While his Liverpool teammate and close friend Steven Gerrard will be captaining England tonight, Jamie Carragher will be preparing himself for a well earned testimonial against an Everton XI.
Carragher’s time at Anfield has been varied. He has achieved some incredible success most notably on that night historic night in Istanbul. But there is no doubt that Carragher will look back on his time and say I should have won more trophies.
It’s Carragher’s pride that will have created this sense of disappointment. You only have to look back at his England career to see that the Liverpool man doesn’t like not being successful. Success at international level was just getting in the team and when Carragher wasn’t in the side his pride got the better of him and he decided to retire from international football.
This is why Carragher will never be as popular as he should be throughout the footballing community. He was seen as slightly spoilt after his retirement and even though he would eventually make a U turn on his decision, this wasn’t enough to earn him the full backing of the ever critical England fans.
The claim was that when England really needed him during the injury crisis ahead of the crucial Euro 2008 qualifier with Croatia. Carragher had frozen himself out of the manager’s plans. England would go on to lose this game 3-2 and Carragher would lose the respect of England fans.
But at club level Carragher is adored by his supporters. He is the leader that every team wants, but few teams have, and had Gerrard not being an equally dominating leader I have no doubt that Carragher would have gone on to captain the side for years on end.
At present he may not be the most mobile of defenders but his reading of the game coupled with his leadership skills still make him one of the best defenders in the Premier League.
The disappointing thing for none Liverpool fans is that Carragher was never able to transfer his immaculate club form in to the England side. This meant that Carragher would fall in behind John Terry and Rio Ferdinand in the pecking order.
It’s a real shame though because had Carragher managed to do this, I have no doubt that he wouldn’t be playing in his testimonial tomorrow, he would representing England tonight.