'I would say we are (better) now' the England captain said as his side prepare to host Germany for a friendly at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday.
England won’t see repeat of Germany embarrassment, vows Gerrard
England captain Steven Gerrard has vowed his side will not be humiliated by Germany in a friendly international at London’s Wembley Stadium on Tuesday.
Gerrard was a member of the England side that crashed out of the 2010 World Cup after a 4-1 defeat by old rivals Germany in South Africa.
England were outclassed in Bloemfontein by Joachim Loew’s men – but Liverpool midfielder Gerrard warned Germany not to expect such an easy ride in London.
Ahead of equalling Bobby Moore’s record of 108 England caps, Gerrard said: “I would say we are (better) now, and the reason I say that I feel that if we were to meet Germany tomorrow in a World Cup situation I don’t think we would leave the pitch having been beaten 4-1.
“I do feel we are a lot stronger. There is a good mix of youth and experience in the squad at the moment. We are all moving forward and improving all the time.
“I look back to the Chile result (losing 2-0 in a friendly at Wembley on Friday) and I come away from that game feeling different from a lot of people, having read what I read.
“I’m really confident that if we were to meet Chile further on into a World Cup competition we would have the players at full strength to go and beat them.
“They are always physical encounters and even though it is a friendly it is a game all the players are desperate to win and bounce back from the Chile performance.
“I know they (Germany) have got fantastic players, and not just in the starting XI, I know they are going to rest a few or make some changes.
“These are Champions League players that are coming in to replace the players that are being rested. It shows how strong they are in most positions and how much strength in depth they have got.”
At 33 years-old Gerrard is being managed through the internationals with the help of injections on a hip problem after starting every single Premier League game for his club this season.
“I have them every couple of years,” he said.
“I think my game returned when I had them two years ago. I surprised myself really and my game has been really good so I’m hoping I can get the same return from this set I’ve had.
“I’m alright. I’ve been carrying a niggle for the past two or three games around the hip area so I’ve had some treatment in my back area as I have done for many years to stay on top of it.
“It’s certainly a lot better than it was a week or 10 days ago.”
Roy Hodgson will be out to prevent back-to-back England defeats at Wembley for the first time in 36 years and will give Adam Lallana another chance to stake a claim for a Brazil 2014 squad spot after the Southampton midfielder made his international debut against Chile.
And the England manager insisted that although his players will respect Germany, they won’t be overawed.
He added: “You would be very surprised if we did not have respect for our opponents.
“We have great respect for them. And plenty of respect for ourselves. I would expect them to be equally respectful to us as we are to them.
“There are players that I want to bring on in the game because I intend to use this game like I used the Chile game, to air this squad if you like.
“Hopefully everyone, and I might not be able to promise that, at least the bulk of the players will at some stage get the chance to show what they can do.
“When March comes around, if I then say: ‘This is my squad’ and there aren’t people in that squad who’ve maybe been there for a while, they won’t be able to turn round and say: ‘You had me in the squad but never even gave me the chance to show what I can do.’”