Legend is a word that is used far too often these days to describe footballers, but Jamie Carragher deserves to be described as one. Carragher is a one club man, which is very rare in modern day football and he has played over 700 games for Liverpool making him second only to Ian Callaghan in most appearances for the club.
Carragher is a product of Liverpool’s Academy and gained early success with the club when he won the FA Youth Cup in 1996. He made his professional debut in the 1996-97 season and became a regular the following season. Carragher was used in a variety of positions in his early days, mostly at full back. But former manager Rafa Benitez preferred him as a centre back and partnered him alongside former Kop favourite Sami Hyypia and Carragher became one of the best centre backs in Europe.
Jamie Carragher has collected many trophies in his time at Liverpool, winning the League Cup 3 times, the FA Community Shield twice, the UEFA Super Cup twice, the FA Cup twice, the UEFA Cup and the UEFA Champions League.
Carragher’s biggest regret was not being able to win the Premiership with Liverpool, but you can’t have everything he has done not too badly as far as medal collecting goes. He was a key member in Liverpool’s remarkable 2001 treble winning season and his performance in Istanbul will be talked about for ever by Liverpool supporters as he put his body on the line time after time to keep the Italians out even though his body was in agony.
Carragher’s ability was appreciated at international level, 38 times he appeared for England. But he should have had more caps, but his versatility was his downfall as he was used in a variety of positions with England instead of his best position at centre back.
Carragher gave 110% in every game no matter what the score was and he was an example to everyone in his team. He not only was a tremendous defender and reader of the game, but his organisational skills were vital to Liverpool’s defence with his constant shouting and instructing to his colleagues in defence. Earlier this season Carragher had to watch most matches from the bench as Skrtel and Agger were the preferred partnership in defence as Carragher’s age became a factor. But Brendan Rodgers noticed that Liverpool’s defence needed a leader and communicator at the back as Liverpool were conceding too many goals and he brought Carragher back into the side and Liverpool have never looked backed in a great run of form in the latter part of the season as Liverpool’s defence became one of the meanest in the league, thanks to Carragher.
It is amazing how many times Carragher has been written off in recent years, experts have said he is getting too slow to play at the highest level, but Carragher just kept proving everyone wrong and no more than in this season when for the last 18 months or so, he has been used sparingly. But since his comeback into the team he has been outstanding and it is great to see him retire at the top and as a regular in the team.
Jamie Carragher is appreciated by the Liverpool supporters in song with the title “We All Dream Of A Team Of Carraghers” and now Liverpool will have a gaping hole in their defence trying to replace such a great defender like Carragher will not be an easy task for Brendan Rodgers, and as Steven Gerrard said recently that he wouldn’t like Brendan Rodgers’ job of replacing the great man.
Jamie Carragher will be forever known as a Liverpool Legend and he will never walk alone.