Jamie Carragher on football without crowds, Steven Gerrard and his new book

Virgin Radio

10 Nov 2020, 17:02

Liverpool football legend and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher was a guest on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky this morning (Tuesday 10th November) to discuss his new book ‘The Greatest Games’, which looks back at the eleven games that he considers to be the most iconic and important in shaping his love for football.

Chris asked Jamie about the future return of fans at football matches, once coronavirus restrictions are relaxed enough to allow them to attend, to which he enthused: “It’ll feel like all your Christmases come at once, I think, when you hear that roar from the crowd when a goal goes in. We’ve missed it so much and at this moment the football’s been great in some ways without the crowd, so you just think how much better it will be with the supporters back, and fingers crossed the news that we’ve had in the past day or so proves to be correct so we can get back to normal life as soon as possible, which means football crowds back!”

He continued, “I’d like to think the quality and the goals that we’re seeing will still be there hopefully, fingers crossed, but whether it is or it’s not, football with a crowd there will be a lot better spectacle than what we have right now”.

On how the lack of crowds is affecting different teams’ performance, Jamie said: “I think certain teams rely on the crowd a lot more than others. I see some teams near the bottom of the league, I look at Sheffield United, I think (there) being no supporters there is a huge miss for them. I think it’ll be a huge miss for Liverpool throughout the season, and some players feed off that.”

He continued, “That is maybe a slight problem for Liverpool, they’ve still started the season really well and I think, you know, them or Man City are still the two top teams, or the teams to beat if you like, but there’s no doubt towards the end of the season if the title’s in, you know, not sure where it’s going to go, if it’s in contention with different teams, the Anfield crowd you’d think would be able to drag Liverpool home, so fingers crossed this vaccine is available and it means Liverpool can be dragged over the line for the title!”

Jamie told Chris that the beginning of the first national lockdown coincided well with him writing his new book, ‘The Greatest Games’: “There was lots of old games getting put on TV, there was no football, and it gave me a decent opportunity actually to get a lot of work on the book done and speak to lots of people,” he said, “and I think lots of people looked back at old games and reminisced about how they were missing the football and it just coincided with me doing this book at the moment.”

On the games that feature in the book, Jamie said: “It goes from the mid 80s when I can first start remembering football and the great games: some I played in, some I watched as a child and some I’ve looked at as a pundit. There’s all kinds of different games in there, lots of teams in there as well. Liverpool’s biggest rivals, Manchester United and Everton, have both got two games each in there so it tells you there’s a wide range of teams and games involved. I think they’re just the iconic games that I would certainly say are in my top eleven.”

Chris asked Jamie about the quote from Steven Gerrard which features on the cover of the book, to which Jamie jokingly replied: “Let’s say we’ve had a little bit of artistic licence with what Stevie said… it was along those lines but it was maybe not fit for the front cover of a book!”

Quizzed on whether Steven Gerrard could replace Jürgen Klopp as Liverpool manager, Jamie said: “Well, I think it could coincide perfectly for Stevie and Liverpool if Stevie stays in that job for another two or three years, I think Jurgen’s well documented saying he may not extend his contract after he signed this one, I think he’s due to finish in the next two or three years, and Stevie looks like he’s on the verge of big success at Rangers. I think that ability as a manager to pick up trophies, and fingers crossed he does that this season and in the coming seasons, I think it would be a marriage made in heaven shall we say if that could happen one day. But I’m certain at some stage in his career Liverpool will have Steven Gerrard as their manager, whether it’s after Klopp or after that… who knows.”​​​​​​​

Finally, when asked if he would swap the commentary box for the dugout if Steven Gerrard asked him to work with him at Liverpool, he said: “Of course! How could you turn Stevie Gerrard down? After what he’s done for me and me book!”

Jamie Carragher - The Greatest Games is out this Thursday (12th November).