Now that the first wave of reaction to Jamie Carragher's retirement news has subsided, ex-rival Thierry Henry weighs in on Carra's unseen skills as a player.
When Jamie Carragher abruptly announced a month ago that he would retire at the end of the current campaign, messages of support, sadness, and ultimately thanks poured in from current, former, and armchair Reds spread out across the globe.
With Carragher himself questioning his playing status just a few short weeks before his announcement, few would have predicted he’d find himself in the starting eleven once more, let alone in an encouraging vein of form that would see him displace Martin Skrtel as the preferred partner for Daniel Agger. Carra’s swansong season is currently putting him on pace to end a commendable career on a high note, and so it’s not surprising that former opponents are now joining the conga line on Carra’s farewell tour.
"It is not so easy to see inside a player's mind. Jamie's mind was very, very quick. In some ways that is an unfortunate quality to have because it is not an obvious quality. It takes a while for people to see it. But when you are there on the pitch competing against someone with a quick mind, you know about it.
"Defenders don't always get the recognition they deserve for keeping a clean sheet... The way I saw it, especially with Jamie, is that when I was at my best and he was at his best, neither player would win and it would be up to someone else to either win or lose the match."
Carragher is long past the days where he is as quick on his feet as he is in his mind, but it’s the latter skill that will serve him well with his retirement plans, be it in a coaching role with the club he’s spent more than two decades with or with the media plans he is rumoured to be considering. In any case, with the generally positive results of his inclusion in the side keeping him front and centre, it won’t be surprising if Henry isn’t the last former rival to speak highly of Carra as his final season winds down.