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Jamie Carragher: Come in No. 23. Your time is up

Is it purely coincidence the fact that Liverpool have conceded only three goals in the last three matches, two clean sheets and in those three matches Jamie Carragher has been absent? I hate to say it, but clearly not.

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Is it purely coincidence the fact that Liverpool have conceded only three goals in the last three matches and in those three matches Jamie Carragher has been absent? I hate to say it, but clearly not.

You know what I’m going to say. Every Liverpool supporter with some knowledge of the game knows it. In fact I’d go so far as to say we all know it but don’t really want to say. Jamie Carragher, at 33 is past being an automatic starter in the reds’ first team. It’s a difficult one to face because “Carra” has been one of the most consistent and dependable players to don the red shirt in the last 20 years. He has virtually been an ever-present since starting at full back in the 1996-97 season and moving in to his famed central defence position under Gerrard Houllier.

Thus, as with all things good and great, there comes a time when they are no longer that. The sprinter who’s speed out of the blocks is now a memory. The boxer who’s ability to absorb and dodge the fastest of blows seems to have deserted him. Or the Goalie who’s lightening reflexes are now somewhat blunted. Age has caught up with Carragher.

In the last three games, Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger have shown the beginnings of a formidable partnership at the heart of the Liverpool defence. The two clean sheets up until Sunday is something Liverpool have not managed since May of this year. The goal conceded against Chelsea away at Stamford Bridge is no shame against a team who on their day can match the best. With all due respect, I wouldn’t put Stoke or Norwich City in that category, them simply being the previous teams to score against the reds.

It’s been conceded that Carragher was at fault for the penalty that cost Liverpool the game against Stoke. Albeit a poor team performance all round, this didn’t help. Same goes for the goal against Norwich. Poor positioning allowed Grant Holt to ghost in and head the equaliser.

Kenny Dalglish is no mug, and Carragher was left on the bench against Chelsea for the simple reason that he’s not been good enough of late. It’s all ‘if’s ‘but’s and ‘maybe’s but I wouldn’t argue that the game against Chelsea would have ended the way it did had Carragher been playing. Sad, but true in my opinion. I don’t believe he would have held out during the near 30-minute spell that Liverpool was being over run by the spirited home side.

According to www.anfieldindex.com Jamie Carragher’s pass completion rate has fallen substantially over the last couple of seasons, from over 84% in 2008-09 to 72% last season. This goes a long way to explaining the decline. He’s never been the fastest defender, but his positioning has always been second to none. The deterioration in this aspect of his game led to the Stoke and Norwich mishaps. Agger has attempted fewer long passes than Carragher but with a higher success rate, 15 passes and 66% success compared to 17 passes and 41% success.

I don’t want to appear to be casting Carragher by the way side as some useless has-been. Like a fat old should be retired boxer getting his kidneys beaten while he bounces off the ropes. Far from it. Jamie Carragher still has a part to play for the Liverpool team. Perhaps not as a first choice but definitely as capable back up for what would now appear to be the first choice defensive pairing of Agger and Skrtel. In the cup matches he could partner young Sebastian Coates and give him the benefit of his experience.

All is not lost. It’s just heading that way. Jamie Carragher has certainly been a favourite of mine from a long, long way back and he’s more than played his part in some of the most memorable moments in the clubs recent history. He’s had his detractors along the way, much of it unfairly. One thing is for certain. It’ll be some time before Liverpool have another player as dedicated, determined, hard working and reliable as this lad is.

 

By Ben Green

Follow me on Twitter @Mrbengreen

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Boost for Liverpool as Bundesliga manager open to selling this star striker

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Timo Werner

Julian Nagelsmann claims RB Leipzig could sell Timo Werner

Liverpool have been handed a boost in their chase for RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner.

The 23-year-old has been linked with the Reds (h/t Liverpool Echo) and has been in great form this season.

The German has 15 goals and four assists in all competitions for Leipzig this season. Werner is also a regular for the national side and scored in their recent win over Estonia too.

Timo Werner
Timo Werner is a regular for the German national team (Image credit: Getty)

Leipzig’s manager Julian Nagelsmann was speaking to Bild and claimed Werner could be sold if the German became bigger than the club (h/t Liverpool Echo):

“I’ve already advised many players to take off their wedding ring with their current club to move somewhere else.

“I’d do the same with Timo Werner if he were developing faster than the team at RB Leipzig.”

Werner’s release clause

The 23-year-old signed a new deal with Leipzig in the summer, however, that includes a £25million release clause (h/t Liverpool Echo).

Werner is capable of playing across the front-line and it will be interesting to see how things develop for him in the coming months.

timo Werner
Timo Werner joined Leipzig from Stuttgart (Image credit: Bongarts)

Bayern Munich are also keen on landing the 23-year-old (h/t Liverpool Echo) and the Bavarians are struggling this season.

Leipzig are placed extremely well to qualify for the next round of the Champions League and lie second in the Bundesliga, ahead of Bayern.

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Werner scored 16 Bundesliga goals in the previous season and should go past that mark if he keeps his scoring rate up.

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Liverpool interested in Bundesliga star who could leave for £100m in the summer

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Jadon Sancho

Liverpool interested in Jadon Sancho as Dortmund star expected to leave in summer

Liverpool are the latest club to highlight their firm interest in Jadon Sancho, according to the Daily Mail.

The 19-year-old has been excellent for Dortmund since joining from Manchester City but has faced some tough times recently.

Manager Lucien Favre has reprimanded Sancho recently and subbed him after 36 minutes against Bayern Munich (h/t Daily Mail).

Jadon Sancho
Jadon Sancho joined Borussia Dortmund from Manchester City (Image credit: Getty)

The English winger has also been criticised by Michael Zorc, the sporting director, and is contemplating his future at the Bundesliga club (h/t Daily Mail).

Manchester United and PSG are interested in the England international but Liverpool and Barcelona are also keen on landing him (h/t Daily Mail).

Dortmund want big money for Sancho

The winger has a lot of potential to develop further, and Dortmund would not allow him to leave on the cheap.

The report adds that Dortmund are planning for his exit and want more than £100m for the winger.

Sancho has scored three goals and provided five assists this season for the Bundesliga side. The England star has also featured in Euro 2020 qualifiers and has a couple of strikes to his name.

Harvey Elliott
Harvey Elliott joined Liverpool from Fulham (Image credit: Getty)

It will be interesting to see if Liverpool make a big move in the next summer window.

This summer was quiet with two young players and two veteran keepers joining. However, we kept hold of all our stars and have started this Premier League season well.

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The Reds lie eight points clear of the chasing pack and are nine ahead of defending champions Manchester City.

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Liverpool star pictured with ankle in protective cast during international break

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Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah pictured with ankle in protective cast

Mohamed Salah aggravated an ankle injury in our 3-1 win over Manchester City at the weekend.

The Egyptian scored the second goal of the game and was bright against the Premier League champions.

However, a tackle from Fernandinho late in the game saw Salah remain down and needed treatment.

Mohamed Salah
Mohamed Salah leaves the pitch during the Leicester game (Image credit: Getty)

The Liverpool forward continued after treatment but had to be subbed off as we held on for the win.

The international break should allow Salah to rest before our clash against Crystal Palace. Egypt shared a couple of pictures and the Liverpool forward was seen wearing a protective boot.

Leicester injury back to hurt Salah

Salah injured his left ankle initially against Leicester City and missed the draw against Manchester United.

The Egyptian will not play for the national side during the break and is also a doubt for the clash against Palace (h/t Liverpool Echo).

The niggling issue needs time to heal and it will be interesting to see if the forward plays the game after that.

Mohamed Salah Jordan Henderson
Mohamed Salah celebrates with Jordan Henderson (L) after scoring against Tottenham (Image credit: Getty)

Liverpool host Napoli at Anfield after the international break and a win should see us qualify for the knockout rounds of the competition.

We shouldn’t try to leave it to the final day as we travel to Austria and face surprise package RB Salzburg.

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The Reds have an easier run in before the trip to Austria. Liverpool have games against Brighton, Everton and Bournemouth, and should be favourites for the three clashes.

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