20 Sept 2012

He doesn't do that! Rodgers defends 'phenomenal' LFC star against style 'stories'...

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has emphatically rejected suggestions that Reds defender Jamie Carragher is a hoofball merchant.

Over the last few years, Carra has developed an (arguably) deserved reputation for long-ball tactics when playing out of defence, but Rodgers believes the reputation is thoroughly unwarranted. He told LFC TV:

"His focus and concentration into his work is phenomenal.

"I heard these stories about him kicking the ball long up the pitch, but this is one of the best technical players we have - left foot, right foot, touch on the ball, reading of the game, tactical intelligence, he has it all.

"Okay, the legs may not be the same as they were six or seven years ago, but he still has a lot to contribute for me on the football field".

Is Rodgers right? I don't have the overall stats right now to back it up, but from watching Carragher for 17 years, I think it's fair to say that he has a tendency to choose the long ball option.

Ironically, it seems likely that Carra's predilection for hoofing the ball may have been cultivated under Benitez and Houllier, supposedly more enlightened European coaches. In an interview in November 2011, Carra noted:

"Don't give me all this 'It's the fancy dan foreign coaches' who play all the great football, either. Of all the managers I've had at Liverpool, the ones who wanted to play the most football were Roy Evans, and Kenny Dalglish

"They [Benitez and Houllier] were more tactical and that meant doing anything to win, even if it meant hitting it early to the big man up front. We would go to Europe, play 10 men behind the ball and get a result. It has been like that in this country for a long time.

It seems that the two British managers - who you'd expect to have an ingrained propensity for the long-ball approach - seemingly preferred to play on the ground.

As Jimmy Greaves used to say: 'It's a funny old game!'.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. "A tendency to choose the long ball option"....

    It's called picking the right pass. It's called playing safe. It's called clearing your lines. It's called defending.

    Better a "predilection for hoofing" than passing it straight to Tevez, wouldn't you say, Jay?

  2. Yes, but that pass to Tevez was pretty sweet. Inch perfect; glorious weight; he didn't even need to break his stride. It's a tough one...

  3. JAMIE CARRAGHERS long balls are his limitations as a footballer it has nothing to do with BENITEZ or HOULLIER.
    He kept his place in the side for his tactical organisation not football ability.
    BRENDAN RODGERS talking about CARRA "left foot, right foot and touch on the ball" made me laugh because he's describing FRANZ BECKENBAUER.
    If JAMIE CARRAGHER is one of the best technical players we have you can expect relegation this season!

  4. Carragher whether you like him or not epitomises the character of players from a bygone era who put their heart and soul into everything they do and would give blood sweat and tears for the team unlike the current fancy dan mercenaries currently flooding the EPL. I think it is a great shame the way fans turn on players who have been stalwarts of the club for years and years towards the end of their career.
    He might be at a point of his career where he would probably make a very good player manager of a Championship club but if I was fighting in the trenches he is the one bloke I would want alongside

  5. Carraghers Reputation is deserved and no amount of spin can change that.
    I have watched him do this on numerous occasion at games.
    That having been said, doesn't make him a bad defender (at his peak) just a poor distributor

  6. Who are those "most people"? You and a few other don't make up most people. I fear that folks like you wish for us being relegated so they can claim that they were right in claiming that Rafa/Kenny/anyone but Rodgers should be our manager. Don't know whether the club would be better off without 'supporters' like this.

  7. There surely are situations in which a long, aimless ball forward is the best solution, but unfortunately Carra, who is a great defender overall, and others did it quite too often. It's also called surrendering possession or 'hoof and hope'.

  8. Carra's commitment could never be questioned, therefore alone I agree with your very last sentence, but I would also like to point out that his aimless hoofing did my head in for ages, not only towards the end of his career. I don't think that I turn on him anyway. Who does?

  9. I agree if benitez and Houllier only wanted long ball tactics from him it was because he wasn't good enough to pass the ball from the back, we have seen Hyypia and Agger playing through the ground to suggest it wasn't all about hoofing the ball in the air but it was only because of Carragher's limitations as he couldn't be trusted to pass his way out of trouble.

  10. BR is beginning to really get on my nerves with his inane
    comments, Of course Carragher is the biggest hoofer
    ever to were the red shirt of Liverpool , and has the
    most unwanted stat. ever , scoring not one but two og`s
    against Utd. The reason being he sees a red mist that clouds
    everything else out . His defensive blunders are one of the
    main reasons we have won nothing since he came into the team.
    I have lost all respect for him for continuing to deprive younger
    players of a place in the side. If you do not believe me watch
    him very closely tonite , he never moves out of a 5 metre
    circle, just passing the ball to Reine , Skrtl , Agger, or
    whoever else is the nearest to him , count how many times
    he actually disposessies an opponent or wins the ball in the
    air , count how many free kicks he gives away because the
    player is too quick for him.

  11. carragher never been technically great he when he dribbles or brings the ball out of defence he sort of jumps looks very awkward anyway his main strength is his reading of the game but technically very poor and he always has been to be honest

  12. Everyone is behind BRENDAN RODGERS and nobody wishes LFC to get relegated.You need to stop being so sensitive by highlighting throw away comments.

  13. As an out and out defender there is no better, end of story!!!

  14. What planet are you on son???

  15. You mention some valid points, but some of your criticism is not only harsh, but false. Do you really think that we've won nothing since he came into the team? If so, then you probably just started supporting Liverpool. Here you'll find a list of things we have won with Carra in the team: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamie_Carragher#Honours
    Eleven (11) trophies. I would be very happy if I had the medals for this nothing on my cupboard.

  16. Stupid comments must be refuted at sight. A stitch in time saves nine. Ah well, probably not among keyboard warriors :-)

  17. I personally found Hyypia was a better defender, but it would be sad if we all had the same opinion.

  18. Carragher is a no nonsense defender, win the ball at all costs even if you have to inflict damage to the player, scream at defenders if they are not up to standard and hit it long and high if in doubt. Often hitting the ball high and long is a good tactic especially if you attacking players can anticipate and win the second ball by moving forward. to be fair. i like having the option of on the floor and clear your lines but it has to have balance. if you adopt one or the other then your tactics are read to easy and the opposition adapts.

  19. well look on the bright side carra didnt score 3og and equaled the record for most ogs in a game

  20. Agreed! Absolutley no nonsense, and I would have preferred that a couple of times this season e.g. Skrtle back pass...

  21. In Rodgers' defence I have not seen Carra hoof the ball unnecessarily this season. Even during the game against Young Boys he's kept everything on the ground so far. I'll even say that he's adapted to Rodgers' philosophy better than Gerrard and Suarez

  22. Hi jamie,

    Just a quick question buddy, can you clarify one thing for me, how do I hide your constant negative cr#p from news now cause I'm sick of seeing your pathetic constant Liverpool bashing made up stories.



  23. I've got no problem with the long ball. It's a valid tactic, and immediately takes pressure off the defense forcing your opponent back. Today against Young Boys, I wish the long ball had been played more. The only problem is you need someone speedy who can get there, and accurate passing long. But every long ball is a gamble, and I'd dare say 80-90% of the time, it doesn't pay off.

    Carra doesn't really have the speedy weapon he needs for it, although Sterling might fit the bill. The accuracy of playing the long ball, that's the fair criticism. And in that case, perhaps some criticism is deserved.

  24. There is a time and a place for a long ball as Rafa and Houllier would know. But not all the time.

    I've always found Carra's attitude a little odd at times. Bit part/utility player under Houllier, world class centre back under Benitez but was quick to refuse to play right back in some games when the team was faced with an injury crisis.

    Also rumours that he leaked stuff to the papers to undermine previous managers, how true it is I don't know. Was instrumental in the appointment of Hodgson when his contract was nearly up - and hey presto, Roy gives him a two year contract.

    Don't get me wrong, he's been amazing but sometimes he should know who the boss is regardless of what he might think. The club comes first.

  25. Its definately deserved. However, in the last year. He has tried to play to feet. Under Rafa he was a nightmare. It wouldnt be so bad if they were accurate. But, they were far from accurate. Getting better under Rodgers.

  26. Keyboard warriors? Your a fine one to talk. All i see you do is moan about other posters comments. Try thinking for yourself for a change and leave the cut and paste alone.

  27. Well, I'd consider myself a keyboard warrior, too, at least on the internet. Thanks for the advice. Usually I don't have any problem when it comes to thinking for myself.

  28. Please, don't mention it. Always happy to help.

  29. Carragher would've retired long ago if he's not a local lad and Gerrard's best mate.I've never rated him and even in his so called best night in Istanbul, he was so poor in the first half that Hyppia had to bail him out many a time.It's better for BR to trust Coates or Kelly in central defence.The game game again Young Boys showed us it's time for him to go.But if BR insists on playing a "legend" then I suggest bring back Allen Hansen.