10 Feb 2013

'He's above them' - Gerrard claims LFC star is better than Hansen & Lawro. Agree...?

When it comes to exaggeration and hyperbole, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is in a league of his own at Anfield (!), and the retirement of Jamie Carragher has provided him with another opportunity to overpraise one of his team-mates, but on this occasion, is Gerrard right?

Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrenson are widely recognised to be two of Liverpool's best central defenders of the last thirty years, but according to Gerrard, Carra is better than both of them. He told the official LFC website:

"He [Carragher] is a wonderful player.

"At his peak, for two or three seasons he was one of the best defenders in the world.

"People mention him alongside the likes of Hansen and Lawrenson, the best defenders that this club has ever had. For me...he's a little bit above them. That's the biggest compliment I can pay him".

Is Carra 'above' Hansen and Lawrenson? Carra is a very similar player to Lawro with his last-ditch style of defending, but it's harder to make a legitimate comparison to Hansen, who is more comparable to players like Sami Hyypia.

Carra could've easily slotted in alongside Hansen in the 1980s Liverpool defence, but I don't think he could've replaced Hansen. Including Hyypia, I would rank the four as follows:

* Hyypia
* Hansen
* Carra
* Lawro

One person who agrees with Gerrard is Alan Hansen himself, and he believes Carra is a much better defender than he ever was. He told The Telegraph:

"Carragher is 10 times a better defender than I could ever be. He is a completely different player. He is a great defender whereas I was not. My strengths were on the ball, positional sense and recovery pace"

Like most fans, Lawro hopes Carra will stay on at Anfield in some capacity:

"Whatever the situation is with his coaching badges, you would want him around Anfield to show youngsters how to conduct themselves, to pass on the benefit of his wisdom and to show others just how much Liverpool should mean to them. At a time when so many clubs feel like hotels, with players coming and going, someone like Jamie around would go some way to retaining the core values of what Liverpool stands for"

NOTE: Please stick to the Comment Policy (Click to read)


  1. How is it exagerration and hyperbole? The uy is entitled to his opinion just like anyone else. So actually your opinion must be the TRUTH ??

  2. Opinions, that's what they are. And here's mine. Carra is a fine defender and it's difficult to compare him to players of the past. I don't think that he ever was one of the top (say 10) defenders of the world. He has many qualities, but quite some faults, too. His positioning was at times not very good so he was forced into some last ditch tackles he was able to do because of his undoubted determination. His loyalty to our club is commendable, but imho Hyypiä was a better overall defender than him.

  3. Definitely better than Lawro; but no way near Hansen.  In terms of ability, Hansen was far ahead & in terms of achievements at club football, there are hardly few players in history ahead of Alen Hansen.

  4. At his peak Carragher was certainly up there with the best we've had but, if was picking a player to play alongside Hansen I would probably go with big Sami. Carragher has been brilliant and will be a rightly remembered as a legend of the club but I think Sami at his peak was a little better. In my opinion Sami was better on the ball and was dominant in the air. He also popped up with a few vital goals, something Carragher has never been able to do. Sorry Carra...

  5. Stop sniping and your comments will stay live. If you want to bitch about pointless stuff, go to another site.

  6. emlyn hughes and tommo where as good as any central defenders we have had

  7.  Carra's distribution and lack of finesse on ball means that he's not in the same class as Hasen & Hyppia

  8. How would Stevie actually know? He's too young to really have appreciated Hansen's performances week in, wek out.

  9. hansen by a mile he made it look so easy

  10. I reckon Hyypia was better than Carra and well, Hansen was better than both, imo. Lawro-Hansen, for me, were a better partnership than Carra-Hyypia. Yep, Hansen-Lawro benefited from playing one of the best teams of all time but they played their part in it, a big part, and Carra-Hyypia also benefited from Rafa's tactics (compare Agger-Skrtel under Rafa's tactics to them under Rodgers' very different tactics (to date)). Prefer the balance of styles of Lawro-Hansen. Not sure who I'd pick from Lawro and Hyypia, maybe I'd go with Hyypia for his presence. There was a period of one or two seasons where Carra was one of the best in Europe (and even then, Nesta was comfortably top dog) but takes more than one or two seasons to truly establish yourself as one of the best CBs in the last 10-15 years.

  11. Carra is a great defender plenty of heart, guts and leadership but imo, he is not complete for a few reasons some have already pointed out here. Love him to bits though. He's definitely behind Hansen who's brilliant but I still think Hyypia is ahead of Hansen just by a bit, because Hansen started being exposed near the end (because he was getting on) and while Hyypia also experienced the same, he was able to overcome it and went out with his reputation fully intact (imo). I also liked his leadership where he never had to resort to the outspoken style like Carra's but always achieved the same, if not better, results in defence.

  12. The fact that Gerrard is comparing one legend to another, both wonderful players says it all really. I don't like these playground childish games "Player A is better than Player B." However what I am going to end with is how many clubs have top class players currently and in the past who you can compare with. Not many, so what we should take from this is not who is better but actually thank whoever bought these wonderful players to Liverpool for us to even firstly have this conversation.  

  13. I think you accidentally missed part of the quote.  “For me, if he’s not alongside them he’s a little bit above them. That’s the biggest compliment I can pay him. He’s a wonderful player – at his peak, for two or three seasons he was one of the best defenders in the world. Gerrard clearly says 'if he's not alongside them".  I'm not sure why you left this important part out.

  14. OK. So I'll rephrase then. You can't say that someone is exagerrating and hyperbolic just because his opinion differs to yours. Everyone is entitled to his opinion.

  15. When Hansen and Laurenson were playing they hardly needed to defend - most other teams backed off from LFC.The game has changed a lot since then. When players receive tha ball these days they have much less time to do anything with it!

  16. That's the problem when comparing different players from generations. Football changes, players have to adapt and saying that fitness regimes as a whole nowadays are better from before. So comparing players is pointless 20-30 years down the line. If anything players are generally are much better.

  17. JAMIE CARRAGHER has achieved legendary status by most despite being very average at distributing the ball.CARRA's best abilities as a footballer were leadership,organisation/communication and reading the game,qualities you don't need a football to have.I don't think he's ever been one of the "best in the world" because i believe you need to be good on the ball but he's been a very solid and important member of our team.
    Being a threat from corners at the attacking end is a guide on how dominant you are in the air.He's never looked dangerous from set pieces,700 plus appearances and goals that you can count on one hand.SAMI HYYPIA scored a lot of goals and always seemed to connect if the ball was anywhere near the area he occupied.
    JAMIE organised the defense in a way that didn't leave him to exposed to fast forwards too much.We've sometimes defended to deep to cut the space for strikers to use their speed to run into (ARSENAL away match recently).That invites pressure but that's not a criticism it's a common tactic that's taken to protect slow CB's against lightning fast forwards.
    You can never question his heart,he would give 100% every match.CARRA's been a great servant to LFC but i wouldn't put him in the best defender we've ever had bracket because he looks so awkward on the ball.HYYPIA was much better player!

  18. This is pointless. I haven't said Gerrard isn't entitled to his opinion; I've given my opinion on his opinion. I don't have time for this tedious nonsense. I'm not going to write IMO next to every sentence. If you disagree with the points I've made, argue against them. Stop clogging threads with this pointlessness.

  19. Not this again: What difference does it make?! It still means exactly the same thing. The essence of what Gerrard is saying is that Carra is above Hansen and Lawrenson. Do you have anything else to contribute aside from extreme pedantry?

  20. You still called it hyperbolic and exagerrating though

  21. Hansen cool, always had time on the ball.
    carra passion, top ball winner intercepter.
    would of made perfect pair.
    two different types all together, maybe Hansen shades it with ability, but both read the game so well.
    lawro a great player and on par, had a bit of both of them to his game.
    all great players we have been lucky to call Liverpool fc players.