Carragher names three ‘failures’ who halted Liverpool progress

Date published: Thursday 11th November 2021 9:47 - Joe Williams

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher

Jamie Carragher thinks he could’ve won the Premier League title during his career if Liverpool hadn’t signed three “failures”.

In 2001/02, Liverpool pushed Arsenal all the way for the Premier League title, but eventually had to settle for second place under Gerard Houllier.

That summer the Reds brought in El Hadji Diouf, Salif Diao and Bruno Cheyrou in an attempt to close the gap at the top of the league – but instead they finished fifth the following season.


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Carragher admits that the team “went backwards” that campaign but hailed the current Liverpool management for not making the same mistakes.

The former Liverpool defender told Sky Sports: “It’s well documented that we didn’t win a league title during my time at the club, so I think a lot of managers will look back at signings that didn’t quite get Liverpool over the line when I played.

“With Gerard Houllier and Rafa Benitez, we got so close to the title, and then we’d think we are one or two signings away, and those singings never quite worked.

“I always think of the effect of what Van Dijk has had at Liverpool, Mo Salah or Alisson – Jurgen Klopp had got the team so close, a Champions League final and then so close with City in the title race, but he needed those signings to get him over the line, and they worked.

“We finished second in 2001/02, and on the back of the 2002 World Cup – we bought three players that summer (El Hadji Diouf, Salif Diao and Bruno Cheyrou) and they were all failures. The team didn’t work and it went backwards.

“The same happened in 2009 with Rafa Benitez – we came to Old Trafford and won 4-1, really pushed United close, finished second, and then in the summer we lost Xabi Alonso and bought Alberto Aquilani and Glen Johnson.

“It’s not just about pointing the fingers at the players who came in,  because the players already at the club needed to perform, but you just think: ‘If these signings had worked, would that have made a big difference?’ That’s where I think we fell down.”

 

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