England skipper Steven Gerrard has been forced to explain his way out of a tricky situation, ahead of the Three Lions’ must-win World Cup qualifier against Montenegro on Friday.
Sitting next to his former Liverpool and current England coach Roy Hodgson, Gerrard vehemently denied telling Harry Redknapp that he wanted him to get the job when Fabio Capello quit ahead of Euro 2012.
Redknapp made no bones about his desire to coach England at the time and was the bookies’ favourite, but Hodgson pipped him to the post.
Excerpts from Redknapp’s autobiography have been published lately, many of them scornful of the FA.
Included is the former Portsmouth, West Ham and Spurs manager’s assertion that "all the senior players seemed to be up for me to get the [England] job” after Capello’s exit.
"At the time, I got quite a few text messages from players saying they would love me to manage England: Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry."
However, Gerrard insists that Redknapp is telling a porky pie (a lie), to use cockney parlance.
"I can clear it up. I didn't text Harry Redknapp's personal phone, I have never had his personal number,” Gerrard said at England’s pre-game presser, with Hodgson looking on owlishly beside him.
"But I am a big fan of Harry's and close friends with Jamie [Redknapp, Harry’s son and Gerrard’s former Liverpool and England team-mate].
"I had a conversation with Jamie round about that time when Harry was on everyone's lips. He was the favourite and it was only a matter of days before he was going to be manager.
"I said to Jamie on the phone 'send the best to your dad and, if he gets the job, we'll all back him and we'll support him'.
"Very soon after that, the FA decided that Roy Hodgson would be the next manager and I think, from the first conversation I had with Roy, I tried to back him and give him my best, and I was absolutely delighted he got the job.”
Meanwhile, Hodgson says that Gerrard’s friend and fellow Scouser, Wayne Rooney, can go on to become the most-capped Three Lions player of all-time.
Despite it seeming like he's been around forever, Wazza is just 27-years-old.
And Hodgson thinks it is likely that he will add many more caps to his current collection, to pass record holder Peter Shilton’s 125.
“Wayne could go through the roof when it comes to caps,” said Hodgson. “He has 84 already and he is a wonderful player.
“His performances for Manchester United in recent weeks have been first-class. David Moyes is delighted with him.
“I don't know if it's right for me to say there's one player who's a jewel, but I would want to concur he is a very important player who will be taking a lot of responsibility tomorrow.”