How Carra Developed as a Footballer and a Person

Here are some notes I have extracted from the book Carra: My Autobiography. They are mainly related to how Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher developed as a footballer and a person:

'You need to start appreciating your team-mates.'

Courage, character, grit, willpower and raw strength – these are the virtues people have instilled into me since I was seven years old.

It wasn't simply my football ability the fans were yearning for, it was my personality and character. The Kop loved me for what I represented. I was now being valued as a symbol of what a Liverpool player should be.

From the start I always felt close to GĂ©rard [Houllier]. We shared an obsession with football. He would return home after an evening fixture and watch the match twice on video so he could tell each player what he'd done right or wrong at training the next day. I'd have private meetings with him at Melwood when he'd go through the tapes and pick out my errors. Some players hated it, but I enjoyed it. The painstaking attention to detail was weird yet inspiring. If I played well in my next game and showed the manager how much I'd taken his advice, he'd make me feel ten feet tall with his congratulations.

The people here are happy for you if you achieve a level of success, but they don't like to see it go to your head.

As a player, I've always thought like a manager. From as far back as I can remember I've understood the language of football – not just what's said, but in my reading of the game. I see where moves are developing a second earlier than some players. The reason I've been able to throw my body in the way of a goalbound shot so often is I've sensed the danger before it arrived. I've never been someone who merely absorbed information on the training pitch like a zombie and just did everything I was told without questioning it. I've taken on board all the positive coaching ideas I've been given by Evans, Moran, Houllier and Benitez and applied them to my own view of how the game should be played.

'You never stop learning in football,' Ronnie Moran taught me, and he was sixty-five at the time.

I'm also an avid reader of books – usually sport-related, of course. I hand my family a list of new titles every Christmas so I've always something to poke my nose into on Liverpool's away trips. I've read most players' autobiographies, which was one of the reasons I was so keen to get my own thoughts off my chest.

I shared the accolade with my family. The people of Bootle may have been showing their gratitude towards me, but it pales into insignificance compared with my debt to them.

I owe everything to the game, and everything to the place where I was born and the people who live there. I'll never lose that affection.

No matter how tough the circumstances or how painful the outcome might be, if you showed the right character and stood firm behind what you believed was right, everything could turn out for the best.

My mum said she was sure someone was watching over me from the moment I was born. As I re-read the pages in my life, I think she was right.

No comments: