Liverpool’s Jamie Carragher, who is three days away from his last game for the club, said yesterday that his failure to secure a Premier League title with club would remain his abiding regret.
“I wish I’d won the league,” Carragher said, without a moment’s hesitation, when asked if he had any regrets. “I’ve never won the league and maybe that could have compared to the Champions League [as a highlight, if we’d won it.]” Instead he reflected on the 2005 Champions League as the moment surpassing all others. “There’s no point going over that game,” he said. “Nothing will beat that, will it? We all know what happened that night and it’s difficult to ever top that.”
The answer Carragher gave to the question of why Liverpool never managed to pip Arsenal or Manchester United to take the title was as brutally honest as it has when he has been asked in the past to explain it. “Very simple. We weren’t good enough,” he said. “There’s no fancy reason or excuse. The teams were better than us. A couple of times we were close, but Arsenal and Man United were better than us. It’s not something I lose sleep over. If you look at everyone there’s always something somebody hasn’t done, there’s always more that could be achieved no matter what you’ve done.”
Carragher declared ahead of his swansong, captaining the side in the absence of his friend Steven Gerrard at Queens Park Rangers, that Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure from the stage did give other clubs an opportunity, now. “It does a little bit more,” Carragher said. “He has been a top manager, his record is there for all to see. They have another top manager in David Moyes who I’m sure will do a great job. But maybe it will give other people a chance to get in there as there’s a bit of uncertainty as the chief executive is going as well.”
Carragher identified John Barnes and Gerrard as the two greatest individuals he had played alongside and Rafael Benitez and Phil Thompson as the coaches who had done most to improve his technical ability. “Benitez was brilliant at setting up a defence. He brought my game on a lot at centre-back because that was his expertise, making a team solid. But it’s difficult to single out one person, you get a lot of help from a lot of people.”