England boss Fabio Capello would not entertain trekking to Los Angeles to see him play.

Star attraction: Beckham helped Galaxy to rake in money from new sponsorship deals

Star attraction: Beckham helped Galaxy to rake in money from new sponsorship deals

But Beckham went to American – and he
stayed. He even persuaded Donovan to start singing his praises after
the pair’s very public falling out. He saw out his contract and he
extended it by another 12 months, with the option of a further year. If
this was ever going to work, there had to be a long-term commitment from
Beckham, and he delivered.

Don
Garber, the MLS commissioner, said: ‘He said he was not coming here to
retire. He was coming here to be part of a team and work hard and win
some championships and very importantly, he was coming here to grow the
sport of soccer in America, to make MLS more popular here and abroad.

‘I don’t think anybody would doubt he hasn’t over-delivered by every one of those measures. There’s arguably not a soccer fan on this planet that doesn’t know the L.A. Galaxy and Major League Soccer, and David played a significant role in helping us make that happen.’

Cheer up: Beckham enjoys himself at the LA Lakers game at Staples Center on Tuesday

Cheer up: Beckham enjoys himself at the LA Lakers game at Staples Center on Tuesday

Cheer up: Beckham at the LA Lakers game against Indiana Pacers at Staples Center on Tuesday

Beckham has not revolutionised
American soccer, but he has certainly helped it to grow. MLS academies –
like the one Beckham’s oldest son, Brooklyn, has attended – are now
attempting to find and develop homegrown players. It costs in excess of
$100m to set up an MLS franchise now, compared to around $10m six years
ago. The Galaxy play with a brand name emblazoned across their shirts
these days. This is all part of the Beckham effect.

Chris
Klein, Beckham’s former team-mate at LA Galaxy and now the club’s vice
president, said: ‘If you look at David and his time here, his influence
has spanned everything that our league touches: from commercially what
our league looks like, to ticket sales, to soccer-specific stadiums, to
designated players being more interested in our league.

‘I don’t know that it can all be
attributed to him, but I don’t think you can deny that he’s had an
influence over this. When he came, we didn’t have MLS academies, and now
everyone has them and they’re thriving.’

The most famous man in the world... and President Obama: The Galaxy squad at the White House in May

The most famous man in the world… and President Obama: The Galaxy squad at the White House in May

Beckham’s concrete legacy will be if
clubs really can start developing more players themselves and attract
foreign designated players in their 20s, rather than those edging
towards the ends of their careers; family men seduced by the lifestyle
and the pay cheques of the American Dream.

But his short-term impact is much
simpler than that. Beckham put the MLS on the map. We started taking
notice of it in 2007 and we are still talking about it now.

He
hasn’t changed American soccer history, but he’s played an important
part in it. He went and he stayed. Who cares if the numbers do not add
up Football is about so much more than facts and figures, anyway.

Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard in for FIFPro World XI

Gerrard and Lampard face Spanish competition for midfield berths in World XI

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UPDATED:

17:32 GMT, 26 November 2012

Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard are the only English midfielders in contention for a spot in the FIFPro World XI.

They will battle it out with 13 others for the three midfield spots, including Barcelona quartet Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez, Cesc Fabregas and Sergio Busquets.

In contention: Steven Gerrard (left) could be named in the FIFPro team

In contention: Steven Gerrard (left) could be named in the FIFPro team

The Premier League could also be represented by Manchester City's David Silva and Yaya Toure in the middle of the park.

Rio Ferdinand, John Terry and Ashley Cole were among the 20 defenders listed earlier this month with the final team to be chosen on January 7 at the Ballon D'Or gala in Zurich.

Full list of midfielders

Xabi Alonso (Spain / Real Madrid), Sergio Busquets (Spain / FC Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (Spain / FC Barcelona), Steven Gerrard (England / Liverpool), Eden Hazard (Belgium / Chelsea), Andres Iniesta (Spain / FC Barcelona), Frank Lampard (England / Chelsea), Luka Modric (Croatia / Real Madrid), Mesut zil (Germany / Real Madrid), Andrea Pirlo (Italy / Juventus), Franck Ribery (France / Bayern Munich), David Silva (Spain / Manchester City), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany / Bayern Munich), Yaya Tour (Ivory Coast / Manchester City), Xavi Hernandez (Spain / FC Barcelona)

David Luiz wants Chelsea to sign Radamel Falcao

Sign him, Roman! Luiz wants Falcao at Chelsea as frustration grows over Torres

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UPDATED:

12:48 GMT, 15 November 2012

David Luiz is desperate for Chelsea to break the bank and bring Radamel Falcao to the club as doubts continue over Fernando Torres' long-term future.

The Blues defender was pitted against the hotshot striker during Brazil's international friendly with Colombia in New Jersey on Wednesday night.

See you soon Chelsea defender David Luiz was impressed with Radamel Falcao when the pair faced off in Brazil's international friendly with Colombia

See you soon Chelsea defender David Luiz was impressed with Radamel Falcao when the pair faced off in Brazil's international friendly with Colombia

For the most part, it was the Brazilian
who came out on top as the sides drew 1-1, though Luiz saw plenty in the
40million man at close quarters that impressed him.

Speaking after the match, the centre-back told reporters: 'I'm happy when there are great names attached to Chelsea. He's a great player.

'It would be a good choice for Falcao to come to Chelsea. All of the players would be happy because he would be a great player.'

Falcao has been formidable in 2012, with the 26-year-old netting 34 goals for Atletico Madrid since the start of last season. Torres, though, is yet to break the 20-goal mark since his British record 50m move to Stamford Bridge from Liverpool almost two years ago.

Calls have been groing for Chelsea to strengthen their forward line to help lift the goalscoring burden of the midfielders Eden Hazard, Oscar and Juan Mata, with Roman Abromovich willing to ensure the Blues beat Manchester City to the planet's most in-demand frontman.

Speaking earlier this week, the man himself admitted he wants to test himself in the Premier League.

He told Radio Caracol: 'The chance of playing in another league and for another club will come. I keep dreaming. I know that in time I would like to go to a different team. But I have three more years left on my contract with Atletico.

'The dream is always there. The Premier
League is an interesting league but I have a few years left on my
contract with Atletico and I’m just focusing on Atletico.'

We're not mates yet: Luiz came out on top ion his duel with Falcao after the game ended 1-1

We're not mates yet: Luiz came out on top ion his duel with Falcao after the game ended 1-1

We're not mates yet: Luiz came out on top ion his duel with Falcao after the game ended 1-1

And speaking on Wednesday, former Blues boss Ruud Guillet said: 'If he can't still do it at Chelsea, then they are going to have to look somewhere else. I think Falcao is a very good striker.

'I said at the beginning of the season that Chelsea might need another striker but obviously they wanted to give Torres a chance. If he has taken it, I don't know.'

This week it was announced that Falcao had been shortlisted for FIFA's Puskas Award, which celebrates the best goals from 2012. The Atletico star's volley against America de Cali from May 19 is hotly-tipped to be among the top three.

Steven Gerrard wins his 100th cap – his best moments for England

England's midfield lion: Sportsmail pays tribute as Gerrard becomes the sixth player to reach a century of caps

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UPDATED:

08:04 GMT, 13 November 2012

When Steven Gerrard leads out England on Wednesday evening in their friendly against Sweden, he will join an exclusive club of Englishmen who have won a century of caps.

Gerrard will become the sixth player to achieve the feat after Billy Wright, Bobby Charlton, Bobby Moore, Peter Shilton and David Beckham.

And like these legends before him, no England fan can fault Gerrard’s commitment to the cause over these past 12 years.

History man: Steven Gerrard will win his 100th cap for England this Wednesday against Sweden - 12 years and six months after his first

History man: Steven Gerrard will win his 100th cap for England this Wednesday against Sweden – 12 years and six months after his first

GERRARD'S RECORD

Caps: 99 Won: 64 Drawn: 23 Lost: 12

Goals: 19 Yellow cards: 19 Red cards: 1

Since making his debut against Ukraine as a fresh-faced youngster a day after his 20th birthday in May 2000, the Liverpool man has produced regular Herculean performances right across the midfield.

He has contributed 19 goals for the cause, pinged hundreds of his trademark cross-field passes and ran the show against some of the finest midfielders in the world.

His manager, Roy Hodgson led the tributes this week: ‘He is an outstanding footballer and a very mature, thinking football man and I’m delighted I’m going to be the manager when he gets that 100th cap. I will regard that as an honour.’

In honour of Gerrard’s century, Sportsmail looks back at some of his finest performances for the Three Lions.

CAP ONE: May 31, 2000 – England 2 Ukraine 0

Having broken through at Liverpool, the 19-year-old Gerrard had caught the eye of England manager Kevin Keegan and was selected for the squad heading to Belgium and Holland for the European Championships.

At this point, he hadn’t been fully capped for England and Keegan left it until the last minute to test him out – alongside Paul Scholes in a pre-tournament Wembley warm-up with Ukraine.

And Gerrard produced the first of many impressive performances in a perfunctory 2-0 England win, secured through goals by Robbie Fowler and Tony Adams. His range of passing and bite in the tackle were really starting to develop as he entered his twenties.

If the cap fits... A youthful Gerrard is presented with his first full England cap by then manager Kevin Keegan at Bisham Abbey in May 2000

If the cap fits… A youthful Gerrard is presented with his first full England cap by then manager Kevin Keegan at Bisham Abbey in May 2000

On the rampage: Wearing an unfamiliar number two shirt, Gerrard made his England debut in a pre-Euro 2000 warm-up with Ukraine at Wembley

On the rampage: Wearing an unfamiliar number two shirt, Gerrard made his England debut in a pre-Euro 2000 warm-up with Ukraine at Wembley

CAP NINE: September
1, 2001 – Germany 1 England 5

The greatest night in the modern England era and one that bred optimism that Sven Goran Eriksson’s ‘Golden Generation’ could beat the very best in the world and, perhaps, end the silverware drought.

On a magical night in Munich, Gerrard ran the show, scoring his first goal in an England shirt to give the visitors the lead in first-half stoppage time and slipping Liverpool teammate Michael Owen away for the fourth.

Alas, as we now know, that glorious night proved to be something of a false dawn and 11 years further on, we are still waiting desperately for that taste of success.

Bound for the bottom corner: Gerrard (number four) scores from the edge of the penalty area to put England into a 2-1 lead against Germany in Munich

Bound for the bottom corner: Gerrard (number four) scores from the edge of the penalty area to put England into a 2-1 lead against Germany in Munich

Glorious night: ...And he celebrates accordingly. England went on to win the World Cup qualifier 5-1.

Glorious night: …And he celebrates accordingly. England went on to win the World Cup qualifier 5-1.

CAP 22: March 31, 2004 – Sweden 1 England 0

The last time England travelled to Sweden for a friendly was also a landmark occasion for Gerrard who, as a veteran of just 22 caps, was handed the captain’s armband for the first time by Eriksson.

Both sides had an eye on that summer’s European Championships, but also on the crucial club run-in, and so Gerrard only played an hour before handing the armband to Gareth Southgate.

It was a characteristically industrious performance from Gerrard but, despite England having the best chances, Sweden won through Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s goal just after half-time.

Captain fantastic: Gerrard wore the England armband for the first time in March 2004, but he couldn't prevent the side losing 1-0 to Sweden

Captain fantastic: Gerrard wore the England armband for the first time in March 2004, but he couldn't prevent the side losing 1-0 to Sweden

Cap 76: September 9th, 2009 – England 5 Croatia 1

One of the finest England displays of the Fabio Capello era, the team secured their place at the World Cup finals in South Africa in resounding fashion.

And Gerrard was outstanding even in a team of excellent performers, putting in arguably his best 90 minutes for his country. He put England two-up after 18 minutes, sprinting in unnoticed at the back post with a header from Aaron Lennon’s deep cross. Gerrard had supplied Lennon in the first place.

His second and England’s fourth, on 68 minutes, was the culmination of a great team move involving Gareth Barry and Wayne Rooney – Gerrard scored with another header from Rooney’s cross.

Rising high: With an incredible leap, Gerrard converts Wayne Rooney's cross to put England 4-0 up against Croatia at Wembley

Rising high: With an incredible leap, Gerrard converts Wayne Rooney's cross to put England 4-0 up against Croatia at Wembley

First class: Gerrard's double helped secure England's place in the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa

First class: Gerrard's double helped secure England's place in the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa

Cap 81: June 12th, 2010 – England 1 United States 1

Having breezed through qualifying, Capello’s England entered the World Cup finals in South Africa in a hopeful frame of mind – something only enhanced when Gerrard gave them the lead after just four minutes of the tournament opener with the USA.

But such early promise wasn’t sustained and England surrendered the initiative when Robert Green fumbled the ball for the equaliser. In a largely listless showing, captain Gerrard was the only player who was lion-hearted.

Ultimately, it would just be another tournament to underline England's frailties on the world stage.

Perfect start: Just four minutes into the World Cup opener with the United States and Gerrard fired England into the lead

Perfect start: Just four minutes into the World Cup opener with the United States and Gerrard fired England into the lead

Cap 85 – August 11, 2010 England 2 Hungary 1

A year on from the high of thrashing Croatia and faith in English football has come full circle following the World Cup debacle. Capello lumbers on in charge and, in the first match back, England are heading to a miserable defeat at home to Hungary.

Enter skipper Gerrard to change the mood. Two great goals in the space of four minutes silence the boo-boys and prove life can go on. His first is a peach from 30 yards following a typically bustling run and his second sees him outwit three defenders inside the box before poking home.

Sure-footed: Gerrard manoeuvres round three Hungarian defenders for his second goal, before toe-poking home

Sure-footed: Gerrard manoeuvres round three Hungarian defenders for his second goal, before toe-poking home

Life goes on: Gerrard's double in this friendly gave England cause for optimism after their abysmal World Cup

Life goes on: Gerrard's double in this friendly gave England cause for optimism after their abysmal World Cup

Cap 95: June 19, 2012 – Ukraine 0 England 1

Not England’s finest performance by any means, but by some miracle, Hodgson’s side had made it into the last eight of Euro 2012 – and as group winners.

Rooney acknowledged afterwards that this was Gerrard’s finest England performance and the two combined for the winning goal against host nation Ukraine. Gerrard found room for a cross from the right, which took a couple of fortuitous deflections and fell to Rooney to head in at the far post.

With Gerrard tireless in midfield, England preserved their slender advantage and set up a quarter-final with Italy.

We're through! Gerrard celebrates after England beat Ukraine to reach the quarter-finals of Euro 2012

We're through! Gerrard celebrates after England beat Ukraine to reach the quarter-finals of Euro 2012

WHO'S NEXT: CAN GERRARD CATCH UP WITH THESE GREATS

Number of caps – Name, Years played for England (clubs)

125 – Peter Shilton 1970-1990 (Leicester City, Stoke City, Nottingham Forest, Southampton, Derby County)
115 – David Beckham 1996-2009 (Manchester United, Real Madrid, LA Galaxy, AC Milan)
108 – Bobby Moore 1962-1973 (West Ham United)
106 – Bobby Charlton 1958-1970 (Manchester United)
105 – Billy Wright 1946-1959 (Wolverhampton Wanderers)

GERRARD'S ENGLAND CAREER IN FULL

Age 20
1. May 31, 2000 – England 2 Ukraine 0 (Friendly; Wembley)
2. June 17, 2000 – England 1 Germany 0 (UEFA European Championships, Group stage; Charleroi)
3. March 24, 2001 – England 2 Finland 1 (World Cup qualifier, Anfield)
4. May 25, 2001 – England 4 Mexico 0 (Friendly, Pride Park)

You're going nowhere: Gerrard gets shirty with Finland on his third England appearance, a World Cup qualifier at Anfield in March 2001

You're going nowhere: Gerrard gets shirty with Finland on his third England appearance, a World Cup qualifier at Anfield in March 2001

Age 21
5. June 6, 2001 – Greece 0 England 2 (World Cup qualifier; Athens)
6. September 1, 2001 – Germany 1 England 5 (World Cup qualifier; Munich) One goal
7. September 5, 2001 – England 2 Albania 0 (World Cup qualifier; St James' Park)
8. October 6, 2001 – England 2 Greece 2 (World Cup qualifier; Old Trafford)
9. February 13, 2002 – Netherlands 1 England 1 (Friendly; Amsterdam)
10.April 17, 2002 – England 4 Paraguay 0 (Friendly; Anfield)

Age 22
11. September 7, 2002 – England 1 Portugal 1 (Friendly; Villa Park)
12. October 12, 2002 – Slovakia 1 England 2 (European Championships qualifier; Bratislava)
13. October 16, 2002 – England 2 Macedonia 2 (European Championships qualifier; St Mary's) One goal
14. March 29, 2003 – Liechtenstein 0 England 2 (European Championships qualifier; Vaduz)
15. April 2, 2003 – England 2 Turkey 0 (European Championship qualifier; Stadium of Light)
16. May 22, 2003 – South Africa 1 England 2 (Friendly; Durban)

Technique: Gerrard finds the net through a crowd of Macedonian defenders in the Euro 2004 qualifier at Southampton

Technique: Gerrard finds the net through a crowd of Macedonian defenders in the Euro 2004 qualifier at Southampton

Age 23
17. June 3, 2003 – England 2 Serbia and Montenegro 1 (Friendly; Walkers Stadium) One goal
18. June 11, 2003 – England 2 Slovakia 1 (European Championships qualifier; Riverside Stadium)
19. August 20, 2003 – England 3 Croatia 1 (Friendly; Portman Road)
20. September 10, 2003 – England 2 Liechtenstein 0 (European Championships qualifier; Old Trafford)
21. October 11, 2003 – Turkey 0 England 0 (European Championships qualifier; Istanbul)
22. March 31, 2004 – Sweden 1 England 0 (Friendly; Gothenburg) First game as captain

Age 24
23. June 1, 2004 – England 1 Japan 1 (Friendly; City of Manchester Stadium)
24. June 5, 2004 – England 6 Iceland 1 (Friendly; City of Manchester Stadium)
25. June 13, 2004 – France 2 England 1 (UEFA European Championships, group stage; Lisbon)
26. June 17, 2004 – England 3 Switzerland 0 (UEFA European Championships, group stage; Coimbra) One goal
27. June 21, 2004 – England 4 Croatia 2 (UEFA European Championships, group stage; Lisbon)
28. June 24, 2004 – Portugal 2 England 2 (UEFA European Championships, quarter-final; Lisbon)
29. August 18, 2004 – England 3 Ukraine 0 (Friendly; St James' Park)
30. September 4, 2004 – Austria 2 England 2 (World Cup qualifier; Vienna) One goal
31. September 8, 2004 – Poland 1 England 2 (World Cup qualifier; Chorzow)
32. February 9, 2005 – England 0 Netherlands 0 (Friendly; Villa Park)
33. March 25, 2005 – England 4 Northern Ireland 0 (World Cup qualifier; Old Trafford)
34. March 30, 2005 – England 2 Azerbaijan (World Cup qualifier; St James' Park) One goal

Heading for victory: Gerrard makes it England 3 Switzerland 0 at Euro 2004

Heading for victory: Gerrard makes it England 3 Switzerland 0 at Euro 2004

Age 25
35. August 17, 2005 – Denmark 4 England 1 (Friendly; Copenhagen)
36. September 3, 2005 – Wales 0 England 1 (World Cup qualifier; Cardiff)
37. September 7, 2005 – Northern Ireland 1 England 0 (World Cup qualifier; Belfast)
38. October 8, 2005 – England 1 Austria 0 (World Cup qualifier; Old Trafford)
39. November 12, 2005 – Argentina 2 England 3 (Friendly; Geneva)
40. March 1, 2006 – England 2 Uruguay 1 (Friendly; Old Trafford)

Age 26
41. May 30, 2006 – England 3 Hungary 1 (Friendly; Old Trafford) One goal
42. June 3, 2006 – England 6 Jamaica 0 (Friendly; Old Trafford)
43. June 10, 2006 – England 1 Paraguay 0 (FIFA World Cup, group stage; Frankfurt)
44. June 15, 2006 – England 2 Trinidad and Tobago 0 (FIFA World Cup, group stage; Nuremburg) One goal
45. June 20, 2006 – Sweden 2 England 2 (FIFA World Cup, group stage; Cologne) One goal
46. June 25, 2006 – England 1 Ecuador 0 (FIFA World Cup, second round; Stuttgart)
47. July 1, 2006 – England 0 Portugal 0 (FIFA World Cup, quarter-finals; Gelsenkirchen) Had penalty saved in shoot-out
48. August 16, 2006 – England 4 Greece 0 (Friendly; Old Trafford)
49. September 2, 2006 – England 5 Andorra 0 (European Championships qualifier; Old Trafford) One goal
50. September 6, 2006 – Macedonia 0 England 1 (European Championships qualifier; Skopje)
51. October 7, 2006 – England 0 Macedonia 0 (European Championships qualifier; Old Trafford)
52. November 15, 2006 – Netherlands 1 England 1 (Friendly; Amsterdam)
53. February 7, 2007 – England 0 Spain 1 (Friendly; Old Trafford)
54. March 24, 2007 – Israel 0 England 0 (European Championships qualifier; Tel Aviv)
55. March 28, 2007 – Andorra 0 England 3 (European Championships qualifier; Barcelona) Two goals

Agony: Ricardo, the Portugal goalkeeper, gets a hand to Gerrard's spot-kick as England crash out at the quarter-finals of the 2006 World Cup

Agony: Ricardo, the Portugal goalkeeper, gets a hand to Gerrard's spot-kick as England crash out at the quarter-finals of the 2006 World Cup

Age 27
56. June 1, 2007 – England 1 Brazil 1 (Friendly; Wembley)
57. June 6, 2007 – Estonia 0 England 3 (European Championships qualifier; Tallinn)
58. September 8, 2007 – England 3 Israel 0 (European Championships qualifier; Wembley)
59. September 12, 2007 – England 3 Russia 0 (European Championships qualifier; Wembley)
60. October 13, 2007 – England 3 Estonia 0 (European Championships qualifier; Wembley)
61. October 17, 2007 – Russia 2 England 1 (European Championships qualifier; Moscow)
62. November 16, 2007 – Austria 0 England 1 (Friendly; Vienna)
63. November 21, 2007 – England 2 Croatia 3 (European Championships qualifier; Wembley)
64. February 6, 2008 – England 2 Switzerland 1 (Friendly; Wembley)
65. March 26, 2008 – France 1 England 0 (Friendly; Paris)
66. May 28, 2008 – England 2 United States 0 (Friendly; Wembley) One goal

Age 28
67. June 1, 2008 – Trinidad and Tobago 0 England 3 (Friendly; Port of Spain)
68. August 20, 2008 – England 2 Czech Republic 2 (Friendly; Wembley)
69. October 11, 2008 – England 5 Kazakhstan 1 (World Cup qualifier; Wembley)
70. October 15, 2008 – Belarus 1 England 3 (World Cup qualifier; Minsk) One goal
71. March 28, 2009 – England 4 Slovakia 0 (Friendly; Wembley)
72. April 1, 2009 – England 2 Ukraine 1 (Friendly; Wembley)

Get in! Gerrard with his arms aloft after opening the scoring against Belarus in a World Cup qualifier

Get in! Gerrard with his arms aloft after opening the scoring against Belarus in a World Cup qualifier

Age 29
73. June 6, 2009 – Kazakhstan 0 England 4 (World Cup qualifier; Almaty)
74. June 10, 2009 – England 6 Andorra 0 (World Cup qualifier; Wembley)
75. September 5, 2009 – England 2 Slovenia 1 (Friendly; Wembley)
76. September 9, 2009 – England 5 Croatia 1 (World Cup qualifier; Wembley) Two goals
77. October 10, 2009 – Ukraine 1 England 0 (World Cup qualifier; Dnepropetrovsk)
78. March 3, 2010 – England 3 Egypt 1 (Friendly; Wembley)
79. May 24, 2010 – England 3 Mexico 1 (Friendly; Wembley)

Age 30
80. May 30, 2010 – Japan 1 England 2 (Friendly; Graz)
81. June 12, 2010 – England 1 United States 1 (FIFA World Cup, group stage; Rustenburg) One goal
82. June 18, 2010 – Algeria 0 England 0 (FIFA World Cup, group stage; Kaapstad)
83. June 23, 2010 – Slovenia 0 England 1 (FIFA World Cup, group stage; Ibhayl)
84. June 27, 2010 – Germany 4 England 1 (FIFA World Cup, second round; Bloemfontein)
85. August 11, 2010 – England 2 Hungary 1 (Friendly; Wembley) Two goals
86. September 3, 2010 – England 4 Bulgaria 0 (European Championships qualifier; Wembley)
87. September 7, 2010 – Switzerland 1 England 3 (European Championships qualifier; Basel)
88. October 12, 2010 – England 0 Montenegro 0 (European Championships qualifier; Wembley)
89. November 17, 2010 – England 1 France 2 (Friendly; Wembley)

The lows: Gerrard's face is a picture of despair after England are ripped apart by Germany in the World Cup second round in 2010

The lows: Gerrard's face is a picture of despair after England are ripped apart by Germany in the World Cup second round in 2010

Age 31
90. February 29, 2012 – England 2 Netherlands 3 (Friendly; Wembley)
91. May 26, 2012 – Norway 0 England 1 (Friendly; Oslo)

Age 32
92. June 2, 2012 – England 1 Belgium 0 (Friendly; Wembley)
93. June 11, 2012 – France 1 England 1 (UEFA European Championships, group stage; Donetsk)
94. June 15, 2012 – Sweden 2 England 3 (UEFA European Championships, group stage; kyiv)
95. June 19, 2012 – England 1 Ukraine 0 (UEFA European Championships, group stage; Donetsk)
96. June 24, 2012 – England 0 Italy 0 (UEFA European Championships, quarter-finals; Kyiv) Scored in penalty shoot-out
97. September 7, 2012 – Moldova 0 England 5 (World Cup qualifier; Chisinau)
98. September 11, 2012 – England 1 Ukraine 1 (World Cup qualifier; Wembley) Sent off
99. October 16, 2012 – Poland 1 England 1 (World Cup qualifier; Warsaw)

Steven Gerrard wins his 100th cap for England

England's midfield lion: Sportsmail pays tribute as Gerrard becomes the sixth player to reach a century of caps

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UPDATED:

23:22 GMT, 12 November 2012

When Steven Gerrard leads out England on Wednesday evening in their friendly against Sweden, he will join an exclusive club of Englishmen who have won a century of caps.

Gerrard will become the sixth player to achieve the feat after Billy Wright, Bobby Charlton, Bobby Moore, Peter Shilton and David Beckham.

And like these legends before him, no England fan can fault Gerrard’s commitment to the cause over these past 12 years.

History man: Steven Gerrard will win his 100th cap for England this Wednesday against Sweden - 12 years and six months after his first

History man: Steven Gerrard will win his 100th cap for England this Wednesday against Sweden – 12 years and six months after his first

GERRARD'S RECORD

Caps: 99 Won: 64 Drawn: 23 Lost: 12

Goals: 19 Yellow cards: 19 Red cards: 1

Since making his debut against Ukraine as a fresh-faced youngster a day after his 20th birthday in May 2000, the Liverpool man has produced regular Herculean performances right across the midfield.

He has contributed 19 goals for the cause, pinged hundreds of his trademark cross-field passes and ran the show against some of the finest midfielders in the world.

His manager, Roy Hodgson led the tributes this week: ‘He is an outstanding footballer and a very mature, thinking football man and I’m delighted I’m going to be the manager when he gets that 100th cap. I will regard that as an honour.’

In honour of Gerrard’s century, Sportsmail looks back at some of his finest performances for the Three Lions.

CAP ONE: May 31, 2000 – England 2 Ukraine 0

Having broken through at Liverpool, the 19-year-old Gerrard had caught the eye of England manager Kevin Keegan and was selected for the squad heading to Belgium and Holland for the European Championships.

At this point, he hadn’t been fully capped for England and Keegan left it until the last minute to test him out – alongside Paul Scholes in a pre-tournament Wembley warm-up with Ukraine.

And Gerrard produced the first of many impressive performances in a perfunctory 2-0 England win, secured through goals by Robbie Fowler and Tony Adams. His range of passing and bite in the tackle were really starting to develop as he entered his twenties.

If the cap fits... A youthful Gerrard is presented with his first full England cap by then manager Kevin Keegan at Bisham Abbey in May 2000

If the cap fits… A youthful Gerrard is presented with his first full England cap by then manager Kevin Keegan at Bisham Abbey in May 2000

On the rampage: Wearing an unfamiliar number two shirt, Gerrard made his England debut in a pre-Euro 2000 warm-up with Ukraine at Wembley

On the rampage: Wearing an unfamiliar number two shirt, Gerrard made his England debut in a pre-Euro 2000 warm-up with Ukraine at Wembley

CAP NINE: September
1, 2001 – Germany 1 England 5

The greatest night in the modern England era and one that bred optimism that Sven Goran Eriksson’s ‘Golden Generation’ could beat the very best in the world and, perhaps, end the silverware drought.

On a magical night in Munich, Gerrard ran the show, scoring his first goal in an England shirt to give the visitors the lead in first-half stoppage time and slipping Liverpool teammate Michael Owen away for the fourth.

Alas, as we now know, that glorious night proved to be something of a false dawn and 11 years further on, we are still waiting desperately for that taste of success.

Bound for the bottom corner: Gerrard (number four) scores from the edge of the penalty area to put England into a 2-1 lead against Germany in Munich

Bound for the bottom corner: Gerrard (number four) scores from the edge of the penalty area to put England into a 2-1 lead against Germany in Munich

Glorious night: ...And he celebrates accordingly. England went on to win the World Cup qualifier 5-1.

Glorious night: …And he celebrates accordingly. England went on to win the World Cup qualifier 5-1.

CAP 22: March 31, 2004 – Sweden 1 England 0

The last time England travelled to Sweden for a friendly was also a landmark occasion for Gerrard who, as a veteran of just 22 caps, was handed the captain’s armband for the first time by Eriksson.

Both sides had an eye on that summer’s European Championships, but also on the crucial club run-in, and so Gerrard only played an hour before handing the armband to Gareth Southgate.

It was a characteristically industrious performance from Gerrard but, despite England having the best chances, Sweden won through Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s goal just after half-time.

Captain fantastic: Gerrard wore the England armband for the first time in March 2004, but he couldn't prevent the side losing 1-0 to Sweden

Captain fantastic: Gerrard wore the England armband for the first time in March 2004, but he couldn't prevent the side losing 1-0 to Sweden

Cap 76: September 9th, 2009 – England 5 Croatia 1

One of the finest England displays of the Fabio Capello era, the team secured their place at the World Cup finals in South Africa in resounding fashion.

And Gerrard was outstanding even in a team of excellent performers, putting in arguably his best 90 minutes for his country. He put England two-up after 18 minutes, sprinting in unnoticed at the back post with a header from Aaron Lennon’s deep cross. Gerrard had supplied Lennon in the first place.

His second and England’s fourth, on 68 minutes, was the culmination of a great team move involving Gareth Barry and Wayne Rooney – Gerrard scored with another header from Rooney’s cross.

Rising high: With an incredible leap, Gerrard converts Wayne Rooney's cross to put England 4-0 up against Croatia at Wembley

Rising high: With an incredible leap, Gerrard converts Wayne Rooney's cross to put England 4-0 up against Croatia at Wembley

First class: Gerrard's double helped secure England's place in the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa

First class: Gerrard's double helped secure England's place in the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa

Cap 81: June 12th, 2010 – England 1 United States 1

Having breezed through qualifying, Capello’s England entered the World Cup finals in South Africa in a hopeful frame of mind – something only enhanced when Gerrard gave them the lead after just four minutes of the tournament opener with the USA.

But such early promise wasn’t sustained and England surrendered the initiative when Robert Green fumbled the ball for the equaliser. In a largely listless showing, captain Gerrard was the only player who was lion-hearted.

Ultimately, it would just be another tournament to underline England's frailties on the world stage.

Perfect start: Just four minutes into the World Cup opener with the United States and Gerrard fired England into the lead

Perfect start: Just four minutes into the World Cup opener with the United States and Gerrard fired England into the lead

Cap 85 – August 11, 2010 England 2 Hungary 1

A year on from the high of thrashing Croatia and faith in English football has come full circle following the World Cup debacle. Capello lumbers on in charge and, in the first match back, England are heading to a miserable defeat at home to Hungary.

Enter skipper Gerrard to change the mood. Two great goals in the space of four minutes silence the boo-boys and prove life can go on. His first is a peach from 30 yards following a typically bustling run and his second sees him outwit three defenders inside the box before poking home.

Sure-footed: Gerrard manoeuvres round three Hungarian defenders for his second goal, before toe-poking home

Sure-footed: Gerrard manoeuvres round three Hungarian defenders for his second goal, before toe-poking home

Life goes on: Gerrard's double in this friendly gave England cause for optimism after their abysmal World Cup

Life goes on: Gerrard's double in this friendly gave England cause for optimism after their abysmal World Cup

Cap 95: June 19, 2012 – Ukraine 0 England 1

Not England’s finest performance by any means, but by some miracle, Hodgson’s side had made it into the last eight of Euro 2012 – and as group winners.

Rooney acknowledged afterwards that this was Gerrard’s finest England performance and the two combined for the winning goal against host nation Ukraine. Gerrard found room for a cross from the right, which took a couple of fortuitous deflections and fell to Rooney to head in at the far post.

With Gerrard tireless in midfield, England preserved their slender advantage and set up a quarter-final with Italy.

We're through! Gerrard celebrates after England beat Ukraine to reach the quarter-finals of Euro 2012

We're through! Gerrard celebrates after England beat Ukraine to reach the quarter-finals of Euro 2012

WHO'S NEXT: CAN GERRARD CATCH UP WITH THESE GREATS

Number of caps – Name, Years played for England (clubs)

125 – Peter Shilton 1970-1990 (Leicester City, Stoke City, Nottingham Forest, Southampton, Derby County)
115 – David Beckham 1996-2009 (Manchester United, Real Madrid, LA Galaxy, AC Milan)
108 – Bobby Moore 1962-1973 (West Ham United)
106 – Bobby Charlton 1958-1970 (Manchester United)
105 – Billy Wright 1946-1959 (Wolverhampton Wanderers)

GERRARD'S ENGLAND CAREER IN FULL

Age 20
1. May 31, 2000 – England 2 Ukraine 0 (Friendly; Wembley)
2. June 17, 2000 – England 1 Germany 0 (UEFA European Championships, Group stage; Charleroi)
3. March 24, 2001 – England 2 Finland 1 (World Cup qualifier, Anfield)
4. May 25, 2001 – England 4 Mexico 0 (Friendly, Pride Park)

You're going nowhere: Gerrard gets shirty with Finland on his third England appearance, a World Cup qualifier at Anfield in March 2001

You're going nowhere: Gerrard gets shirty with Finland on his third England appearance, a World Cup qualifier at Anfield in March 2001

Age 21
5. June 6, 2001 – Greece 0 England 2 (World Cup qualifier; Athens)
6. September 1, 2001 – Germany 1 England 5 (World Cup qualifier; Munich) One goal
7. September 5, 2001 – England 2 Albania 0 (World Cup qualifier; St James' Park)
8. October 6, 2001 – England 2 Greece 2 (World Cup qualifier; Old Trafford)
9. February 13, 2002 – Netherlands 1 England 1 (Friendly; Amsterdam)
10.April 17, 2002 – England 4 Paraguay 0 (Friendly; Anfield)

Age 22
11. September 7, 2002 – England 1 Portugal 1 (Friendly; Villa Park)
12. October 12, 2002 – Slovakia 1 England 2 (European Championships qualifier; Bratislava)
13. October 16, 2002 – England 2 Macedonia 2 (European Championships qualifier; St Mary's) One goal
14. March 29, 2003 – Liechtenstein 0 England 2 (European Championships qualifier; Vaduz)
15. April 2, 2003 – England 2 Turkey 0 (European Championship qualifier; Stadium of Light)
16. May 22, 2003 – South Africa 1 England 2 (Friendly; Durban)

Technique: Gerrard finds the net through a crowd of Macedonian defenders in the Euro 2004 qualifier at Southampton

Technique: Gerrard finds the net through a crowd of Macedonian defenders in the Euro 2004 qualifier at Southampton

Age 23
17. June 3, 2003 – England 2 Serbia and Montenegro 1 (Friendly; Walkers Stadium) One goal
18. June 11, 2003 – England 2 Slovakia 1 (European Championships qualifier; Riverside Stadium)
19. August 20, 2003 – England 3 Croatia 1 (Friendly; Portman Road)
20. September 10, 2003 – England 2 Liechtenstein 0 (European Championships qualifier; Old Trafford)
21. October 11, 2003 – Turkey 0 England 0 (European Championships qualifier; Istanbul)
22. March 31, 2004 – Sweden 1 England 0 (Friendly; Gothenburg) First game as captain

Age 24
23. June 1, 2004 – England 1 Japan 1 (Friendly; City of Manchester Stadium)
24. June 5, 2004 – England 6 Iceland 1 (Friendly; City of Manchester Stadium)
25. June 13, 2004 – France 2 England 1 (UEFA European Championships, group stage; Lisbon)
26. June 17, 2004 – England 3 Switzerland 0 (UEFA European Championships, group stage; Coimbra) One goal
27. June 21, 2004 – England 4 Croatia 2 (UEFA European Championships, group stage; Lisbon)
28. June 24, 2004 – Portugal 2 England 2 (UEFA European Championships, quarter-final; Lisbon)
29. August 18, 2004 – England 3 Ukraine 0 (Friendly; St James' Park)
30. September 4, 2004 – Austria 2 England 2 (World Cup qualifier; Vienna) One goal
31. September 8, 2004 – Poland 1 England 2 (World Cup qualifier; Chorzow)
32. February 9, 2005 – England 0 Netherlands 0 (Friendly; Villa Park)
33. March 25, 2005 – England 4 Northern Ireland 0 (World Cup qualifier; Old Trafford)
34. March 30, 2005 – England 2 Azerbaijan (World Cup qualifier; St James' Park) One goal

Heading for victory: Gerrard makes it England 3 Switzerland 0 at Euro 2004

Heading for victory: Gerrard makes it England 3 Switzerland 0 at Euro 2004

Age 25
35. August 17, 2005 – Denmark 4 England 1 (Friendly; Copenhagen)
36. September 3, 2005 – Wales 0 England 1 (World Cup qualifier; Cardiff)
37. September 7, 2005 – Northern Ireland 1 England 0 (World Cup qualifier; Belfast)
38. October 8, 2005 – England 1 Austria 0 (World Cup qualifier; Old Trafford)
39. November 12, 2005 – Argentina 2 England 3 (Friendly; Geneva)
40. March 1, 2006 – England 2 Uruguay 1 (Friendly; Old Trafford)

Age 26
41. May 30, 2006 – England 3 Hungary 1 (Friendly; Old Trafford) One goal
42. June 3, 2006 – England 6 Jamaica 0 (Friendly; Old Trafford)
43. June 10, 2006 – England 1 Paraguay 0 (FIFA World Cup, group stage; Frankfurt)
44. June 15, 2006 – England 2 Trinidad and Tobago 0 (FIFA World Cup, group stage; Nuremburg) One goal
45. June 20, 2006 – Sweden 2 England 2 (FIFA World Cup, group stage; Cologne) One goal
46. June 25, 2006 – England 1 Ecuador 0 (FIFA World Cup, second round; Stuttgart)
47. July 1, 2006 – England 0 Portugal 0 (FIFA World Cup, quarter-finals; Gelsenkirchen) Had penalty saved in shoot-out
48. August 16, 2006 – England 4 Greece 0 (Friendly; Old Trafford)
49. September 2, 2006 – England 5 Andorra 0 (European Championships qualifier; Old Trafford) One goal
50. September 6, 2006 – Macedonia 0 England 1 (European Championships qualifier; Skopje)
51. October 7, 2006 – England 0 Macedonia 0 (European Championships qualifier; Old Trafford)
52. November 15, 2006 – Netherlands 1 England 1 (Friendly; Amsterdam)
53. February 7, 2007 – England 0 Spain 1 (Friendly; Old Trafford)
54. March 24, 2007 – Israel 0 England 0 (European Championships qualifier; Tel Aviv)
55. March 28, 2007 – Andorra 0 England 3 (European Championships qualifier; Barcelona) Two goals

Agony: Ricardo, the Portugal goalkeeper, gets a hand to Gerrard's spot-kick as England crash out at the quarter-finals of the 2006 World Cup

Agony: Ricardo, the Portugal goalkeeper, gets a hand to Gerrard's spot-kick as England crash out at the quarter-finals of the 2006 World Cup

Age 27
56. June 1, 2007 – England 1 Brazil 1 (Friendly; Wembley)
57. June 6, 2007 – Estonia 0 England 3 (European Championships qualifier; Tallinn)
58. September 8, 2007 – England 3 Israel 0 (European Championships qualifier; Wembley)
59. September 12, 2007 – England 3 Russia 0 (European Championships qualifier; Wembley)
60. October 13, 2007 – England 3 Estonia 0 (European Championships qualifier; Wembley)
61. October 17, 2007 – Russia 2 England 1 (European Championships qualifier; Moscow)
62. November 16, 2007 – Austria 0 England 1 (Friendly; Vienna)
63. November 21, 2007 – England 2 Croatia 3 (European Championships qualifier; Wembley)
64. February 6, 2008 – England 2 Switzerland 1 (Friendly; Wembley)
65. March 26, 2008 – France 1 England 0 (Friendly; Paris)
66. May 28, 2008 – England 2 United States 0 (Friendly; Wembley) One goal

Age 28
67. June 1, 2008 – Trinidad and Tobago 0 England 3 (Friendly; Port of Spain)
68. August 20, 2008 – England 2 Czech Republic 2 (Friendly; Wembley)
69. October 11, 2008 – England 5 Kazakhstan 1 (World Cup qualifier; Wembley)
70. October 15, 2008 – Belarus 1 England 3 (World Cup qualifier; Minsk) One goal
71. March 28, 2009 – England 4 Slovakia 0 (Friendly; Wembley)
72. April 1, 2009 – England 2 Ukraine 1 (Friendly; Wembley)

Get in! Gerrard with his arms aloft after opening the scoring against Belarus in a World Cup qualifier

Get in! Gerrard with his arms aloft after opening the scoring against Belarus in a World Cup qualifier

Age 29
73. June 6, 2009 – Kazakhstan 0 England 4 (World Cup qualifier; Almaty)
74. June 10, 2009 – England 6 Andorra 0 (World Cup qualifier; Wembley)
75. September 5, 2009 – England 2 Slovenia 1 (Friendly; Wembley)
76. September 9, 2009 – England 5 Croatia 1 (World Cup qualifier; Wembley) Two goals
77. October 10, 2009 – Ukraine 1 England 0 (World Cup qualifier; Dnepropetrovsk)
78. March 3, 2010 – England 3 Egypt 1 (Friendly; Wembley)
79. May 24, 2010 – England 3 Mexico 1 (Friendly; Wembley)

Age 30
80. May 30, 2010 – Japan 1 England 2 (Friendly; Graz)
81. June 12, 2010 – England 1 United States 1 (FIFA World Cup, group stage; Rustenburg) One goal
82. June 18, 2010 – Algeria 0 England 0 (FIFA World Cup, group stage; Kaapstad)
83. June 23, 2010 – Slovenia 0 England 1 (FIFA World Cup, group stage; Ibhayl)
84. June 27, 2010 – Germany 4 England 1 (FIFA World Cup, second round; Bloemfontein)
85. August 11, 2010 – England 2 Hungary 1 (Friendly; Wembley) Two goals
86. September 3, 2010 – England 4 Bulgaria 0 (European Championships qualifier; Wembley)
87. September 7, 2010 – Switzerland 1 England 3 (European Championships qualifier; Basel)
88. October 12, 2010 – England 0 Montenegro 0 (European Championships qualifier; Wembley)
89. November 17, 2010 – England 1 France 2 (Friendly; Wembley)

The lows: Gerrard's face is a picture of despair after England are ripped apart by Germany in the World Cup second round in 2010

The lows: Gerrard's face is a picture of despair after England are ripped apart by Germany in the World Cup second round in 2010

Age 31
90. February 29, 2012 – England 2 Netherlands 3 (Friendly; Wembley)
91. May 26, 2012 – Norway 0 England 1 (Friendly; Oslo)

Age 32
92. June 2, 2012 – England 1 Belgium 0 (Friendly; Wembley)
93. June 11, 2012 – France 1 England 1 (UEFA European Championships, group stage; Donetsk)
94. June 15, 2012 – Sweden 2 England 3 (UEFA European Championships, group stage; kyiv)
95. June 19, 2012 – England 1 Ukraine 0 (UEFA European Championships, group stage; Donetsk)
96. June 24, 2012 – England 0 Italy 0 (UEFA European Championships, quarter-finals; Kyiv) Scored in penalty shoot-out
97. September 7, 2012 – Moldova 0 England 5 (World Cup qualifier; Chisinau)
98. September 11, 2012 – England 1 Ukraine 1 (World Cup qualifier; Wembley) Sent off
99. October 16, 2012 – Poland 1 England 1 (World Cup qualifier; Warsaw)

Josh McEachran dreams of Chelsea despite Middlesbrough success

EXCLUSIVE: Josh gets his teenage kicks with Boro but he still dreams of Chelsea

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UPDATED:

23:00 GMT, 8 November 2012

Did you ever think you would hear a teenage Premier League footballer use the phrase ‘jumpers for goalposts’ Meet Chelsea’s Josh McEachran. That was his childhood growing up in Oxfordshire.

He was handed his first Chelsea strip by the club at the age of eight and wore it every day in the family back garden, if he could be bothered to get out of his school uniform. Two versus two with his three brothers, who can all play a bit and are all midfielders.

Josh, 19, is the oldest so teamed up with George, the youngest, now 12 — who has followed Josh’s footsteps, and their parents Julie and Mark’s car journeys, to the Chelsea academy. Their opponents were Billy, now 14, and second oldest Zak, 18, who was released by Chelsea five years ago and now plays for Oxford City. Got that Josh and George v Billy and Zak.

Shining light: Josh McEachran is loving life on Teesside after being sent out on loan from Chelsea

Shining light: Josh McEachran is loving life on Teesside after being sent out on loan from Chelsea

Loan star: Josh McEachran

Blue boy: Josh McEachran

‘We were lucky we had a good relationship with the neighbours and they’d always throw the ball back,’ Josh said. ‘It was all we did. Two v two after school every day. As soon as we got in, we’d chuck the bags down and head out there. It was a small garden, no grass on it, just mud, we’d put down little jumpers for goalposts, get a proper ball out and batter the fences.

‘It was really competitive. They are all good footballers and it usually ended in a little row and we’d sort it out the next night. My grandad played semi-pro in Scotland and my dad only played locally but he reckons he could play. I think he thinks he is better than he was but it’s weird he has sons who are all pretty good.’

Asked who is the best of the McEachrans, he gives it some thought, blushes and smiles when he nominates himself. It is a rare moment of bravado from a shy young man who is certainly not afraid to express himself on a football pitch.

Those who have seen him play will not be surprised that his skills were honed in an enclosed backyard. He can also play a bit. He has played in 22 Chelsea games since his debut in the Champions League against MSK Zilina two years ago when he became the first player to be born after the competition started (November 1992) to play in it.

On the ball: The Oxford-born midfielder is one of four football-mad and rather talented brothers

On the ball: The Oxford-born midfielder is one of four football-mad and rather talented brothers

But a loan spell at Swansea last season fell flat, despite his style suiting Brendan Rodgers. He played five games in five months, three as a substitute.

‘I went at a bad time,’ he said. ‘They wanted to stay up, they were playing really well and Brendan didn’t want to change the team so it was tough to get in. Gylfi Sigurdsson came in a week before me, he was on fire from the start so he had to play. They did well and I can’t blame him.’

Now on loan at Middlesbrough, he is a regular in their midfield, playing a pivotal role in Tony Mowbray’s typically free-flowing side, who can go top of the Championship with a victory over Sheffield Wednesday on Friday night.

McEachran is enjoying his time on Teesside. He lives at the luxurious Rockcliffe Hall adjacent to the training ground, spending an ideal day off with his girlfriend, whom he mentions a lot, even though she is supposed to be off limits. She is Coronation Street actress Brooke Vincent, aka Sophie Webster.

It is the football I’m interested in and McEachran believes the move to the most northern Championship club is helping his development. It is working for Middlesbrough, who are looking for their biggest crowd for four years, despite the Sky cameras, after luring fans back with a half-price ticket offer. It helps that Mowbray’s methods are working.

Pass master: McEachran (left) has been a big hit at Middlesbrough playing under Tony Mowbray

Pass master: McEachran (left) has been a big hit at Middlesbrough playing under Tony Mowbray

Happy couple: Josh with girlfriend Brooke Vincent

Happy couple: Josh with girlfriend Brooke Vincent

McEachran said: ‘I could have gone to a few teams but I met Tony, got on with him and his assistant Mark Venus, saw the training ground. I know his style is to get the ball down, pass it through midfield, so it was an easy choice. He drums it in every day in training. I am playing games, which is what I came to do, and Middlesbrough are doing well. The standard is good, really competitive, anyone can beat anyone.

‘My body is getting used to it but I am feeling fitter than ever and training is not as intense because of all the games.’

McEachran is under constant review from Chelsea and he is in regular contact with assistant first-team coach Steve Holland.

He has watched recordings of seen every Chelsea game. They could recall him in January, so he wants to be primed for that. While Middlesbrough is a happy temporary location, he did not sign a five-year contract last season for the sake of it.

He said: ‘I don’t see Mata, Hazard or Oscar in my position. It would be good to play with those players, they are all on fire. I am a deeper midfielder, so that’s my favourite position, where Mikel, Lampard or Ramires play.

‘I’ve been there since I was seven and came through the youth system, so that is my dream club. That is who I want to play for, but this experience can only help me.’

Arsene Wenger slams Roy Hodgson over Jack Wilshere England recall

Wilshere needed a break! Wenger slams Hodgson over England recall just three games into fragile star's comeback

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UPDATED:

22:50 GMT, 8 November 2012

Arsene Wenger believes Roy Hodgson is
taking an unnecessary risk with Jack Wilshere by selecting the young
Arsenal midfielder for what he considers to be a meaningless
international fixture designed only to make money.

Wilshere has played in only three
games since missing 17 months with a stress fracture injury but has
still been included in Hodgson’s England squad to face Sweden next
Wednesday, as Sportsmail revealed.

On the comeback trail: Jack Wilshere (right) in action for Arsenal on Tuesday

On the comeback trail: Jack Wilshere (right) in action for Arsenal on Tuesday

His club manager insisted he has reached a ‘good compromise’ with Hodgson — which is expected to mean Wilshere is only used for a maximum of 45 minutes — but maintained the recall has come too early for the 20-year-old.

Wenger said: ‘I wouldn’t like to come out on my feelings on this because they are not very positive. I think it is early for him. He has played three games now and only one full game. He has been out for 17 months. I think he needs 10 days of good recovery. Let’s touch wood and hope he gets through well.

'The ideal solution would be yes [he
wouldn’t be involved]. It is as it is. He has played three games now,
and of the three games only one [has been a] full game.

'He has been out for 17 months. It’s good to have a little break after three games.

'What we like of him is he won’t play over the weekend so will recover. I think he needs 10 days of good recovery.

Wenger revealed he was expecting the call-up because the midfielder is banned for Saturday’s match against Fulham, after his red card against Manchester United.

He added: ‘I saw it coming because of the suspension and the fact that England are looking for some midfielders. What helps is that he is not playing over the weekend because he is suspended, of course. Roy wants him in the group.’

Young Lion: Wilshere in the England shirt

Young Lion: Wilshere in the England shirt

Young Lion: Wilshere has not appeared in an England shirt since facing Switzerland in June 2011

Wilshere has admitted this week that he fears he might never be as good a player as he was before his long injury lay-off.

But Wenger insists that, slowly but surely, Wilshere will get better and better as his comeback intensifies.

'Jack is generous on the football
pitch – he gives 100 per cent. I feel physically, he is quite there –
slowly he gets stronger in every game. That means his basic fitness is good,' he said.

'Sometimes,
you need, when you accumulate games, to have a little rest again and to
build on that and to recover and then go even harder. For us, what is important to know, is to stop him before he gets to that point.'

Wenger is also unhappy Spain
midfielder Santi Cazorla will play a friendly match in Panama on
Wednesday night.

He said: ‘These friendlies in November — you don’t know
how they can prepare you for a game in February.

‘There are a lot of politics behind
these games because when you see some teams travelling during that
period, you think it is more to pay back some corporation rather than
preparing a team for the next official game. I believe the friendly
games are there as well to help some federations raise money playing
against big teams.’

Tottenham Hotspur scouting West Ham striker Andy Carroll for summer switch

Could Carroll be the answer for misfiring Spurs Tottenham scouting West Ham's on-loan striker with view to summer move

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UPDATED:

10:49 GMT, 6 November 2012

Tottenham are monitoring Andy Carroll’s form at West Ham as the White Hart Lane club consider strengthening their own attacking options.

The 23-year-old England striker is on loan from Liverpool with the option of a permanent 17million deal next summer.

Spurs would be unable to swoop for Carroll in January due to regulations preventing players appearing for more than two teams during the same domestic season. The North Londoners are, however, considering a summer move for the England striker should he build on his impressive start at Upton Park.

Sportsmail understands that Tottenham scouts have been impressed with the Geodie's commanding displays since his shock loan move from Anfield and, should he begin to add goals to his performances, Carroll could be the subject of firmer interest at the end of the season.

Try as he might: Andy Carroll is yet to score for West Ham, but Spurs are keen

Try as he might: Andy Carroll is yet to score for West Ham, but Spurs are keen

Try as he might: Andy Carroll is yet to score for West Ham, but Spurs are interested

However, Liverpool are open to offers as they look to finance further rebuilding in January.

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas has Jermain Defoe and the unsettled Emmanuel Adebayor but is exploring options.

The Portuguese manager came in for fierce criticism from Spurs fans on Saturday when he swapped one striker for another with his side chasing the game.

As Defoe made his exit straight down the tunnel in the 57th-minute, boos rang out around White Hart Lane.

Summer signing Adebayor was returning to the squad after missing the past three games with illness and a back injury.

The Togolese striker has only played five times this season and is yet to start a match, with Villas-Boas preferring to play Defoe up front alone with three attacking midfielders behind him.

Frustrations: Spurs fans were unhappy when Emmanuel Adebayor replaced Jermain Defoe like-for-like with the team 1-0 down at home to Wigan

Frustrations: Spurs fans were unhappy when Emmanuel Adebayor replaced Jermain Defoe like-for-like with the team 1-0 down at home to Wigan

Later, Villas-Boas would not rule out playing Defoe and Adebayor up top together in future, saying: 'It's not impossible we will play with two strikers. We've seen that it can work.

'In the games when Adebayor was available he showed the quality striker that he is. We have him fit now and hopefully ready for the upcoming games.'