Hit | Miss | Sideline: Carragher turns back the clock
Liverpool’s 1-1 draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge yesterday was very much unexpected but fully deserved, especially in the manner that they soaked up everything Chelsea threw at them. Jamie Carragher, a peripheral figure at Anfield in recent times, showed that he still has the class and know how to snuff out Chelsea’s potent attacking players.
Carragher was simply immense and an absolute credit to himself for keeping going while not in the team. The term “legend” is thrown around so easily these days but he is a true Liverpool legend and has never let them down. Even now, as he is getting older, he is still as determined and dogged as ever and deserves a lot of credit for his performance at the Bridge.
My one concern for Liverpool is if Luis Suarez, who scored Liverpool’s equaliser in West London, gets injured. They have no replacement and that must be a big worry for manager Brendan Rodgers because Suarez has been immense for them this season.
Southampton continue to shoot themselves in the foot. After taking a well-deserved lead against Swansea City at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday, they then went and gave away a disastrous goal in the eventual 1-1 draw. The one thing that concerns me with Saints is the lack of top-league experience all the way through their team.
Come January, when the run-in to the campaign starts, and if no signings have been made, that lack of experience will take its toll. If they spend money wisely to rectify that in January, then maybe the new mixture will see them through. At this moment, though, it doesn’t look very promising.
Nigel Adkins, their manager, is also under increasing scrutiny from the media and also the Saints boardroom. It does make you think – perhaps successive promotions, rather than steady progress over a few years, came too soon. Rush up the ladder, wobble at the top and fall, gets you right back where you started. And with plenty of bruises or worse.
Congratulations to Wilfried Zaha, the Crystal Palace winger, on his call-up to the England senior squad for the friendly against Sweden in Stockholm on Wednesday. It’s nice to see Roy Hodgson looking beyond the Premier League and giving youngsters from the Championship a chance, though his hand may have been forced by a number of late withdrawals from his squad due to a series of injuries.
Zaha no doubt has the world at his feet and, with Ian Holloway as his new manager at Selhurst Park, the lad will remain grounded. That’s the key. If he can keep his feet on the floor, then he can mature as a player and man and the sky will be the limit for him.
However, it is a curious case as Zaha has yet to commit to England despite playing for the under-19 and under-21 sides. He hails originally from Ivory Coast and Didier Drogba, the former Chelsea striker, has made contact to try to persuade him to play for the country of his birth.
An appearance in Stockholm will make no difference as it is a friendly. Zaha’s options are still open … but it will be “make your mind up” time very soon.