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Published by Harmonia Norah, 2017-08-30 07:36:15

tatler man jamie carragher

jamiecarragher
UPLOADED

Sp or ts

firstperson Carragher competes
with Everton's Nikica
Jelavic during the
Barclays Premier League
match between
Liverpool and Everton at
Anfield on 5 May, 2013

no

bloaokcikng

5253 IRISH TATLER MAN

Having swapped the red of Liverpool for
designer suits in the Sky Sports studio, life
remains rosy for Jamie Carragher. Enjoy

him as a pundit while you can, though,
as the born-and-bred Scouser harbours
ambitions of returning to the game in a
management capacity, writes Aaron Rogan

firstperson

Right:
Sky Sports commentators
Jamie Redknapp, Thierry
Henry and Jamie
Carragher talk prior to the
UEFA Champions League
match between Barcelona
and Manchester City at
Camp Nou on 18 March,
2015

etirement weighs heavily on many men. when every last minutiae of the game is broadcast on endless repeat
but it’s not surprising that the Liverpool legend is at the forefront
More so on young men who’ve had careers as starlit and of it all. He is a man who loves every aspect of football, including
magnificently remunerated as Premier League footballers. its coverage – even if he did not always show an appreciation of its
One in three get divorced within a year of their last match and coverers. In his playing days, he had spiky exchanges with his current
two in five go bankrupt – statistics that are highly likely to be colleagues at the Daily Mail and Sky Sports.
interconnected – so the first few years of retirement seem to be
particularly precarious for footballers. “There’s no way you’re going to agree with everyone,” says
Carragher. “I’m sure players now see me and go, ‘I don’t agree with
But you wouldn’t know that to look at a tanned (“still love that.’ That’s what makes the game great – we all see it different.
me international breaks”) and trim (“more time in the gym now Now, if you’re continually seeing it wrong, though, you’re not going
than when I was playing”) Jamie Carragher. Stretching out his 6ft to be in your job long.”
frame in his sleek leather jacket, well-cut jeans and pristine white
designer trainers, he pats his flat tummy and says he’s enjoying When the Mail’s Adrian Durham accused him of being a ‘bottler’
every minute of his retirement. on radio in 2007, Carragher rang up and issued the memorable
introduction, “It’ll be interesting to see if you’ve got any bottle and
“I’ve loved it, I really do enjoy it. I think the best way to come down to Anfield or Melwood and say it to me and we’ll see
describe it is that I don’t miss playing football,” he says in the what happens, won’t we?”
tempered Scouse accent he’s employed since he landed a gig on
ITV’s coverage for the 2012 European Championships and has When Sky’s Andy Burton tried to send him on a farewell tour
subsequently put to well-regarded use on Sky since retiring from a season early, Carragher responded with a reference to the
professional football in May 2013. broadcaster’s role in the infamous sexism row that got pundits
Andy Gray and Richard Keys fired. He blasted: “Who are you,
“People think that it’s a real retirement but when I played for the manager? ... You were lucky to keep your job at Sky after that
Liverpool I was home at half one. Now I’m the same, do whatever Wolves stuff!”
I can do with the kids in the morning, go to the gym then I watch
the games instead of playing them. I get more time off for pre-season Many thought that was the Carragher they’d get on Sky but the
tours and international breaks are nice – you can go on holidays affable Scouser has been an insightful and intelligent voice, as
when you couldn’t as a player – but it isn’t that much different.” appealing to die-hard followers as to fair-weather fans.

The man christened James Lee Duncan Carragher (but commonly “TV companies think they’ll have this person on because
referred to as Carra) belongs to a niche category of one-club men. he’s off the scale and will create the reaction. I want to be seen
As such, he can’t have settled into the slippers of the ex-pro pundit as a respected football analyst who knows what he’s talking
so quickly at 37 and must miss the sport he played like he was about rather than someone who just shouts and screams saying
trying to prove Bill Shankly’s now clichéd quote: “For a player to be someone is brilliant one week and crap the next,” he says.
good enough to play for Liverpool, he must be prepared to run
5455 through a brick wall and come out fighting on the other side.”

“Ach, yeah,” he reflects in a distinctive Liverpool twang muddier
than the Mersey, “I miss it when I’m watching Barcelona or
Everton v Liverpool, or Liverpool v Man United. I miss that, but
it’s not something I think about on a daily basis.

“I enjoy what I do and it gives you a focus if you’ve got a job to
do. You’re thinking everyday about what games you’re doing, how
the teams set up, what points are you going to speak about. I try
to watch all my football so when it comes to Monday night I have
something different to talk about.”

While some players seem shackled to the studio floor, spitting
out platitudes for cheques like tamed bears dancing for buns,
Carragher, alongside his one-time nemesis Gary Neville, has
reinvigorated football coverage. That’s saying something in an age

IRISH TATLER MAN

I’M AWARE OF
[EAMON] DUNPHY
AND PEOPLE LIKE
THAT, AND HOW
MAD THEY ARE.
THAT’S SORT OF
THE ATTRACTION
OF THEM, BUT IT'S
NOT ME

firstperson

I’D NEVER BEGRUDGE This is the tenth year of that famous Punditry may actually help Carragher get
ANYONE EARNING Champions League win in Istanbul – a fairer shake of a managerial career. Based
MONEY IN FOOTBALL, when Liverpool staged a comeback on his playing days, he could well have been
I ALWAYS TRIED from 3-0 down against AC Milan – and seen as a Liverpudlian Roy Keane, the sort of
TO MAKE AS MUCH when Stephen Gerrard leaves Liverpool manager whose only use would be to scare a
AS I COULD WHEN I this summer, it will represent the few results out of lesser players.
WAS LOOKING AT A departure of the last-standing player
CONTRACT from that team. Football has changed “That was actually a brave decision,” he
immeasurably in that decade – petro- says stony-eyed. “Obviously with Roy Keane
“I like debate and disagreement, though; billions have fed the bonfire of the you’re going to get a lot more media attention
if someone disagrees with me, that sparks Premier League since Carragher was than any other number two would get. His
another idea. Also I think it makes good TV.” at his peak and money talks louder passion as a player we all knew that but he’s
than ever. In April, Raheem Sterling, got history with Ireland he wants to put right,
We have a lot of ‘good TV’ on RTÉ, of course, a 20-year-old striker with less than 20 even though he did come back as a player after
but it’s not always the most measured analysis. goals for Liverpool, gave a 30-minute the incident in Saipan.
interview to the BBC about why he was
“I’m aware of Eamon Dunphy and (John) Giles not going to sign a €140,000-a-week “I worked with Roy Keane for ITV at the
and Liam Brady,” Carragher nods. “I haven’t contract from the club. Euros when Trap was the manager. I’d never
seen a lot of them but I know about Dunphy,” met him before or really spoke to him but he
he says laughing. “I’m aware of Dunphy and “It’s simple, there are more agents was just brilliant, I loved his company. He
people like that, and how mad they are. That’s involved and people are more aware loves his football and is passionate about it.
sort of the attraction of them, but it’s not me.” of their worth,” says Carragher, who
believes that unless there are other “I can only see people as I see them and
Like all former players, Carragher faces loyalties, players will capitalise on this. I had a great relationship with him while we
allegations of anti-(insert your team) bias were there. It’s great when I see him now at
because he played for a big club, but he says “Raheem Sterling isn’t a player who different games. He’s a character and whether
there’s no point hiding that link to Anfield. came through the ranks, so he doesn’t someone likes that character or not, it’s up
have the family and friends around him to them, but it would be a lot more boring a
“In our job you say you can’t be biased but it in the city telling him ‘you better sign’, place without Roy. And I’ve read his book and
would also be false to pretend that I’m not a like me and Stevie got. it was very good.”
Liverpool supporter. Sometimes you’re maybe
more critical of your team because the emotion “I’d never begrudge anyone earning Fair enough. But what does Carragher do
gets the better of you – you feel it more and you’re money in football, I always tried to when he’s not reading or watching football?
more bothered by your team when they lose. make as much as I could when I was
looking at a contract. There’s also got “Eh, to be honest, I mean I have my family
“When I’m talking about Man United losing, to be that balance, you know, in your but our kids are busy. We’re always dropping
I’m probably pleased – that’s just being honest. head what you’re worth roughly and them off somewhere. Then I’ve got my games
Obviously you say it how you see it and you criticise you get there or thereabouts. for TV and the travelling. I’ve also got a
what you see. Emotionally, you maybe see it both newspaper column.”
ways when your own team loses. The further I “In my experience with Liverpool, it
come away from it I don’t know will it be less, it’s would always be reasonable and they’re Is that enough for a man with Carragher’s
definitely not at the moment. I think the association very good payers. They would never famed tenacity, drive and commitment? Is
of being with one club will never leave me.” leave you until the end of your contract. there not a football-shaped hole in his life?
I basically signed a contract every two
5657 IRISH TATLER MAN years; I’d sign a four-year deal and it “The buzz of winning,” he shoots back
would get ripped up after two because it was immediately. “Oh, without a doubt. You get a
an incentive to be a better player.” buzz when you’ve had a good show or written
As good as Carragher was for Liverpool, a good column. It’s not the same as winning,
Liverpool were good for him. He retired with of course, but you know when you’ve analysed
38 international caps, 724 club appearances something really well.
and around €20m in his pocket and has added
to it with a lucrative Sky contract probably not “It’s not just getting it right, it’s about
too far off Neville’s rumoured €1.6m annual when it just works. You get a buzz out of that.
salary. He insists it hasn’t changed his appetite Not at the level of a cup final – nothing can
for the game, though. ever match that. But then you don’t get the
“I’ve always been like this, even as a kid. lows either, so you can look at it both ways.
Then I got Shoot and Match magazine, now After a bad result you’d be down in the dumps
I get FourFourTwo, World Soccer and those for days, if it was a bad performance then it
magazines. I still read them all. I always did was even worse.”
that but now I speak about football instead of
playing.” As satisfying as a well-crafted column is, he
That still seems a bit too removed from the must get nostalgic for the old days when the
boots-on life for Carragher but he says he’s only Kop was roaring him on. “Now and again, but
been back to Liverpool’s Melwood training for me I’m always looking forward,” Carragher
ground a handful of times since he retired and insists. “I’ve been to Melwood four or five
they were mostly to do interviews for Sky. times in two years. It’s great, it’s ten years since
“I love what I’m doing but I would regret Istanbul, so obviously that will come up lots
it if I didn’t get involved in a club with now, but it’s not on a daily basis I think about it.
management. It’s not as if I’ve been offered
a job, though, and Sky might say they want “Now and again I’ll look back at different
someone else and get rid of me. I love what moments but you’ve done it, move on. I don’t
I’m doing but I’d never rule out going back into want to be one of those people constantly
the game. If I stayed on TV for the rest of my looking back or being known for that. I want to
life, I probably would regret it.” get on with it.” ITM

Jamie Carragher was speaking at the launch of Carlsberg’s
‘Join The Greats’ Campaign, which saw 20 Irish fans win
a VIP trip over to see Liverpool’s home game against QPR
and also experience the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity
to play on the hallowed Anfield turf in front of the Kop.
Further details online at facebook.com/carlsberg

Celebrating with Liverpool captain Steven
Gerrard after winning the Champions League
in Istanbul on 25 May, 2005, having defeated
AC Milan on penalties after extra time

NOW AND AGAIN
I’LL LOOK BACK
AT DIFFERENT
MOMENTS BUT
YOU’VE DONE IT,
MOVE ON. I
WANT TO GET
ON WITH IT

Jamie Carragher is given a guard of honour on his
last game for Liverpool FC against Queens Park
Rangers at Anfield on 19 May, 2013


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