Carragher covets medals more as chances run out
Wednesday 07 March 2012
The Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher admits that losing his place in the first-team starting line-up this season has given him a new appreciation of his career.
However, the 34-year-old is not ready to give up on his playing days just yet as he is keen to add more winners' medals to the Carling Cup the club lifted last month.
Carragher lost his place as a result of the excellence of Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger in central defence but injury to the latter has provided an opening for the vice-captain.
Last weekend's defeat to Arsenal was only Carragher's second Premier League start of 2012, after he had previously been restricted largely to cup competitions.
"I can't lie, it has been difficult at times," Carragher said yesterday. "But I've said it loads of times in interviews: you have to be respectful to the manager and the other players.
"Privately, at times I'm frustrated but that's because I'm a footballer, I want to play and I'm passionate – I wouldn't be here in the first place otherwise. But I realise this happens to everyone at a certain age. It also reminds me what I've done.
"I've played for Liverpool's first team pretty much every week for 16 years. When you do it every week, it slips your mind a little, but when you play the odd game against Oldham or Brighton at Anfield in the cups and you leave the pitch knowing you've won well and done all right yourself, it's a great feeling. So it sinks in more when you're not playing."
Carragher may have only a few years left at the top, but he is keen to add to the tally of 11 trophies he has won at Anfield, especially after having to wait six years for the latest one.
"There was a time when I thought we weren't going to get to another final," he told LFC magazine. "I want to win more before the end of my career. That's why I'm desperate for the FA Cup and to play in Europe again.
"At the moment we're definitely in the Europa League [for next season, after the Carling Cup win] and I know people knock it but I'd love to reach the final of that competition.
"I've been to three in Europe so far. To have four in your career would be a fantastic achievement.
"At the end of a career you're desperate more than ever for medals, grabbing as much as you can as you go."
The Everton manager, David Moyes, approaches his 10th anniversary at Goodison Park next week admitting it is a "big achievement" to spend a decade at one club.
When he moved from Championship side Preston North End he was given a four-year contract, but the Scot did not know whether he would see that out or not.
And, in a situation similar to that faced by Andre Villas-Boas at Chelsea before he was sacked at the weekend, Moyes said he had to win over the players who were only a few years younger than him.
"When I came to Everton, did I think I'd be here 10 years? I don't think you ever think that," he said.
"You sign a four-year contract but it's difficult to know how long you're going to get.
"This job, because of the demands put on you, the public scrutiny and the results world that means there's a demand to win regularly, makes it hard to stay at any one club for 10 years," Moyes explained.
"So, yes, 10 years is a big achievement – but the club deserves a lot of credit as well.
"Bill Kenwright [the club's chairman] had the foresight to look for someone he felt could help Everton and they've not been in a business where they've been unstable."
Moyes took over at Everton a month before his 39th birthday and felt he had to win over the squad.
"I took the Everton job when I was 38 years old, so it was relatively young," he told the Liverpool Echo.
"Some of the players weren't that much younger than me, and you have to earn respect.
"The players want to see how you work but I think I've been lucky, because I've had good players around me and things have gone well – from the very first game."
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