Feature: Jack Gaughan reacts to Jamie Carragher’s bitter comments about the England managerial situation.
Jamie Carragher has come across as a very bitter man today as he once again wades into the national team managerial debate.
In an interview with TalkSport, the Liverpool defender lambasts the FA for appointing foreign managers of England, labelling it as ’embarrassing’.
Interestingly, many pundits have previously stated that a player turning his back on his country is also an embarrassment; something Carragher is supremely guilty of.
But putting that fact aside, his ill-timed comments come across as naive and unhelpful, with Fabio Capello’s men going into a crucial Euro2012 qualify with Montenegro tomorrow night.
Carragher, who made his international debut under Kevin Keegan in 1999, said: ‘It’s a form of cheating in international football and it’s a bit embarrassing.
‘It’s different for developing countries in Africa and elsewhere, who are trying to build the game up but, for England, such a big football nation, I don’t think we should have a foreign manager.’
The 33-year-old was overlooked in his preferred central defensive role under Sven-Goran Eriksson and has had an indifferent relationship with foreign managers ever since.
He actually retired from international football under Steve McClaren but reversed his decision after Fabio Capello talked him back into the fold for the 2010 World Cup. And somewhat bizarrely Carragher says his comments aren’t negative towards the current England boss.
‘I’ve got nothing against Capello, I went to the World Cup and got to know him, but that’s not what international football is. It’s like saying if our keeper’s not good enough, we’ll go and get (Gianluigi) Buffon from Italy,’ he said, overlooking the fact that many countries – including the great France team of 1998 – use players born in other countries. Not to mention his cricketing counterparts, who are number one in the world with stars from Australia and South Africa in their ranks.
In fairness to Carragher, he has been unfortunate throughout his career not to have made more of his time with England and should’ve accumulated far more caps than he’ll end with. Defenders perceived as more stylish (see Rio Ferdinand) have always been first on the team sheet.
However, the timing of the comments show his apparent lack of respect for the current regime and his former teammates.
He ended by saying: ‘If every club had an English manager, someone would have to win the league! Someone would have to win the FA Cup! And then they’d accumulate these trophies,’ forgetting that in that instance trophies would not equal ability whatsoever.
I’ve not even pointed out that Kenny Dalglish isn’t English.
Unfortunately, all credence he may have yielded went out the window when he seemingly backed the decision to hire Capello in 2008: ‘Capello had an aura and presence that maybe McClaren didn’t have.’
So what does he want? A manager with solid experience at winning trophies or one who wins in stagnant competition?
Hypothetically, what if Sir Alex Ferguson or Martin O’Neill wanted to take the England reins? Would Jamie have a problem with that?
Carragher has been shown up for being akin to a bull in a china shop with his ill-thought out comments, which do not add to any debate at all and serve as a hindrance to English football.
Reasoned arguments and solutions are what is needed, but Carragher comes across as someone who is disenchanted and bitter after his lacklustre international career.