Jamie Carragher on his biggest Liverpool regret – & partying with Drogba with Ibiza
Jamie Carragher admits he only has one regret from a career that saw him cement his legacy as a Liverpool legend.
Carragher played 737 games for the Anfield club in a 16-year career that saw him collect winners’ medals in the Champions League, UEFA Cup, FA Cup and League Cup.
The Premier League title eluded Carragher over the course of his 16 years at Liverpool and he has conceded there is one game he wished he played in came after he hung up his boots.
Carragher retired in the summer of 2013 and a little under a year later, Liverpool were closing in on the Premier League title under manager Brendan Rodgers.
An infamous slip by Steven Gerrard in a clash with Chelsea at Anfield paved the way for a defeat that ended their challenge and Carragher suggested he could have had an influence in that game.
“I have no regrets about the timing of my retirement, but there is one thing I would have liked to do in the season after I retired and that’s play the second half of the Chelsea game,” said Carragher, speaking on the new Aldo Meets podcast hosted by former Liverpool striker John Aldridge.
“That’s the one game I look at think I could have made a difference. I was nowhere near my peak at the age of 35, but I’d loved to have played that second half.
“I have played at Anfield so many times attacking The Kop and even if you are not creating chances, you just keep doing the right things and something opens up, it just does.
“We didn’t do that in the second half against Chelsea and I just wonder whether I could have brought something to that game if I was out there.
“We started to panic in that game, having shots from long distance. Stevie’s (Gerrard) head had gone a little bit, (Luis) Suarez was gone and everything just seemed to go out the window.”
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Many footballers struggle to come to terms with retirement from the sport, but Carragher insists he has never pined for a chance to pull on his boots and play for Liverpool again.
“When you finish your career, you are proud of what you have done if you have got everything out of it,” reflected the former Red who has become a popular pundit on Sky Sports.
“I don’t look back on my football career too much and I’m glad that I got into something with Sky that allows me to look forward and have a plan in my life.
“Don’t get me wrong, I loved every minute of my career. I loved training, playing matches and living that life, but it’s done now.
“I never wanted to get to the point where the supporters thought I was finished, looked at the team sheet and thought; ‘oh no, Carragher’s playing’.
“That’s why I knew two years before I retired when the decision was coming. I was someone who took defeats and bad performances too personally and I didn’t want that anymore.
“The first time I met Brendan Rodgers (when he took over as Liverpool manager), I told him that I was finishing at the end of the season. I knew I was done.”
Arsenal legend Thierry Henry was the one opponent Carragher dreaded facing during his playing days and when he identifies a rival he relished playing, Chelsea’s Didier Drogba is at the top of his list.
“I loved my battles with Drogba,” he added. “He was a brilliant player and the stakes were so high in the games against Chelsea.
“The games were always decided by one goal, one moment of brilliance and you knew that a mistake could be crucial.
“Believe it or not, I played Chelsea 47 times in my career and we were playing them so often in big matches that I got used to playing against Drogba.
“He was always like one of my own team-mates who you train against every day we played them that often.
“I always used to say with Drogba; don’t wind him up. You can’t fight him because he is too strong for you, but there were times when he wasn’t at it. Keep him on side, don’t wind him up.
“I actually saw Drogba in the summer in Ibiza and I had a good chat with him at Pacha nightclub.
“It was their night for playing the old music, their flower power night. So people might have been surprised to see me and Drogba in Ibiza doing a bit of flower power!”