As the season draws to a close, we will be saying goodbye to one of the best defenders to grace the Premier league.
Jamie Carragher made his Liverpool debut back in January 1997 against Middlesbrough under the tenure of Roy Evans and has gone on to notch up over 700 appearances for one club. It’s been a remarkable career which has seen him win a variety of honours including the Champions League in 2005 with a notable performance from Carragher himself. This made me begin to ponder the ‘One Club Players'.
The first that springs to mind is most notably Ryan Giggs. As a midfielder he has scored 168 goals in 938 in a career which had begun even before the birth of the Premier League. At the age of 39 there seems to be no sign of letting up for the Welshman.
As well as Giggs, you have Paul Scholes who many regard as one of the best, if not the best English player to play in the Premier League. Although, his career draws to a close he will be a player that will live long in the memory of football fans of this generation.
Whilst on the topic of out of this world English midfielders you have the current England Captain; Steven Gerrard. A once in a generation player, since breaking into the first team back in 1998 Gerrard has built up a reputation that would rival most. Most recently being named the most popular former winner of the PFA Player of the Year award beating off the likes of Thierry Henry, Kevin Keegan, Gary Lineker and even Kenny Dalglish. It’s been a remarkable career which still grows strength to strength.
This prompts the question, why is this such a rare phenomenon? Due to the nature of the relegation and promotion system players often move either to stay playing in the highest division possible or move to a lower league to prolong their career.
I personally believe that it is down to the increased financial movement within football. More and more you see players making big money moves on wages that are beyond belief. Clubs like Manchester City, Chelsea and Anzhi Makhachkala seem to throw money at players comprising the integrity of both transfers and football itself.
Even players who aren’t technically one club players but still embody the heart and soul of their club, Frank Lampard, seem to be surplus to requirements even though he is their top goal scorer in the Premier League with 13 goals this season.
The days of these one club players are unfortunately done. Gerrard, Carragher, Scholes and Giggs are players are once in a lifetime players and as football progresses and loses its soul, it has also lost its loyalty.
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