Are we still dreaming for a team of Carraghers? | Jamie Carragher

Are we still dreaming for a team of Carraghers? | Jamie Carragher

“We all dream of a team of Carraghers” goes the Kop chant, but exactly how long will it be before we have a team-less Carragher?

At the age of 33, Carragher’s best years are behind him, yet he remains a stalwart in the centre of defence.

While some may say he has lost his pace, I would question how much pace he had in the first place.

Instead, the Bootle-born defender possesses a greater understanding of the game that has helped him to amass a remarkable 679 appearances for Liverpool. He relies on his reading of the play to make blocks, tackles and interceptions, something that has made him the trustworthy defender he has been down the years.

However, with the summer acquisition of Uruguayan defender Sebastian Coates and Daniel Agger back from injury, is it time to start building a new centre-back partnership? This is not say Carragher is finished or will not start regularly this season for Liverpool, he remains a highly-valued member of the squad and will help us to collect points.

As shown by the comparison of this season and last seasons stats (below), Carragher has actually improved on his aerial and ground 50-50s, winning 77% of his ground 50-50s, while winning 62% of his aerial 50-50s and he has also improved his pass completion to 78.05%.

However, stats can be misleading at times, Carragher has been involved in two defensive errors in the nine league games so far this season (against Bolton and Wolves), compared to last season, where he made just two defensive errors all season.

Carra stats for 10/11

Carra stats for 11/12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fact is it will soon be time for Carragher to hang up his boots and move on to the next stage of his life and Dalglish needs to have a partnership in place to smooth the transition. Martin Skrtel fills one centre-half spot and it is left to Coates, Agger and Danny Wilson to fight for the remaining position in the heart of the defence. Also in contention for a starting place would be Martin Kelly, who currently plays at right-back, but is thought to be in line for a future place as a centre-half.

Something that is noticeably missing from those options is a lack of goals between the centre-halves. The new era of football means that outfield players from all positions are expected to contribute in both an attacking and defensive sense. In the last five seasons, Skrtel leads the way with four goals, Agger has scored just once and Carragher is yet to find the back of the net. Compare this to some of our rivals’ defences, where Nemanja Vidic has netted 11 goals in the same period for Manchester United, while John Terry has contributed 9 goals for Chelsea. In 2009-10 alone, Thomas Vermaelen netted seven goals in his debut season at Arsenal, outscoring Liverpool’s current centre-halves in one season.

Rumoured summer target, Gary Cahill, has scored 12 times for Bolton and if we look at our midweek Carling Cup opponents Stoke, we would find a good contribution from the defence. Ryan Shawcross has scored 13 times, seven of which were in the Championship, whereas Robert Huth has netted on ten occasions. We shouldn’t forget that Sotirios Kyrgiakos added three goals during his two years at Anfield and before him Sami Hyypia was a regular goal threat, from set pieces in particular.

Now we are looking for the new generation to step up and be counted at both ends of the pitch. In the recent game against Manchester United, Skrtel missed a glorious chance to find a winner, firing eccentrically into the stands, while against Norwich he showed his threat from set pieces, agonisingly glancing a Charlie Adam corner onto the crossbar. The Norwich chance was similar to the goal he scored against Bolton earlier in the season, running towards the near post to meet an Adam delivery and with the arrival of the Scottish midfielder, you can expect more goals from set pieces this season.

Whatever the centre-half partnership is for the remainder of the season, one requirement is aerial threats in both penalty areas. Now that we’re creating chances, more members of our squad need to step up and take them.

All of the stats displayed in this article are Opta Stats via EPLIndex.com, where you can subscribe to write and view all of the statistics for as little as £1.50 per month! Register now!

Comments

11 responses to “Are we still dreaming for a team of Carraghers? | Jamie Carragher”

  1. RoyK says:

    God…hope for a team of Carras only in attitude n not in skill. Agreed he never had th pace, but made up for it with a fine reading of th situation. But nw, th situation hs deteriorated to an extent tht th even more slower legs cannot compensate whn against a speedy fwd. N his persistent abilty to hoof th ball fwd, therby losing possession, or back to Pepe frm an advanced position, therby losing advantage, remains a major irritant!

  2. Jack says:

    The day Jamie Carragher, the so-called professional footballer who in reality is merely a HOOFER of the ball, hangs up his boots permanently will be the day Liverpool can seriously threaten any top club for major honours not only in domestic games but in European competitions too.

  3. Miles says:

    Let’s hope that Carragher hurts himself in a minor freak incident while playing footballer with his kids in his own backyard. Let’s hope that the injury sustained will ensure that Carragher is unlikely to see first team action anytime soon. Let’s all PRAY.

  4. I think all of this Carra abuse is un-called for. Yes, he’s not doing as well as he has in the past, but let’s also not forget that he’s been an absolute legend for us.

    The Carra hating is wrong IMO. He probably shouldn’t be in the side but Agger has been unfit and Coates still bedding in so Carra has been the only option.

  5. Joseph says:

    How many times have we heard the cliche “Many say Carra has lost his pace but he didn’t have much to begin with”.

    As a team we defend too deep and that is due to a lack of pace in central defence. My first choice centre back would be Agger and I’d be looking to sign a player such as Cahill to partner him. Skrtel is decent but always prone to a bad error such as giving away a penalty or losing the player he is supposed to be marking at a set piece. I wouldn’t throw Coates in at the deep end just yet. He’ll need time to get used to English football and a develop a bit. I keep reading fans talking up Kelly as a possible centre half because apparently he played in the position in the youth team or reserves. As far as I know he’s never been trusted to play their in the senior side so I wouldn’t consider him an option in the position. Back up right back is his role.

    After January a start back 4 of Johnson, Cahill, Agger, Enrique would be good to see.

  6. Nick Collins says:

    Call yourself Liverpool fans? How many times has Carragher saved us? Loads. He has given everything to this club and a so called “fan” hopes he would get injured? How sick is that?

    Flip the coin then. Do you hope Suarez or Carroll would get injured simply for all the chances they have missed this season? I doubt you would. But it works both ways, defenders make mistakes and strikers make mistakes, both are bad for the team.

    Pathetic.

  7. slufsar says:

    Carra is a legend, he doesnt suck now, but he is costing us some points!
    Cant really demand anything more from him either. He’s alot better than Rio Ferdy is these days.

  8. jigar dewan says:

    i still dont get it… what do we want from the guy ?… i believe in CARRA and i believe that he is just the strongest defender we have and its purely based on his organization skills and his no non sense defending..

    skrtel and agger is not a good partnership coz if it were RAFA, HODSON or KENNY would have tried it out but all of them never entrusted these 2 and its probably coz they area bit erratic at times and coates and kelly are relatively young..

    so a true replacement of carra would be a solid no non sense defender who organises while skrtel and agger will be the ball playing center backs..

    i still believe that if kenny sees it that carra is first choice whats the problem??

    moreover our goal worries have been down to individual errors thoughout the 10-11 games played…

    pls let carra be…he is still stalwart of our defense…

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Published by Anfield Index
Updated: 2013-11-01 16:30:41
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