PREVIEW: Fulham v Liverpool - Sunday 12 May - 15.00 k/o

Posted by ashleyrose-66 on May 2, 2013, 10:55:42 AM

Fulham v Liverpool – Sunday 12 May 2013 - kick-off: 15.00

In their final away game of the season, Liverpool head to Craven Cottage to face Fulham.
The match will be the last time Jamie Carragher travels on the team bus to an away fixture as a Liverpool player.   Fulham are one of 3 teams to have conceded a Jamie Carragher league goal!!

Much will be written about Carragher in the coming days, weeks, months and years, so I’ll let better writers than me evaluate the career of a legendary footballer and man.
But as he gets set to lace up his boots for the final time in a “visitors” dressing room I’m going to focus a little on some of Carra’s happiest away-days.

Jamie Carragher made his first team debut at Middlesbrough’s “Cellnet” Stadium on 08th January 1997, replacing Rob Jones in the 75th minute of a Coca Cola Cup Quarter Final tie.

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Remember that Ecru kit?  Liverpool lost 2-1, with Craig Hignett doing the damage, whilst David James didn’t cover himself in glory!

Arguably Carragher’s most memorable ‘away days’ have come in cup competitions.  Though notable league mentions would include Carragher playing in the 4-1 thrashing of Manchester United at Old Trafford in 2009, or being part of the side that ended Jose Mourinho’s 86 match unbeaten run at Stamford Bridge in 2008. But it would be the cups that would give Carragher his most memorable results, including Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium becoming a second home to Liverpool between 2001-2006.

In 2001, Carragher won his first senior winners’ medal (to add to his FA Youth Cup medal) when Liverpool overcame Birmingham City on penalties on to clinch the Worthington Cup.

Carragher stepped up to calmly steer his penalty in to the top corner whilst most Kopites peered through their fingers!
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Just a few months later, Liverpool were back in Cardiff to face Arsenal in the FA Cup Final.  2 goals in the closing minutes added an FA Cup winners’ medal to double Carragher’s senior team medals tally.  Carragher was, by this stage, playing at left-back as Hyypia and Henchoz were Gerard Houllier’s preferred centre-back pairing.

4 days after the FA Cup Final, Liverpool headed over to Germany to face Deportivo Alaves in the UEFA Cup Final.
A topsy-turvey match saw Carragher clinch his 3rd piece of silverware in 3 months as Liverpool won European honours thanks to an extra-time “Golden Goal”. 

Liverpool were not finished in 2001 and Carragher duly added Charity Shield and UEFA Super Cup winners’ medals to his tally.  5 medals in 6 months, this is getting easy!!

Carra would have to wait almost 2 years before claiming his next medal, (though Liverpool were pipped to the Premiership title by Arsenal in 2002) as Liverpool once again returned to Cardiff to triumph in the Worthington Cup against Manchester United in 2003.  The roof was closed, the atmosphere was intense, but the reds’ came through 2-0 to send the Liverpool fans home happy and Carragher with another winners medal in his pocket.

So much has been written about 2005.  Under new manager Rafael Benitez, Carragher and Liverpool once again found themselves in Cardiff contesting their 3rd League Cup Final in 5 years!
However, this one was to elude them as Chelsea, with their new found fortunes, defeated Liverpool 3-2 after extra time.  Carragher and the thousands of Liverpool fans in the Millennium Stadium were left deflated, but unbeknown to them they would exact their revenge on Mourinho’s Chelsea with Luis Garcia’s semi-final winner in the Champions League just 8 weeks later.

Wednesday 25th May 2005.  The greatest night in Jamie Carragher’s career.   Probably one of the greatest days of his entire life…
You’ll have read every piece written about the ‘Miracle of Istanbul’, savored every clip of footage, and shared stories with fellow fans fortunate enough to be in the Ataturk Arena that night.

If one picture could speak a thousand words, this would surely be it:

As I said at the start of this piece, so much more will be written about Carragher in the coming weeks, and Istanbul is likely to feature prominently in the articles and profiles you’ll read.

Carragher assumed captain’s duties in Monaco as Liverpool lifted The UEFA Super Cup in August 2005.  I’ll always remember Jamie looking somewhat uncomfortable as he lifted the trophy.

A year later, the European Champions were at Cardiff once again to face West Ham United in the FA Cup Final.  Liverpool don’t like to do things easily, so handed the Londoners a 2-0 goal lead.  One of those goals unfortunately slid in by Carragher.  But Cisse and Gerrard had the final say, and Carra left South Wales with yet another winners’ medal in his pocket.

Three months later, Carragher was at it again in Cardiff as Liverpool beat Chelsea 2-1 in the Community Shield.  Carragher and Hyypia now formed the bedrock of the Liverpool defence.

In 2007, Carragher was on the European trail again, as Liverpool once again overcame the odds to reach the Champions League Final.  Barcelona and Chelsea were dispatched along the way, including a memorable win in the Nou Camp, but the reds were unable to repeat the result of Istanbul on that occasion.

But it wasn’t just cup finals you know.  Who can forget Carragher shutting out Inter Milan in the San Siro in 2008, or Real Madrid in the Bernabeu in 2009?  Liverpool coming away with a 1-0 win from both games.

Carragher would have to wait until 2012 until he got his hands on silverware again, as Liverpool won the League Cup for the 8th time, Carragher’s 3rd League Cup win.  Carragher replaced Daniel Agger in the 87th minute and played all of extra-time.  This was Carragher’s first Wembley final.  A few weeks later, Carragher was back at Wembley and kept his place in the side as Liverpool beat Everton in the FA Cup Semi-Final.
Unfortunately a cup double was narrowly missed as the reds lost the FA Cup Final.

2x FA Cups, 3x League Cups, 1x European Cup, 1x UEFA Cup, 2x Charity Shields, 2x UEFA Super Cups
Also: FA Cup Runner-Up, League Cup Runner-Up and European Cup Runner-Up.

So many away days, so many memories, and on Sunday, Carragher will sit down in the Craven Cottage visitors dressing room and go through his usual pre-match routine for the penultimate time as a Liverpool Football Club player.  In the game, he’ll push himself to the limit, and give 100%, just as he has done over 700 times before.  We’ll miss him.

23 Carra Gold.  A TRUE Legend.  He’ll NEVER Walk Alone

Team News: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers may opt to shuffle the pack a little as Liverpool play out the season following the 0-0 draw against Everton last weekend.
There are unconfirmed reports that Steven Gerrard will have surgery on his shoulder this week, which would end his season.

Luis Suarez, Martin Kelly and Raheem Sterling are absent for Liverpool.

Former Liverpool players John Arne Riise and Kačaniklić are likely to feature against their old club.

As with all our previews, please note that RAWK will mute anyone posting just a formation in a Preview thread until the day after the match is over. This is to improve the quality of preview replies. Formations posted alongside rational comments and debate are exempt. Thanks, RAWK

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