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Taylor questions England commitment of Premiership stars

Former England manager Graham Taylor has hit out at the raft of withdrawals from Fabio Capello's squad for this week's friendly in Germany.

Taylor said: "I am one of those who places the Cross of St George at the forefront of everything."

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard and Manchester City keeper Joe Hart have all pulled out of the squad travelling to Germany today.

Gerrard and Lampard were forced to report to the England hotel on Sunday night - after Liverpool incensed Capello by announcing that their captain was out - before being sent home once FA medical staff were satisfied that they were indeed injured.

Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, Owen Hargreaves, Ashley Cole and Joe Cole had been ruled out before the Italian named his squad.

Taylor, who suffered the same problems as England manager between 1990-93, said: "The most important thing in this country is the international team.

"The problem I have is when players are ruled out for their country on a Wednesday then play for their clubs three days later. Their recovery never ceases to amaze me.

"I like the example of John Terry who, as captain, clearly has a foot injury yet wants to play and I expect him to play."

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