Liverpool Message Board
I struggled to deal with the second passing of the King last year, it was painful for us all to see on the pitch toward the back end of the campaign but no matter how much we all wanted it to work, it was clearly taking a turn for the worse, the dream of Kenny returning us to our rightful home, was dead. Now it is time for another emotional goodbye, the legend that is JC23 is to walk out at Anfield for the very last time. He really is like one of the family, everytime he got jobbed for England on the bench or filling in at left back, we took it personally or whenever he put one past Pepe or Jerzey, it felt like we had scored an own goal ourselves!
He has been quoted quite recently as saying "leave football before the football leaves you" and it sums him and his decision up perfectly. Over the last couple of years, Jamie has sat on the bench watching the Agger/Skrtel partnership....errmmmm.....develop. It has left a lot of fans debating whether JC was actually finished or whether he was somebody we should keep as decent cover. What has happened in the last few months has cleared all of that up, he should be playing every match and we are going to miss him sorely. A lot of his twilight year stigma can be attached to the fact we had it so good with him for so long that everytime he made a mistake it was because 'he has lost that yard of pace' or 'he isnt the player he used to be' when ultimately, it was a decision to go all attack in the full back positions and not having the patience to allow the time to adapt. I know for sure as an ageing centre half, I would feel much more comfortable with Arbeloa next to me then staring through my binoculars at Johnson up the other end of the pitch!
Make no mistake, this is no obituary, I am left in absolutely no doubt that there will be a return to Anfield in some manner, in much the way I felt about Kenny's return, I have a belief that JC will one day become our manager and 'put us back on our #$%$ perch'. Until that day comes, we can enjoy watching him as a pundit, hopefully offering us some fresh incite into the unseen side of LFC, at worst, he can go toe to toe to with the upsetingly excellent Gary Neville on MNF.
I am absolutely gutted I can't get to the game this weekend, but I am certain the guy is going to get an awesome send off, there will be forty odd thousand people praying for a penalty at the kop end. I don't think we should retire the 23 shirt, it has been worn by legends before, it should however be saved for the right man, if he can get over his injuries, I think that will be Martin Kelly but he needs to show he can make that step up. Thankyou JC for putting your body on the line for us time and time again, you have played the game and battled for us just like any of us would have hoped to if we had the honour of wearing the red shirt.
We all dream of a team of Carraghers, we love a 0-0 up here and we love a red card or two.