9 Mar 2016

Carra blasts: 'I can't believe' Liverpool signed £45m attacker; he's LFC's 'worst signing' in 20 years

On-loan Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli may be hundreds of miles away from Anfield, but he continues to get it in the neck, and Reds legend Jamie Carragher is the latest ex-Red to stick the knife into the much-maligned Italian.

During an interview with the Daily Mail today, Carra was asked the following question:

"Who do you rate as Liverpool's worst signing during your time at the club?".

Carra responded:

"I can't believe we signed Balotelli! Everyone says it's the off-the-field antics, but I wouldn't care if he was doing it on the pitch. People tell me he's got talent but I can't remember him having a good game. I'm praying the Chinese Super League [will] buy him after his loan. I don't think anyone in the Premier League will take him".

Carra and Steven Gerrard may be local heroes to fans, but both have a distasteful proclivity for classless public criticism of current/former LFC team-mates.

This is an unprovoked attack on Balotelli, and basically calling him the worst LFC player in 20 years (basically since Carra's debut in 1996) is arguably out of order.

There's a difference between highlighting perceived weaknesses in a player's game (which is the job of pundits) and launching a scathing attack that goes beyond the realm of reasonable analysis/assessment.

Obviously, I have great respect for Carra and his achievements at Liverpool, but he deserves criticism for this unprofessional attack. Gerrard also engages in similarly hubristic behaviour. For example, in his 2006 autobiography, Gerrard slagged off (amongst others) El Hadji Diouf (thus starting an ongoing war of words), and Salif Diao (who was still an LFC player at the time!)

As Liverpudlians, Carra and Gerrard seem to feel that they have the right to publicly attack players they deem to be unworthy, and it's almost always foreign players who get the knife. Their attitude is reflected in the xenophobia of certain sections of the fanbase, and contributes to the antipathy and intolerance towards so-called 'OOTs/Wools', and overseas fans.

In my view, high profile club legends have a responsibility to moderate their public comments (i.e. refrain from being personal etc) and set the right example to the fanbase. In this instance, Carra should've shown some class, and politely declined to answer the question. Or, when choosing to respond, he should've outlined specific football-related reasons why Balotelli failed at Anfield.

In the same interview, Carra outlined his approach to his dual roles of pundit and columnist:

"It's like playing for Liverpool, so I have to be on my game. As long as you don't go overboard then players accept it and know they've done wrong".

Clearly, Carra ignored his own rules here.

Author: Jaimie K


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