Liverpool: Carragher gives Rodgers tricky decisions

2May 2013

England - Premier League

 

With the news that Jamie Carragher will stick by his decision to hang up his boots at the end of the season, Christian Crowther combs over Brendan Rodgers' options...

 

After a brief flirtation with abandoning retirement plans, Liverpool's Jamie Carragher has finally concluded that the lure of working with Gary Neville on the pundit sofa is too much.

 

While the news may have been greeted well in the Carragher household, it has come as a blow to Liverpool's manager, who had briefly succeeded in getting his player to reconsider retirement after reinstalling him as first-choice Premier League centre-back in the second half of the season.

 

The news also arrives in a hugely important week for Liverpool, who face Everton at Anfield as they battle for league supremacy with the Toffees - still five points clear of their hosts in sixth - with the Reds rated at 3.7 to overhaul their neighbours for a top-six finish.

 

Everton, who are 4.0 to triumph haven't secured an away league win in 12 attempts at Anfield, losing five of the last eight, while Liverpool are 2.04 for victory off the back of that 6-0 thrashing of Newcastle.

 

These are the sorts of games that Jamie Carragher was built for but, without his influence next season, Rodgers has to decide whether to twist or stick with his current options.

 

Brought in by Rafael Benitez in January 2008, Martin Skrtel had previously established himself as a fixture at the heart of Liverpool's defence.

 

However, since Rodgers' arrival, the Slovakian has paid for a poor first half of the season by being replaced with Carragher and, unfortunately for him, the team's fortunes have improved.

 

At 28, Rodgers must decide whether the summer could be the right time to cash in on the defender as Daniel Agger is the natural choice to remain as one half of any potential pairing.

 

He has shown no faith in Uruguayan Sebastian Coates, who has been limited to just ten appearances, only three of those in the league, so it would be no shock to see his departure, especially if his compatriot Luis Suarez leaves too.

 

We have already witnessed this season that Rodgers will place his trust in youngsters and he may well see this as his best option.

 

Andre Wisdom and Martin Kelly both fit the bill and have shown great promise in a red shirt, especially the former when elevated to the first team in the unfamiliar role of right-back earlier in the season.

 

One player that keeps being linked is Swansea's Ashley Williams. The Wales skipper, 29 in August, is reportedly interested in an Anfield move, though his age is not preferable to FSG's policy of signing young talent.

 

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Keywords: Liverpool, Carragher, Rodgers

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