4 Sept 2016

Anfield Smackdown: 'Incredible' £72k-a-week attacker slates Liverpool 'hater' Jamie Carragher after public insult. Deserved?

On transfer deadline day, Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher aimed (yet another) yet cheap shot at departing Reds flop Mario Balotelli, and the much-maligned striker has now responded to Carra's unprofessional attack.

After Balotelli sealed a free transfer to Nice, Carra tweeted:

"Balotelli on a free is still paying over the odds by Nice".

Balotelli's response:

"Jamie Carragher: bad player, wonderful hater. Who cares".

In my view, Carra was totally out of order with his initial tweet. Balotelli is right to call him a 'hater', especially since it's not the first time that he's subjected the Italian to an unprofessional public attack. In March, for example, Carra labelled Balotelli the 'worst signing during his time at the club', and scathed:

"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 (just read Gerrard's various autobiographies!) There's a difference between highlighting perceived weaknesses in a player's game (which is the job of pundits) and launching public attacks that go beyond the realm of reasonable analysis/assessment.

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, 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. Carra regularly fails to do this, and in this instance, his cheap shot at Balotelli has caused another war of words, and incited even more hatred against the player from some neanderthal LFC fans.

In a recent interview, Carra outlined his approach to his dual roles of pundit and columnist:

"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 continually ignores his own rules.

Described as an 'incredible talent' by Crotone president Raffaele Vrenna. On £72k-a-week at Nice.


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