Steven Gerrard
England's Steven Gerrard challenges Holland's Arjen Robben during their international friendly match at Wembley Stadium in London.

Liverpool legend Alan Hansen believes caretaker Stuart Pearce should have chosen Steven Gerrard to be England captain, despite the midfielder's struggle with injuries.

Pearce named Tottenham's Scott Parker to lead England against the Netherlands on Wednesday night, but there has been no decision over who will lead the side in this summer's European Championships.

And Hansen remains adamant that the choice of captain is a "big issue" for whoever is in charge for the trip to Poland and the Ukraine and he considers Liverpool captain Gerrard to be the obvious choice to fill the role.

"When a new manager comes in, he usually has to make a big statement and the obvious way to do that with England is by naming a captain," Hansen told the Telegraph. "There are other areas to address, such as do you go for youth or stick with experience - most managers settle for a balance of both - but the captaincy is the big issue.

"Your captain has to be someone who will play every game, so I would have chosen Steven Gerrard, even though he has had his injuries.

"Who else is there long-term? I'm not a fan of goalkeepers as captain, so that rules out Joe Hart, while the only other option is Wayne Rooney. Wayne is a brilliant player, but he might not have the leadership qualities of Gerrard."

Meanwhile, Parker revealed that the Liverpool midfielder was the first to praise his selection as England captain for the friendly defeat to the Netherlands and insists there were not hard feelings between the pair.

"Steve was fine. He was the ultra-professional he is," Parker told the Evening Standard.

"He was the first person to come up to me and congratulate me and said he'd support me. That was

"You wouldn't expect anything else from such a great player."

Gerrard was substituted after half an hour last night when the midfielder pulled up with a tight hamstring.

The 31-year-old returned to Merseyside on Thursday to undergo fitness tests ahead of Liverpool's meeting with Arsenal on Saturday lunchtime.