IT came as quite a huge shock to everybody when the ledge that is Jamie Carragher announced his retirement in the week.
We all knew it was inevitably nearing but it seemed so out of the blue when it came and the out-pouring of respect and well wishing was what the man deserved for his dedication, application and trophy haul over the past 18 years.
However, I do believe it’s the right time and that’s what has made me have even more respect for Jamie. Because, unlike a figurehead such as David Beckham, he hasn’t tried to cling on desperately to his successful and youthful years like he was an ageing stripper; selling himself to the highest-bidding sheik.
In the past couple of games, Carragher has had a ‘revival’ of sorts, insomuch as he’s been brought back in to replace Martin Skrtel in the starting team. But I think his continued presence in the squad would only act as a massive weight on the shoulders of any younger players in the squad hoping to win their place in the team.
He acquitted himself well against Arsenal and City but we still let 4 goals in over those two matches and I can’t help but wonder whether we’d have let in anymore (or less) had we started with our usual pairing at centre-back.
Central-defenders tend to not hit their stride until they reach their late-20’s/early-30’s (such was the case with Jamie) and I believe that Agger and Skrtel are the future and deserve the opportunity to work the errors and bad form from their systems, and while Jamie is around the will always have that massive influence hanging over their heads.
I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Carragher over the years and I could perhaps be accused of not rating him as highly as many but I have never doubted his commitment to the club and – even more so as a young Blue – his dedication and love for our side.
He is a legend, deserves huge respect and will go down as one of our 100 greatest, maybe even in the top 50 players to ever wear the shirt. But, for me, his decisions at this time is timely and shows what a great character he is in bowing out at the top and allowing the young guard to come through and develop.
Happy retirement to you Jamie and I hope you come back to the club once you get bored of Sky and help lead us on to greater glories.