Carragher and Hodgson to restore the Boot Room?

Sep 6, 2010
Jonathan Harwood

The veteran Liverpool defender can help Hodgson bring back ‘class and dignity’ to Anfield

In an interview shortly before his testimonial match at the weekend Liverpool stalwart Jamie Carragher said he hankered for a return to the days of "class and dignity" at Anfield - and under the guidance of footballing gentleman Roy Hodgson he could be the man to guide Liverpool back to the age of the legendary Boot Room.

Carragher's charity match against Everton was to honour his 14 years at the club, which gives him a direct link to the last of the Boot Room managers, Roy Evans, who gave him his debut in the 1996-7 season. And the defender from Bootle could prove to be the heir to the likes of Bill Shankley, Bob Paisley and Joe Fagan if he can become a figurehead for Hodgson's new regime at Afield.

And Carragher's comments in the Guardian interview prior to the match suggest he hankers after Liverpool's golden era, not just because of the success it brought but because of the reputation it afforded the club. "I think a lot about the future of the club, the direction it's going in, the way it is run and how it is perceived from the outside," he revealed. "There are some things that Liverpool should be doing in a certain way, the correct way. We should be a little bit different, and we need to get back to that.

"I'm not just talking about winning games, but the way we do things and the way we conduct ourselves. The class and dignity this club was renowned for. It's the way Liverpool used to be seen by people and we should be aiming to recreate that."

That could be seen as an attack on the current owners, Americans Tom Hicks and George Gillett, and criticism of the final months of the reign of Rafa Benitez, but it also indicates a desire to return to the old days.

Carragher is now 32 and still has a few years left in the tank - but when he does retire he could be just person to help re-establish the Boot Room ethos in what could, by then, be Liverpool's new home on Stanley Park.

He is passionate about the club and football in general, and says he would love to learn from the likes of Fabio Capello, Jose Mourinho, and even Anfield's favourite villain Sir Alex Ferguson.

But it could be Hodgson who has the biggest influence on him. While Gerard Houllier and Benitez brought success to the club they also took it away from its traditions. It requires the touch of a homegrown figure to nurture the kind of atmosphere that existed at Anfield in the days of the Boot Room, and that is what Hodgson can provide.

After his appointment as manager former Liverpool defender Phil Thompson said that Hodgson was the sort of manager the Reds needed. "I think with Roy, the club is going back to the old British style of management and the old way of doing things," he said.

Carragher, and possibly Steven Gerrard, are the kinds of players he would need to bring on board behind the scenes to develop and Carragher seemed to indicate a willingness to get involved. He said he would like to try his hand at management, but also says that he wanted to stay in Liverpool for the sake of his children's education.

Kenny Dalglish and Graeme Souness were the last Liverpool players to pass through the fabled Boot Room before it closed down, but Roy Hodgson could reopen its doors with Carragher as his first student.

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