Scanning the various Red forums over the last few days, I've noticed quite a few fellow Reds bemoaning the imminent return of Jamie Carragher, and forcasting gloom and doom should he reclaim his place in the team.
Before I start , I have to say I think in the not too distant future, these people will get their wish, and see Jamie relegated to the status of squad player.
His best position is probably centre half, but he's never going to split the brilliant Hyypia / Henchoz partnership. The signing of Xavier, the emergence of Stephen Wright and hopefully the return of Babbel, means the opportunities at right back will be limited. It's a similar story on the left. Riise, Gregory "out for two to three weeks" Vignal, and if the rumours are true, the signing of Bridges, mean he'll find it equally hard to get a place on that side too. To cap it all, he is also way down the pecking order in his original position of centre midfield, though it'll be interesting to see if he is asked to do Didi's job against Roma.
But does he deserve the criticism he gets? I think not. The biggest single difference between this Liverpool team, and the talented team of losers from the mid 90's, is one of attitude. I'm sure if Roy Evans team had the same attitude as the current one, it would have swept all before it.
If one player sums up this new attitude more than any other, then surely that one player is Carragher.
He is steady, reliable and uncomplaining, no matter what job he is asked to do.
Those who don't rate him have short memories. Remember the not so distant days of shambolic defending? Despite being the youngest, and least experienced, he was the only one among them worth his salt in those pre S.H. days.
Also, playing not just out of position, but on his wrong side at left back, he has on more than one occasion, had "the 2nd best player in the world", firmly in his pocket, as well as producing some excellent displays away from home against Europe's big clubs.
His game does have it's limitations, but it's not his fault he's not Roberto Carlos, and for what my opinion's worth, he puts a hell of a lot more effort in to his game than the Brazilian does.
Somebody on one forum said we should sell him to his boyhood club Everton, because that would be his true level. Unless the lad himself asks for a transfer, there's no way Houllier would sell somebody who can provide solid cover in so many positions.
If the day does come when we lose him, either to another club, or the bench, as far as I'm concerned, it'll be a sad day, because if I still have such a thing as a favourite player at my age, then I think Jamie Carragher is that player.