Firstly this is not a debate about whether Jamie Carragher is a ‘bottler’ or not. It’s questioning why a player would consider giving up their international career. This tells us more about the disaffection Carragher feels about the England set-up.
Many fans feel the same way. Once diehard nationalists no longer care about the England team. One underperformance after another at major events, supported by mediocre, unambitious football has alienated fans. And players it seems. It doesn’t look like fun.
Steve McClaren must view Carragher’s decision as a wake up call. Players don’t want to be part of the set-up. So change the set-up. Make the whole experience more uplifting. Play football that excites players and fans alike. Rekindle the faith in the national team. Make it impossible for a player to consider retirement from international football. Unthinkable.
Carragher is telling us that the England set-up is not something he feels he wants to be part of. It doesn’t inspire him. Sure he wants to play. But if the team-ethic was something special; the buzz around the team was contagious; the football played was daring then he would never dream of retirement.
The question is can Steve McClaren free himself from the shackles of fear of failure to create such a team dynamic?