A few quick notes to start off what may be an eventful week:
- Sky Sports announced its live Premier League schedule (at least through November), which for those of us in the U.S., means (but doesn’t guarantee) that these games should end up on FoxSoccerChannel. No word on Setanta’s American schedule as of yet. The Liverpool games on Sky are as follows:
Sunday, Aug 19 – Liverpool vs. Chelsea – 4pm (11am EST)
Saturday, Aug 25 – Sunderland vs. Liverpool – 12:45pm (7:45am EST)
Saturday, Sept 15 – Portsmouth vs. Liverpool – 12:45pm (7:45am EST)
Saturday, Oct 20 – Everton vs. Liverpool – 12:45pm (7:45am EST)
Sunday, Oct 28 – Liverpool vs. Arsenal – 4pm (11am EST)
Saturday, Nov 24 – Newcastle vs. Liverpool – 12:45pm (7:45am EST)
Jamie Carragher has confirmed that he is indeed considering retiring from international football. I personally like this idea as it will no doubt only help to extend his playing career, much in the same vein as Paul Scholes, as a multitude of peoples have already pointed out. As a selfish Liverpool fan, I want Carra to be a part of the team for as long as humanly possible and I can only imagine those extra week’s rest from training on international dates will help him acheive his goal of still playing for Liverpool when we make the move to Stanley Park. While it doesn’t seem like Jamie to ‘put himself before the team’ (which I don’t believe is actually the case), it’s sort of refreshing to see him ‘stand up for himself and his career’ after all the disrespect (I feel) he’s recently been shown in the England set-up. Quit England, Jamie. It’ll be for the best. For his part, the Long-Sleeved One had this to say about his choice (from the Liverpool Echo, via Sky Sports):
There are a number of reasons why I’ve been thinking about this. I first thought about it after the World Cup because I wondered how many chances I’d get for England at centre-half.
Then when Sol Campbell was out of the picture I thought I could put pressure on Rio Ferdinand for the other centre-half position alongside John Terry.
Given my form for Liverpool, I genuinely thought that was possible, but over the last 12 months players like Jonathan Woodgate and Ledley King have played there ahead of me.
It’s just that from a purely personal point of view, it’s been disappointing because after some of my performances for Liverpool I thought I deserved a chance.
I hoped I could come in, play out of my skin and do well enough to keep my place, not just for one game or two, but cement it. It was particularly disappointing for me when Rio was out against Estonia and I wasn’t picked. I thought I’d had a good season for Liverpool, especially helping us get to the Champions League final. Like any player I thought I deserved to play, but not doing so made the situation crystal clear to me.
I’m 29 now, and I have to accept if I’m not a regular starter now, I don’t think I ever will be. It’s going to be difficult for me to be seen as anything more than a squad player, and at this stage of my career that’s not what I’m interested in.
Playing the odd game here and there isn’t enough. Four or five years ago I was happy to have that role, but not now. I want to stress this has nothing do with Steve McClaren. It wouldn’t have mattered who was the England manager, I’ve been thinking about this for a while. I’ve worked with Steve for five years as part of the England set-up. I have a great time working with him and a lot of the England coaches. I’m just thinking about this from a purely personal point of view. The reason I’m delaying a final decision is because I didn’t want people to think I have a bad attitude or I’m turning my back on the country at a bad time.
- Javier Mascherano scored his second international goal in as many games, as Argentina rolled over Peru (4-0) into the semi’s of Copa America. It was a fine knock-in after Tevez slotted the ball over to Messi, who had his shot parried into the path of an on-rushing Masch, who nailed it into the back of the twine. I know our little bulldog is new to this whole ‘scoring thing’, but we’ve seriously got to work on the celebration. The video, courtesy of 101 Great Goals:
Liverpool may have Cesc Fabregas to thank for Fernando Torres. Apparently the Arsenal midfielder had high praise for a move to England, and after a long talk between friends, El Nino decided he could succeed in the Premier League. Ironically, this revelation surfaces the same week Real Madrid have started tapping Fabregas up for a move back to Spain.
And some quick transfer nuggets… Cisse to Marseille & Bellamy to West Ham should both be announced this week, Liverpool have officially lodged a bid for 20-year old Ajax winger Ryan ‘I Love Arsenal’ Babel, and the offers have starting to roll in for Robbie Fowler. God at Cardiff, anyone?