There are few who embody Liverpool more than Jamie Carragher. He was Liverpool as much as Steven Gerrard. Here is the thing about Carragher. For some reason or the other, he was never recognized as much as he would have liked in an England shirt. As he took a back seat to the likes of Sol Campbell, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, Ledley King, Joleon Lescott, and Phil Jagielka on the national team.
Perhaps it was his introduction as a full back, or being hailed as Rafa Benitez's reinvention as centre back, the Spaniard never the most popular of managers with the establishment, or maybe it was just his unassuming personality. But Carragher was a definite national afterthought and this frustration led to a 2007 retirement before Fabio Capello recalled him for the 2010 World Cup after anxiety over Ledley King's injuries. Only to be dumped unceremoniously in favour of Matthew Upson for the match against Germany. Yes, that match.
Liverpool was different however. As much as one debates his talent, Carragher was the rock in that changing back line. Keeping up after Sami Hyppia's retirement was difficult but Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger proved less worthy. Which is why Brendan Rodgers sought him out from the margins to the starting XI. Not suprising. Carragher's positional ability and anticipation compensates so well for his lack of speed, its little wonder he's considered one of the best in snuffing out attacking threats. He may have scored a few own goals but he must have saved hundreds more.
Rodgers was also acutely aware that the man from Bootle, other than Gerrard, brought essential leadership qualities to a transitioning team. Just like he had seen off the challenges of Rigoberto Song, John Arne Riise, and Steve Finnan, Carragher once again managed to adapt starting a mini-revival this season. Liverpool nowadays is far removed from those CL knuckle whiteners against AC Milan or Chelsea in which the centre back strode like a colossus. With his retirement, only a handful (Gerrard, Reina, and possibly Agger) are left in the side to provide those comforting associations. Carragher still has the rest of the season left, so let not that past tense fool you. There are things to do, miles to go, before one hangs up those boots. Just business as usual for Mr Carragher.