Monday, January 12, 2009

LFC - Jamie Carragher Interview

We asked the Bootle-born legend to name his player and young player of the year before moving on to more pressing matters - like who hogs the mirror at Melwood and who has been his nightmare roommate during the year that was.

Didi Hamann and Jermaine Pennant have both fallen victim to Carra's unique wit in the last few years - this time it's the turn of a certain Dutch international.

Look away now, Dirk...

Okay Jamie, who's your player of the year?

There are a few candidates for that in 2008. I mean, it has obviously got to be Torres with the impact he has made, and also what he did for Spain in the summer. It was a magnificent achievement. But there are probably another two or three players who are very close - obviously Stevie Gerrard is always there or thereabouts. He's scored a lot of goals and had that great relationship with Torres. I think Mascherano has come in well and also Skrtel.

Pick your five-a-side team of the year from the squad…

Reina, Gerrard, Torres...can you pick yourself?


Okay, me. So how many is that? One more? Need a midfielder, don't I? Alonso.

Who's your unsung hero of 2008?

Arbeloa. He's someone who doesn't get talked about a lot as he's playing full-back and it's probably the least glamorous position on the pitch, but he's come in and displaced Steve Finnan, who was a great player for Liverpool. He's come in and done his job very quietly but effectively.

Best goal of 2008?

There's a few Torres and Gerrard ones, isn't there? The Torres one against Arsenal in the Champions League where he just turned and hit it was a very important goal. Being at Anfield, at the Kop end, on a great European night in the Champions League quarter finals - I'll have to go for that one.

Not your goal against Middlesbrough?

I always think mine are the best, so that doesn't count.

Okay, moving on slightly - who's the cleverest member of the Liverpool squad?

Well, Dossena reads a book and wears glasses. I think he's trying to make out he's quite clever but I don't think that counts - I think it's just a bluff. Probably someone like Hyypia.

We've had our fair share of 'Triggers' at Liverpool over the years - is there anyone who fills that role at the moment?

Oh yeah, Dirk. He's unbelievable. Every day in training the referee will give the rules out and he'll just continually break them throughout the session. They talk about these Dutch players knowing football, but Babel is pretty much the same as well. Dutch players are supposed to know different positions and total football, but that's a load of nonsense!

Who's the most Scouse foreigner?

Reina and Alonso are really good lads and they mix well with the Scousers. They really embrace being a part of Liverpool. They seem to know a lot about the history of the club and the people and they seem to have settled well. They've been here a little longer than a lot of the others but they are two who have really mixed in well and I think they get to know everything that's going on in Liverpool.

Who is the funniest member of the squad?

Pennant, he's a lively character. Pepe likes a laugh and a joke, and so do I. There's a few, actually. I've calmed down a little bit now because I'm a family man - I used to be mad years ago. Probably Pennant really, he's the one who's always got a story to tell.

Nicest member of the squad?

Benayoun, he seems to get on well with everyone. He speaks a few different languages and is always laughing and joking, and I don't think I've ever seen him lose his temper or anything on the training pitch or off it. He's a really nice fella.

Nightmare roommate?

My nightmare roommate would probably be Pennant, because I don't think he gets much sleep so he'd probably like to stay up a little bit later. Stay well clear of him.

And who's your ideal roommate?

The one I've got at the moment, actually: Stevie Gerrard. He puts my bags away, makes me cups of tea and makes my bed in the morning, so he's the ideal one.

Who's the biggest moaner?


Best trainer?

Probably Stevie. He's got the most ability in training. There's a few players who work very hard. Alonso does very well in training as well.

Most skilful?

Well, the three most technically gifted in our team are probably Torres, Gerrard and Alonso. All three have got different abilities, so you'll have to pick out of them, I'm not picking.

Okay, who has got the worst haircut?

Fellaini's isn't great at Everton, is it? But here at Liverpool? Well, Dirk's is bad, he puts this yellow gel on it, he takes it everywhere with him.

And who's the vainest player?

There'll be a few surprises in that, actually. Stevie spends a little bit too much time in front of the mirror for my liking, considering he's from Huyton. I'd probably say Stevie, he's just got to pull back on the reins on that type of thing.

Who's the worst dancer now Crouchie's gone?

He was the best dancer! We had our Christmas meal and Degen was up dancing and didn't do well. [Laughs] I'm surprised he never got injured! He was up dancing and it didn't go down too good.

Best dancer?

The best dancer is probably El Zhar, he's got a few moves.

Okay, who's the worst dresser, Jamie?

There's a few. Dirk is bad, Plessis is bad.

What do they wear?

Plessis comes in with these big, baggy, multi-coloured tracksuits - I don't even know what it is. Dirk is just Dirk, isn't he? He's just like Hamann; they just don't care - scruffs. I'd probably say Dirk.

And the best dresser?


Who's got the best and worst taste in music?

The best and Stevie are pretty similar. The lads put their iPod on before a game, I'd never do that but his [Stevie's] is alright. Dirk's is okay, actually. I'm just trying to think about whose has been on - think Babel's was poor when he put it on. All that rap stuff.

Who has been your toughest opponent of the year?

There's a few who are always tough. Your Drogbas, Adebayors, Rooneys - people like that. I'd probably say all of them, really. When you play against that type of player, you know you've been in a really tough game. Sometimes you get the better of them and sometimes they get the better of you, but no matter when you play against them it's very tough.

Have you got a favourite away ground?

I love the Emirates now, I think that's a superb stadium. I hope we can have something like that in the future. Old Trafford is a magnificent stadium, it's got to be said. I always like playing at Goodison, me - the derby games. It's a typical, old-fashioned stadium in a way because the crowd are right on top of you, it's a great atmosphere and we tend to do quite well there, so I'd probably say Goodison Park.

What is the best chant, song or banner that you've seen all year?

There's been a few of them on the Kop, hasn't there? I think the Torres song is good, my son is always singing that one.

Does he do the bounce?

Well, I don't know because he's only been to a couple of away games. He was probably doing it at Man City when we got back to 3-2. I mean, we're probably the best supporters in the world for making up chants - I don't know how they come up with them.

Can you hear what they're singing when you're on the pitch?

I can hear most of it but I have to get it fully relayed to me, the full words off a few fans and all that. My son is teaching me a little bit of it as well, so yeah, someone has come up with a great song there.

taken from ; here.

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