Jamie Carragher Relishing Return to Liverpool Starting Lineup, Pleased With Performances in 2012-13


March 26, 2013

Jamie CarragherBrendan Rodgers has taken the focus on possession-based football to another level at Liverpool, according to Jamie Carragher.

The 35-year-old knows pass and move was the Liverpool way long before Rodgers’ arrival in June 2012.

However, Carragher insists the Northern Irishman’s emphasis on ball-work surpasses anything he has experienced during his Anfield career.

“We’ve always played football at the club but I would say that Brendan Rodgers has taken it on another level in terms of playing football,” Carragher told Liverpoolfc.com. “He wants us to play even more football than I have ever been brought up to play.

“But we’ve always been a passing club and that will never change.”

Carragher made his return to the side for Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Arsenal at the Emirates in late January.

His man-of-the-match performance against Arsene Wenger‘s men was followed up with a solid show against Barclays Premier League champions Manchester City.

“It was really good to be back,” said Carragher. “I’ve missed it over the past 12 months, so to have a run of games makes you really feel part of it.

“When you come in for the odd game now and then it’s great, but you know that you have to come out [of the team] and you don’t really feel as much a part of things.

“Being in and amongst the lads is great. Knowing that you are going to play helps as well. Sometimes you go into games and you’re not sure, but if you know that you are playing, you can think about the opposition and start to get your mind ready for the game.”

Carragher admits that at the start of the season he felt as though there were many doubting his ability to fit into the possession-based system that Rodgers sought to implement at Anfield.

However, the Bootle boy insists he is more than capable of playing under the new manager’s style — and he believes he has proved as much in recent weeks.

“At the start of the season I was aware that some people were saying I wouldn’t suit Rodgers’ style of football. But I think I have put that to bed in the last few games I have played,” said Carragher. “I think I’ve played well this season, without blowing my own trumpet. Even earlier in the season when I was playing in Europe and in the Carling Cup, I was quite pleased with how I performed.

“Hopefully I can carry that through to the end of the season.”

Carragher hung up his international playing boots in 2006 before coming out of retirement to play for Fabio Capello‘s Three Lions at the World Cup in 2010.

He’s been at Melwood during many an international break in recent years and he knows that the absence of much of the squad can inhibit the manager’s ability to prepare for the next game.

However, Carragher believes the breaks can prove valuable in terms of giving youngsters from the Academy a chance to shine.

“I enjoy international week because you get to see some of the young lads who have come down from the Academy,” he explained. “I’ve been very impressed with Jordan Rossiter. He’s done very well.

“It’s good for us because it’s a bit quieter around Melwood. It’s a good time to recharge physically and mentally and get ready for Aston Villa. The aim is to win games. I wouldn’t set any targets other than: win the next game. That’s what we were doing before Southampton.”

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