We are rather stuck with him unless he chooses to retire. No other club in the world is going to pay the salary he's getting here, or even half the salary. In days gone by he'd have left Liverpool 2 or 3 years back when his powers were already on the wane and when we already had Agger and Skrtel itching to play. He'd have had a couple of years at Blackburn or Wolves or Notts Forest before having to face reality - the reality being that no one wants old centre-backs who've lost their pace and strength.
There's a hoary old myth that says centre-backs can go on forever because they rely on positioning not pace. It's not true and there's little evidence for it. The problem with being a centre-back is that if you make a mistake there's generally no one else around to rescue it. It's a merciless position in that respect because you can't mask your decline. No amount of running off the ball from colleagues will compensate for the old centre-back's loss of pace - which is not true of, say, central midfield.
Carragher now is a soft touch for opposing forwards. They know they can beat him for speed, they know they can beat him in the air, they know they have the strength to turn him, and they know he's afraid to get tight. They also know that he's useless with the ball at his feet and that they can save precious energy by letting him have as much time on the ball as he wants. There's no point pressing him (the Wigan forwards didn't yesterday) because he'll squander possession anyway.
He had unbelievable amounts of time and space on the ball yesterday. A half decent centre-back, given that freedom, would have been Liverpool's most destructive player. Such a player would have made for those enormous gaps quickly and taken two or three opponents out before finding a Red shirt in space.
But Carra, who now hops rather than runs, couldn't capitalise. Such is his lack of faith in his own control that he has to run his studs over the ball after every stride to make sure it's not rolling away from him. Pitiful. And then when he stops he finds it unaccountably difficult to start again. We all saw him yesterday. Stood over the ball with his right leg cocked, trying to make a decision about what to do next. It looked even worse because, like I said, the Wigan lads stood off him and simply let the inevitable happen. They knew that they'd have the ball back in a second or two.
When I think of Carragher now I'm no longer even angry. That phase came and went between 2006-09. Now it's just pure resignation. Kenny has done half the job by keeping him off the pitch when Agger's fit. But he's still got the other half to do: ie keeping him off the pitch when Coates is fit.
Now's the time to do it of course. There won't be a better one to get Coates up to speed for next season. It might be an idea to get Wisdom on the bench too. Why not? These lads have to start somewhere. Meanwhile Carragher will probably do what no professional footballer used to do at Liverpool - treat the club as a nice retirement home.