Sunday 22 April 2018

Jamie Carragher claims fans like to see challenges that 'rattle the bones' as he passes judgement on Seamus Coleman's leg break

Seamus Coleman suffered a double leg break in last week's World Cup qualifier against Wales
Seamus Coleman suffered a double leg break in last week's World Cup qualifier against Wales

Jamie Carragher has insisted that that Wales defender Neil Taylor should not be vilified for his tackle that shattered Seamus Coleman’s leg in last week’s World Cup qualifier and claimed supporters like to see players involved in challenges that ‘rattle the bones’.

Taylor has come under fire after a full-blooded lunge that resulted in devastating injuries for Everton full-back Coleman, with former Liverpool defender Carragher suggesting supporters relish the sight challenges that ‘rattle the bones’.

Citing the comments of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane as evidence that the game should not shy away from full-blooded tackles, Carragher offered up comments in his Daily Mail column that may not be well received by Ireland fans.

“Fans will want to see that this weekend, players putting their foot in,” wrote Carragher.

“The first challenge at any stadium will be greeted with noisy enthusiasm, but just remember those players are walking a fine line. They are a split-second error of judgment from being in the same position as Neil Taylor. Everyone, after all, is that kind of player.

“Besides a goal in the first minute, the thing Liverpudlians and Evertonians want to see from their players in the opening exchanges (of Saturday’s Merseyside derby) is a challenge to — in the words of my old youth coach Hughie McAuley — 'rattle the bones'.

“It's something I always wanted to do. To this day, I am still sent pictures on social media of collisions I had in derbies with Steven Pienaar and Phil Neville. When the tone needs to be set and the crowd need to be revved up, nothing is better than a big, shuddering tackle.

“We all think the same. Remember Roy Keane's comments before the Republic of Ireland faced Wales. He said he wanted to see his players 'hit' those from Wales. It reminded me of what Hughie used to tell us during our Academy days.

“Yet it also shows why the comment 'he's not that type of player' is nonsense. We are all that type of player. I'd say 99 per cent of footballers have made challenges as bad as Taylor's — or even worse — at some point in their careers. They were just lucky no bones were broken.”

Carragher suffered an agonising broken leg in a challenge with Blackburn’s Lucas Neil back in 2003, but he has plenty of sympathy for Taylor after his clash with Coleman.

“Don't confuse this as me trying to defend Taylor,” he added. “I'm not doing that whatsoever. Everything about his lunge at Coleman was awful. It was irresponsible, he came at him from a high and wide angle and the speed of the collision meant the consequences were catastrophic.

“Taylor should be devastated. Coleman faces at least six months of rehabilitation and soul-destroying days in the gym. There is also no guarantee he will come back in the same form.

“But I won't vilify the Aston Villa full back. Why? I could have been in exactly the same position in March 2011 when Liverpool played Manchester United.

“I wanted to let Nani know I was ready for him, that he wasn't going to pass. I wanted to rattle his bones. But my first challenge was horribly mistimed and I clattered into his shin.

“I was lucky not to be sent off and luckier still that Nani was able to walk out of Anfield with 'just' a gash in his leg.”

Online Editors

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