Even though Jamie Carragher may no longer be an automatic name on the team sheet for the Reds, Brendan Rodgers has still announced that the veteran is critical to the success of the club. Rodgers claims that the 34-year-old is an invaluable asset to have off-the-field and will be one of the reasons why so many young players come through the ranks over the next couple of years.
Despite making no fewer than 468 league starts for Liverpool, Carragher is slowly being phased out of first team affairs and the fact that he has managed to start just two top flight games this term speaks volumes about how Rodgers is starting to place more emphasis on youth. Instead, the Bootle-born defender is generally utilised in Cup competitions, having made four appearances in the Europa League this term. Moreover, when he does feature, Rodgers usually selects him as captain to aid his younger teammates.
With Carragher poised to start yet another Cup outing as the Reds prepare to face West Brom on Wednesday, Rodgers has responded to questions about the club’s official vice-captain. He told the press, “He’s critical. The likes of Andre Wisdom look up so much to guys like Jamie Carragher. For them to be on the same field as him, and to learn from his experience and leadership qualities is very, very important. Sometimes as a coach, you can coach players, you can talk with them, you can educate them, but when they go out onto the field, if they’ve got top players around them that can also help them manage the game from the inside.”
As well as Carragher, Jordan Henderson is also hopeful of netting a start for the team against the Baggies. Even though he was involved in England’s Euro 2012 squad, Henderson has struggled for a place in Rodgers’ plans and has made just one top flight appearance this season.