Normally when a season ends there is sense of emptiness. Oh dear it’s the summer, long empty weekends of tennis and formula one. However, the proximity of the World Cup and a relief that this season is over, lets face it wasn’t our finest hour, means that this time it’s different.
I for one was glad to see the back of the 2009-10 season. The reasons, well they are obvious? However a break, and chance to reflect, sees my relief replaced by impatience and anxiety about what will happen with the club. Will it be sold? What will happen to certain players? Will the new stadium get the go ahead? Will Rafa leave? Now I can only liken how I feel about the present situation to a bad round of golf. You feel a bit depressed and annoyed immediately after but that soon goes and, before you know it, you want to get back out on to the course again and see that things are put right. I’m sure that’s the attitude at the club now in terms of both off and on field issues? If it isn’t why?
I suspect nothing will happen straight away due the forthcoming World Cup which, in case you didn’t know, begins next month! Most of the major transfers will be on hold until the end of it. Managers will be looking at how potential targets do in the tournament. Will they get injured or perhaps a new target will come to the fore? No doubt the players themselves will be too involved to discuss their future?
Yesterday the England team, in the hope that it will recreate some of the conditions in Johannesburg, set off to Austria for altitude training. One interesting development in relation to their quest for glory (before the inevitable going out on penalties in the quarter finals) was the inclusion of Jamie Carragher in Fabio Capello’s initial squad of thirty.
I respected Carragher for his decision to put Liverpool first with the announcement that he was no longer available for England selection. Then the national side was under the stewardship of Steve McClaren who, despite Carragher’s good form, had continually overlooked him. Carragher had accepted that initially he was not an automatic first choice as John Terry and Rio Ferdinand held the two centre back slots. However eventually he felt he had done enough to be third choice and even challenge Ferdinand. In his autobiography “Carra” he said
“I felt my form was as good as ever going into 2006-07. John Terry is one of the best defenders in the world, but over the previous two years I thought he was the only English defender who had played better than me. I was confident I could challenge Rio Ferdinand for the second defensive spot… a potential vacancy was there”
Despite this Ledley King was preferred and Jamie was shunted out to full back and soon after he told McClaren he didn’t want to be picked.
I guess having made his choice it would be difficult to go back on it and at the time he probably felt that was that.
“I doubt the England fans would have me back anyway given their reaction”
Despite overtures from Capello, Jamie remained steadfast until now. Perhaps time and a new manager have healed his bitterness? Who can blame him? Would anyone turn down a chance to play in the World Cup especially now that we are out of Champions League, and I doubt Carragher will around for the next World Cup? No doubt those of a more cynical nature might accuse Carragher of “cherry picking” his England availability however he isn’t the only example of a player who has made himself unavailable under one manager and then said he is once he’s gone?
It’s ironic that as Carragher returns so does Ledley King the person who McClaren overlooked him for. Let’s hope history doesn’t repeat itself and to those such as Adrian Durham of Talk Sport who at the time of Jamie quitting called him a “bottler” may be you should ask yourself this? Was it Carragher who turned his back on England or did England, thanks to McClaren’s dubious selections, turn it’s back on Carragher?
Finally an indication about how I can’t even hold my head up as a Liverpool fan in relative “sanctuary” of family life.
My son recently had a birthday party at the local ten pin bowling alley. There were a number of parties going no at the same time and as part of a “communal” event the kids are invited to come of stage and tell the announcer a joke for a reward of a sweet. One of my son’s mates came out with this.
Kid: “What do to do if Liverpool win the Premiership?”
Announcer: “I don’t know, what do to do if Liverpool win the Premiership?”
Kid: “Turn off the Playstation and go to bed!”
Cue hoots and laughter from assorted kids and parents in my direction! Is nothing sacred? Can’t a man grieve in peace?