This week the announcement was made that Jamie Carragher
would retire at the end of the season. A one club man and he has won it all except for the Premiership, it seems like now is the right time for him to finish his playing career. Since he announced that he would retire many other players and ex-players have decreed Carragher as a Legend for Liverpool. I do agree but there was a time where I would have rather seen him elsewhere.
Controversial? Not really.
Back in the late 90s after Carragher had broken through to the first team he started to struggle in the centre of defence. The team was struggling too but a few own goals against Man United did not help his cause, nor did the arrival of Sammi Hyypia or Henchoz too. Carragher was thrust to the wings as a full-back on either side. It seemed as though he was not a specialist in any position. He was no longer the best centre back, nor was he good on the wings either. Markus Babbels arrival and Christian Zieges the following season meant that Carragher had to fight even harder to keep on
playing. My thoughts at the time were that he was surplus to requirements. He was neither a great centre back or a great full back either. However, Liverpool had won the treble and Carragher was very much a main part of that team, but even so he wasn't that great.
In the league, Liverpool continued to struggle and in 2002 after a cup game against Arsenal, Carragher threw a coin back to a fan. For many this was the final straw and that for me at least it seemed better that he was not in the starting line-up or the squad.
However, as he has done throughout his career, he has fought hard for his spot and his flexibility (with England too) and his growing reliability has meant he has continued at Liverpool. I think that Benitez joining made Carragher into one of the best defenders in the Premiership and in
Europe. The organisational skills and partnership with Hyypia led Liverpool to the Champions League and FA Cup the year after. His exertions in the 2005 final showed his desire and commitment and led him to being recognised by Liverpool fans as one of the top ten players at Liverpool ever. His recent integration in the team have seen him at his best, his leadership qualities have shone through and have given greater calls for his Legendary status.
We all dream on a team of Carraghers! That is how the song goes and although I don’t feel that way, I can understand the love for a local lad who puts his all into Liverpool FC. Thank you for being a great servant.