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Carragher right to answer back

Carragher right to answer back

Jul 12 2007

Red Watch by Andy Proudfoot, Liverpool Daily Post

Jamie Carragher celebrates

AS IF Jamie Carragher wasn’t already a Kop legend, his ten-minute broadcast phone call to castigate Arian Durham for calling him a ‘bottler’ on talkSPORT will surely cement his place in the Anfield Hall of Fame.

Not for Jamie the dignified silence, nor the dull platitudes routinely heard from professional footballers speaking of ‘time to let someone else have a chance’ or yearning to spend more time with their family.

Instead, he responded to a gratuitous insult by releasing a stream of invective that would be recognisable to any club footballer who felt badly done to by his manager’s selection policy, and who burned with injustice at his commitment being called into question.

In the days when vastly inflated salaries have dulled the modern player’s passion and fervour to the point where fans no longer bother to query whether they or the team care more about winning and losing, here was the raw emotion of someone who, while happy to accept the financial rewards his position brings him, indisputably burns with the fire of the true football fanatic, who above all others embodies the ‘fan on the pitch’

In voicing his honest frustration at being an ever-present in the England squad, yet continually overlooked for selection by Steve McClaren and his predecessor in favour of almost any Tom, Dick or Ledley who caught the eye besting mediocre Premiership forwards while he repulsed the best Europe had to offer, Jamie has done no more than verbalise what every football fan in the country has been wondering for the past five years.

Outside of Manchester there can’t be many who prefer the posing, complacent Ferdinand to the prospect of Carragher teaming up with John Terry to provide a centre-back partnership who would give their last breath to prevent a goal being scored.

While we should perhaps stop short of lauding Jamie’s apparent willingness to exact physical retribution against Durham, what a refreshing change it was to hear such an emotional, yet otherwise rational analysis of his situation in the England camp from a player who wants above all to play for club and country, rather than pick up his salary for just turning up.

I’ve no idea whether Jamie reads this column (actually I’ve no idea if anyone reads this column) but if so he’ll know I for one have wondered for a long time why he’s put up with the continual humiliation afforded him by Sven and McClaren. Surely no-one can blame him if he’s decided enough is enough.


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