“I’M not just talking about winning games, but the way we do things and the way we conduct ourselves. The class and dignity this club was renowned for. It’s the way Liverpool used to be seen by people and we should be aiming to recreate that.”
Jamie Carragher is speaking on the eve of his testimonial in September 2010 amidst a time of unprecedented turmoil at Anfield. The owners are aloof and vilified, the manager is Roy Hodgson and the summer just been has witnessed a dampening of expectations in the transfer market without the allure of Champions League football. It’s a seismic pre-season in the recent history of the club; marking an abrupt end to the Rafa Benitez era and a sharp change in direction.
In a wide-ranging interview Carragher talks about the club reclaiming its identity, about the end of internal politicking and open hostility with other Premier League clubs. He exudes a positivity completely at odds with the situation at the club as it begins its descent down the domestic and European food chain.
The manager had been appointed not because he was the best person available, but because he was cheap, English and well respected; someone to “steady the ship”. His nationality was widely seen as the most important aspect of his appointment, a reclaiming of traditions and a clean break from the continental ideals that had seeped into the club through 12 years of foreign management.