Liverpool Fan: Carra Made Fool Of Himslef, Sky Made Idiots Of Us All...
When I sat stuck to the couch after Liverpool’s draw with Swansea, riddled with the inertia that hits fans when you have seen your team draw a game that could have easily been won or lost, and heard Jamie Carragher say that both Lampard and Gerrard were superior players in their peak to Paul Scholes my heart sank.
Not necessarily because I agree or disagree – I don’t think there is a definitive answer for the record – but because Carragher, riding high after holding his own Neville in the pre-match preamble (and for most of the season), dragged himself down to pub level. With one rash statement and a glib reasoning, he showed a weakness, a need to be controversial, and he handed Gary Neville the status of Sky’s best pundit on a silver platter.
I love a pub argument, I’ll argue with anyone on the merits of Maradona compared to Messi (did it full of beak and for an inferior team), I’ll row with fellow Liverpool fans on why I would’ve loved Cantona at the club and I’ll rant and rave about why Baggio, Romario and Stoichkov aren’t fully appreciated by an era that treasures robotic success over mercurial talent.
I don’t, however, want this from my pundits, especially when it is futile. Neville will back Scholes, Carragher will back Gerrard (and throw in Lampard to avoid cries of bias). They are backing their friends, their teammates, and to do anything else would be ridiculous. What’s more, to make us sit through their childish arguments, to fill up column inches with their nonsense is just a waste of all of our time. Do it in the green room, do it in the pub, do it in the taxi on the way home, do it wherever, just save your petty point scoring for the moment the mikes are turned off.
After years of sub-par nonsense on both MOTD and SKY, of feeling aurally buggered with constant clichés of “terrible defending” and catchphrases of ‘take a bow’ I honestly, truthfully, hoped this season would be different. That Carragher, like Neville has, would leave his one eyed views and status as the Bootle foghorn, fond of rollicking Swiss fullbacks and eliciting sounds that even Huskies can’t hear, at the door. I love Jamie Carragher for his exploits as a Liverpool player, but in this instance he’s urinated on our chips, he’s backed us into a corner because we’ll have to defend him.
And, because of this, we’ll enjoy football less. Rather than existing in that weird place last season where it became ok to admit that Neville was a good pundit, it will turn every episode of MNF into a pitched battle. Liverpool v Manchester United played out in a studio while we watch and gawp and swear as Rupert Murdoch rubs his hands together and spunks millions more into the gaping, s***** and bruised orifice that doubles as his bank account.
Neville, with his status as the senior will love this, he can sit on the ropes and let Carragher punch himself out, rope-a-dope the junior man into exasperated claims, take him down with one-inch verbal punches that will send the vast majority of Liverpool and Manchester United fans into frothing joy and sorrow, of claim and counter-claim, stupid argument and ill-considered barb. If we spend our time arguing over arguments between two one-club heroes then forget Carragher making a fool of himself, SKY have made idiots of us all. And that is worrying.