After 34 appearances in an England jersey, Jamie Carragher has hinted that he may retire from international football. Carra is becoming frustrated about his lack of responsibility under first Sven and now McLaren. To be fair, many of his caps have come either in a full-back slot or from the bench; he is revered by the Kop but has never managed to break the dominance of Sol Campbell, Rio Ferdinand or John Terry in England's starting XI.
Carrgher is, inarguably, a cracking defender: brave, quick and positionally astute. It has been mooted in the past, however, that his best performances are saved for those European nights at Anfield, with the wind in his face and the Kop in his ears, rather than in England matches.
So why does Carra not reproduce for England? It could be that his leadership qualities are more appreciated at Anfield, giving him a stronger desire to perform. With England, he has and never will be the leader at the back, because the coach has always preferred another. It is possible Carra is not seen as the ideal 'face' of Team England - he does not appear regularly enough in Heat Magazine, nor does he possess a fancy name, like 'Rio', 'Ashley' or 'Ledley'.
Carragher's outburst has seemed out of character, however. He has always seemed the type to soldier on, regardless of rotation or substitute appearances. It appears that he has taken the huff, by moaning at his lack of chances, and threatened to walk out on his country...very out of character. This, for the first time, throws doubt on Carragher's professionalism: something which has seemed as secure as his loyalty in the past.
Carrgher is no Scholes or Shearer, wanting to bow out in order to preserve a longer playing career. However, without international duty, Carragher could well become Liverpool's Maldini.
Is Carragher actually good enough to play for England ahead of the others? Competition is fierce at centre-half.
Should he walk away? And if he does, will he walk alone?