Brendan Rodgers pays tribute to 'iconic' Jamie Carragher

The defender has announced he will retire at the end of the season

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers admits he has an impossible task trying to find someone to fill the void which will be left by the “irreplaceable” Jamie Carragher.

The 35-year-old centre-back yesterday announced he would retire from football at the end of the season after more than 16 years in the Reds first team.

Rodgers has only recently brought the former England international back into the heart of the defence at the expense of Martin Skrtel after concerns a lack of leadership was being exposed.

The Reds boss claims Carragher was thinking about quitting last summer but was persuaded to carry on.

Now the Northern Irishman has just a few months to find alternatives to the man he called a Liverpool icon.

"He has been a giant for me since I came in here, an incredible man, he is one of a dying breed," he said.

"He is someone who has good real old school values and ethics but, as you can see from his last two performances, he still has the qualities to play at this level.

"He is a real iconic player for this club and, for me, one which will be irreplaceable.

"I don't think he can be replaced. I genuinely think he is a player who I would call a pure defender.

"You see a lot of rash defending nowadays but he defends with great intelligence, he knows when to mark a man and when to mark space and understands the basic principles of defending.

"He is an outstanding leader and organiser in the team and to find someone with all those capabilities and has the heart the size of a lion is very difficult.

"That type you won't find but you have to look for other types with other qualities and that is something we will have to do."

Although his playing days may be coming to an end Rodgers would like to keep a player whom he has used as a sounding board during his first season at Anfield close at hand, although Carragher has yet to decide where his future lies.

"It is something he has thought long and hard about over the last 18 months," said Rodgers.

"He had thought about his last summer when I first came in and we had some good conversations and persuaded him to stay on.

"From now until the end of the season he just wants to concentrate on his football - beyond that it is too early to say but in relation to staying on it was always clear it was something I wanted Jamie to do."

While Rodgers will scour the transfer market for a replacement he has a couple of promising youngsters within the set-up in Martin Kelly, currently out with cruciate knee ligament injury but set to sign a new contract as early as next week, and Andre Wisdom.

"Martin has shown a commitment to our vision here. He is a young player who really impressed me when I came in," he said.

"He was exceptionally good in the games he played earlier in the season.

"Andre has played a lot of his career at centre-half but has also shown he can play in a couple of positions.

"It will be interesting to see over the coming years and time will tell as players will improve as they get older."

With Carragher announcing his impending retirement a sharper focus turns to the other half of the team's Scouse heartbeat Steven Gerrard.

The captain is two years younger (he turns 33 in May) but Rodgers believes he can go on for some time yet after putting in some stellar performances recently, having played every minute of every league match so far.

"He has been instrumental now for a number of months," he said.

"He is adapting and modifying his game but he still has the qualities he has always had.

"This is a guy who has everything in the locker: a wonderful professional, a great man off the field - a real inspiration for any young player - who leads his life the right way.

"You see him on the field, his range of passing, his touch and his leadership qualities and his influence is getting stronger for me.

"He was outstanding (for England) the other night playing in that slightly deeper, controlling role which I think he can play as the years go on.

"He is able to dictate the rhythm of the game and some of the invention and creativity in his passing was brilliant and defensively he was very good."

PA

Voices
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond delivers his speech at the Scottish National Party (SNP) Spring Conference in Aberdeen, Scotland April 12, 2014.
voices
Arts & Entertainment
Jessica Pare as Megan Draper and Jon Hamm as the troubled, melancholy Don Draper
tvAnd six other questions we hope Mad Men series seven will answer
Life & Style
The new low cost smartphone of Motorola, 'Motorola Moto G', is displayed in Sao Paulo, Brazil on November 13, 2013. The smartphone, with dimensions 65.9mm W x 129.9mm H x 6.0 - 11.6mm D is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 with quad-core 1,2 GHz CPU, a 4.5-inch display and Android Operating System 4.3 and a suggested price of $ 179 USD.
techData assessing smartphones has revealed tens of millions of phones are at risk of being harvested
News
David Beckham is planning to build a stadium in Miami’s port for a new football team he will own
news... in his fight for a football stadium in Miami's port area
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
weird newsMan live-photographs cracking of mysterious locked box on Reddit
Sport
Oliver Giroud kisses the Arsenal badge after giving the Gunners the lead
sportArsenal 3 West Ham 1: Two goals from the German striker and one piece of brilliance from Giroud puts the Gunners back above Everton
News
Plans to decriminalise non-payment of television licence fees would cost the BBC £500m according to estimates drawn up within the Corporation
people
News
weird news
Arts & Entertainment
Seeing red: James Dean with Sal Mineo in 'Rebel without a Cause'
filmAs 'Rebel without a Cause' is re-released, Geoffrey Macnab reveals how its star James Dean perfected his moody act
News
Obesity surgery in rats has been found to change the way the body processes alcohol
news
Arts & Entertainment
Heads up: Andy Scott's The Kelpies in Falkirk
artThe Kelpies are the latest addition to a growing army of giant sculptures. But naysayers are asking what a pair of gigantic horse heads tells us about Falkirk?
Life & Style
US Airways has been at the centre of a Twitter storm after it responded to customer complaints with a graphic sexual image
techUS Airways takes an interesting approach to customer service
Arts & Entertainment
Philip Arditti as Yossarian and Christopher Price as Milo Minderbinder in Northern Stage's 'Catch-22'
theatre
Arts & Entertainment
The Purple Wedding: Joffrey and Margaery Tyrell tie the knot
TV The second episode of the hit series featured a surprise for viewers
Life & Style
Back to nature: women with body issues have found naked yoga sessions therapeutic
lifeDoing poses in the altogether is already big in the US, and now it’s landed here – in mixed classes
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal
Supersize art

Is big better? Britain's latest super-sized art

The Kelpies are the latest addition to a growing army of giant sculptures. But naysayers are asking what a pair of gigantic horse heads tells us about Falkirk?
James Dean: Back on the big screen

James Dean: Back on the big screen

As 'Rebel without a Cause' is re-released, Geoffrey Macnab reveals how its star perfected his moody act
Catch-22: How the cult classic was adapted for the stage

How a cult classic was adapted for the stage

More than half a century after it was published 'Catch-22' will make its British stage debut next week
10 best activity books for children

10 best activity books for children

Keep little ones busy this bank holiday with one of these creative, educational and fun books
Arsenal 3 West Ham United 1: Five things we learnt from the battle between the London sides

Five things we learnt from Arsenal's win over West Ham

Arsenal still in driving seat for Champions League spot and Carroll can make late charge into England’s World Cup squad
Copa del Rey final: Barcelona are paying for their complacency and not even victory over Real Madrid will put things right

Pete Jenson on the Copa del Rey final

Barcelona are paying for their complacency and not even victory over Real Madrid will put things right
Rafa to reign? Ten issues clay courts will serve up this season

Rafa to reign? Ten issues clay courts will serve up this season

With the tennis circus now rolling on to the slowest surface, Paul Newman highlights who'll be making the headlines – and why
Exclusive: NHS faces financial disaster in 2015 as politicians urged to find radical solution

NHS faces financial disaster in 2015

Politicians urged to find radical solution
Ukraine crisis: How spontaneous are the pro-Russian protests breaking out in Ukraine’s east?

Ukraine crisis

How spontaneous are the pro-Russian protests breaking out in Ukraine’s east?
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: The first execution at the Tower of London for 167 years

The first execution at the Tower of London for 167 years

A history of the First World War in 100 moments
Fires could turn Amazon rainforest into a desert as human activity and climate change threaten ‘lungs of the world’, says study

New threat to the Amazon rainforest:

Fires that scorch the ‘lungs of the Earth’
Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City: And the winner of this season’s Premier League title will be...

Who’s in box seat now? The winner of the title will be ...

Who is in best shape to take the Premier League prize?