by Katie B
I sit here thinking about one player in particular, a player who has not only made me ask the question but also made me put so much thought into my answer. So stand up Jamie Carragher.
They don’t make players like him anymore, a good old fashioned no-nonsense type of defender; that defender you’ll rate so highly if he plays for you, not so much if he does not. I rated him – hell I actually loved him – and I knew what he lacked in footballing ability he made up for with spirit, passion and a never say die attitude making him the perfect defender to stand tall at the heart of our defence.
You’d hear his voice bellow all around Anfield and his actions certainly gave his every bellowed order substance. We all dream of a team of Carraghers echoed around the world from the heart of the Kop to the stands of the Ataturk Stadium, literally sending shivers down your spine and knowing with every word you sung, you meant it.
From the time he threw his drained, cramped-up body in front of everything thrown by a desperate AC Milan, to the despondency of Cardiff after scoring an own goal in the cup final he merged the boundaries between us and them. He was one of us.
He was a fantastic player, captain, leader and servant who with just short of 500 appearances and so, so much more has forever carved in name as legend and was LFC to the core.
But you’ll realise I’ve written this in the past tense, simply because Carragher as a first teamer should be long in the past. As sad as that is.
He has never had pace, but he possessed the nous and sharpness to compensate. Now he is still bereft of pace but lacks that sharpness too. Our defence sits so deep with him in the team and we hinder Skrtel by playing him on his less preferred side. He no longer carries the team, they carry him.
At the weekend we not only played him in one of the biggest games of our season, we accommodated him by dropping an in-form Enrique and playing our best centre back Agger out of position. It was a baffling decision by Dalglish that was fortunate not to cost us our place in the final. Was there even a degree of sentiment behind it? I hope not.
Alas there is little room for sentiment in football because, quite bluntly, it no longer makes you competitive. So with this in mind Jamie Carragher is no longer what we need, no matter what the sentimental value he has to the club. I take no joy in writing that – in fact quite the opposite – but I guess there is the answer to my own question.