THE NEW CARRAGHER

Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard has said that the youngster John Flanagan, who made one of the few starts of the season against Everton on Saturday, reminds him of former defender Jamie Carragher.

Carragher is regarded as one of the finest players to come from the Liverpool youth academy in the last decade. There has been no progress in the youth team players into the first team since then. Gerrard is also one of the last of the breed. Flanagan, though, has shown tremendous promise in the match as he has played so far.

NOT CONTENDERS

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has said that he thinks hospital cannot be considered as title contenders just yet.

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New Liverpool signing Kolo Toure has stated that it is an honor for him to be signed by such a great as a replacement for one of its legends in the form of Jamie Carragher.

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HENRY BACKS CARRA

Former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry has praised the Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher by saying that he is one of the best in the game.

Carragher announced a few weeks ago that he will be retiring from football at the end of the season, thus bringing an end to his illustrious career. Carragher has played only for Liverpool during his career, thus becoming one of the few players to have represented just one club during their entire career.

Henry has come up against Carragher several times during his time at Arsenal. Even though the Frenchman has scored several goals against Carragher and Liverpool, he has said that the 35-year-old remains as one of the toughest opponents he has faced till date. However, he has been able to get the better out of Carragher on a few occasions due to his pace.

Henry is currently with the MLS club New York Red Bulls after having represented Barcelona since leaving Arsenal a few years ago. Carragher has found first team opportunities limited at Liverpool in the recent years due to the emergence of players like Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger.

He has now decided to retire from the game when he is at the top. Carragher has revealed that he may go into coaching at some point in the future.

"I would not say I have a toughest opponent. But there is a selection of three - maybe four - that when I think about them, I think only of the toughest games. Jamie Carragher was in that group. I was lucky because I was physically very quick. Everybody could see that. It was obvious. So straightaway people could say: 'Thierry Henry - he's quick.' It is not so easy to see inside a player's mind," said Henry in an interview given to Liverpool's official magazine.

EXCEPTIONAL LEADERSHIP

The manager of Liverpool, Brendan Rodgers, has said that Jamie Carragher was included in the starting XI of the Reds in the match against Norwich City because of his exceptional leadership qualities.

That was Carragher’s second start in the Premier League in the ongoing season. The 34 years old English defender was brought back into the starting XI on the place of Martin Skrtel.

Liverpool defeated Norwich City in that match quite comfortably by a big margin of 5-0.

Talking to the reporters in the post match press conference, Rodgers said, “I wanted to bring in a player who is a talker and who can lift the spirit of the team on the field and Jamie is exactly that kind of a player. He has got great organizational capability. He communicates with other players and guides them on the field.”

“Jamie is a great man to have in the camp. His experience is invaluable for us. He helps the young players in training sessions. He is like a mentor to the young guys.”

“Unfortunately, he hasn’t got that many playing opportunities in this season. He would have loved to play a few more games. He has featured in the cup games, but, he hasn’t played much in the league games. But, he can expect to get more playing opportunities in the upcoming games.”

Carragher has been a part of the Liverpool squad since a very long time. He was signed by Liverpool 17 years ago and since then, he has been an important member of the Liverpool squad. He has featured for Liverpool in 496 matches so far and has scored 3 goals.

The goalkeeper of Liverpool, Pepe Reina, had not played in the match against Norwich City because of a thigh problem. When Rodgers was asked whether Reina will get fit to play in the match against Oldham Athletic, he said, “Reina’s fitness will be assessed after a couple of days and then, we will decide whether he will play in the FA Cup match or not.”

SEARCH IS ON

The Liverpool academy head, Frank McParland has said that he believes that the club will be seeing the next Steven Gerrard or Jamie Carragher sooner rather than later. Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard were the last high-profile players to come from the Liverpool Academy, but they are both coming to the twilight of their careers.

Carragher will be 35 years of age by the end of the season, while Steven Gerrard will be 33 years of age. Only the likes of Sterling have shown promising play in recent weeks, but it has been a long time since the club produced an academy graduate capable of challenging these two players.

Yet, Frank McParland is of the opinion that it will happen sooner rather than later because he has seen a lot of potential from the youth teams in recent seasons. Liverpool have a reputation for producing great players from the academy. Over the years, there have been many players who have gone on to represent the national teams, but that line-up has dried up in the last decade. McParland has admitted that the club may not have a great scouting presence in every country, but they have contacts in every country that will help them find great talent.

"It’s the ultimate.You’d love to get a Stevie or a Carra through, and I can assure you that we’re working really hard to do that. I don’t think it will be too long before that happens. If you don’t have good scouts, you don’t get good players. It’s not like 15 years ago when you’d go to a park in Liverpool and hope to find five or six players who are going to play in the first team," said the Liverpool academy head. The latest prospect Sterling is set to be awarded a new five-year contract.

CARRA PRAISES GERRARD

The Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has praised the loyalty shown by the midfielder Steven Gerrard. The 32-year-old England international has spent his entire career at Liverpool after coming through the youth academy at the club.

Even though he has had the opportunity to move to another club over the years, Steven Gerrard has resisted the opportunity. This kind of loyalty is extremely rare in current days according to the defender Jamie Carragher, who has also represented only Liverpool during his career. Steven Gerrard recently won his 100th cap for the England national team, thus becoming one of the selective players to have done so.

Jamie Carragher has said that this recognition is certainly deserved for the 32-year-old because he has been one of the best players in the country over the last decade. Steven Gerrard came extremely close to leaving Liverpool back in 2005 when Chelsea made a record £ 32 million offer for the midfielder. He also recently revealed that José Mourinho was extremely keen on taking him to Real Madrid two years ago. However, he has stayed at Liverpool due to the love of the club, and does not worried about the lack of a Premier league medal in his trophy collection.

"Steven Gerrard was good enough to play for Barcelona and Real Madrid. People always said to me 'you're loyal to Liverpool' but I don't think about it like that. I'm happy to be at Liverpool. Steven's loyal to Liverpool because he's had the chance to join some of the biggest clubs in the world and play with some of the biggest players [but has decided to stay]. Sometimes people outside the club forget how big Liverpool are," said Carragher. Zlatan Ibrahimovic recently said that Gerrard should consider moving away from Liverpool. Liverpool will be playing against Wigan during the weekend.

ENRIQUE PRAISES CARRA

The Liverpool defender, Jose Enrique, has praised Jamie Carragher for his great commitment to Liverpool over the last 12 years. Enrique said that Carragher is one of the greatest servants to the club. He has become 34 years of age now, but, his energy level is still the same.

His presence in the camp is beneficial for the young players. As per Enrique, Carragher is a great individual and he always has valuable tips to give to the young guys in the squad.

Liverpool news reported that he had signed for the club way back in 1996 when he was just 18 years of age. He had made his debut for Liverpool against Middlesbrough in the semi final of the League Cup. He came to play as substitute in that match and performed decently. A few days later, he was given the opportunity to start the match against Aston Villa and he found the net for the first time for Liverpool in that match.

He soon became the favourite of Liverpool fans. He has been the hero of some of the memorable victories of Liverpool. He has played more than 700 matches for the club so far. Carragher has looked in good form in the matches that he has played in the current season and Liverpool would be expecting some exquisite performances from him in the further matches.

Enrique said that he also wants to serve Liverpool for many years like Carragher. He is enjoying his tenure at Liverpool. The team hadn’t managed to perform that well in the last season, but, Brendan Rodgers has come with some fresh ideas in this season. Hopefully, the players would execute the plans well and put up a better performance this time around.

STILL LEARNING

Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has said that he is still learning many aspects of football, despite the fact that he is approaching almost 700 games in his career. The veteran is regarded as one of the best players to have come out of the Liverpool youth academy in the last two decades alongside Steven Gerrard.

The 34-year-old is coming to the end of his career, with many predicting that this would be his final season as a Liverpool player. He has been already taking coaching badges in order to prepare for life after his playing career is over.

Jamie Carragher currently has 699 games to his credit. Liverpool will be playing against Belarus in the Europa league qualifying round in a few days time. If the new Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers selects Jamie Carragher for this match, then it would be a milestone appearance for the former England international. Yet, he has said that prior to the match that he still has a lot to learn and a lot of for the Liverpool team. He may not be featuring in the Liverpool first-team as often has in the past, but still the manager Brendan Rodgers regards him to be a vital component of the first team.

“Jamie would have to play 50 games a season for another three seasons to get there, which is a lot to ask, but at the end of the day records are there to be broken. And I have said all along that if anyone was going to break it I’d like it to be Jamie because he’s a lovely guy, a fantastic footballer and has a great attitude. But even if he doesn’t get there, to reach 700 games is a fantastic milestone, especially in this age of squad rotation,” said the Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher.

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