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Last Updated: Monday, 9 July 2007, 09:44 GMT 10:44 UK
Carragher ponders England future
Jamie Carragher
Carragher could follow Paul Scholes into international retirement
Jamie Carragher is considering his international future after failing to establish himself in the England side.

He was omitted from England's last game - a Euro 2008 qualifier in Estonia - and is frustrated by his status in the national team's pecking order.

"There are a number of reasons why I've been thinking about this," Carragher, 29, told the Liverpool Echo.

"I first thought about it after the World Cup as I wondered how many chances I would get at centre-half."

He added: "Then when Sol Campbell was out of the picture I thought I could put pressure on Rio Ferdinand for the other centre-half position alongside John Terry.

"Given my form for Liverpool, I genuinely thought that was possible but over the last 12 months, players like Jonathan Woodgate and Ledley King have played there ahead of me."

606: DEBATE
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Carragher played at full-back in the friendly against Brazil on 1 June when England drew 1-1 in the first game at Wembley since the stadium's facelift.

He was then expected to figure in manager Steve McClaren's plans against Estonia but his omission seems to have had a major bearing on his thinking.

Carragher was not picked in defence, despite an injury to Ferdinand.

Instead, King partnered Terry at the heart of the back line and, while Carragher can also play at right-back, he was also overlooked for that slot, with Wes Brown getting the nod.

"It was particularly disappointing for me when Rio was out against Estonia and I wasn't picked," said Carragher.

England manager Steve McClaren
Carragher insists his thinking has nothing to do with McClaren

"I thought I'd had a good season for Liverpool, especially helping Liverpool get to the Champions League final.

"Like any player I thought I deserved to play but not doing so made the situation crystal clear to me."

Carragher has 34 caps to his name but has not been considered a first-team regular since making his debut against Hungary on 29 April 1999.

His struggles for his country are in contrast to his exploits for Liverpool.

He is a regular under Reds manager Rafael Benitez and his form and whole-hearted commitment are seen as one of the prime reasons for the club's 2005 Champions League triumph.

If Carragher did decide to retire from the international game he would follow in the footsteps of Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes.

Scholes quit international football at the age of 29 after Euro 2004 because he wanted to spend time with his family and concentrate on his club career.

The reason I'm delaying a final decision is because I didn't want people to think I have a bad attitude or I'm turning my back on the country at a bad time

Jamie Carragher

But his move came amid reports he was frustrated at being played out of position by former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Carragher says he wants to step aside to give younger players like Everton's Joleon Lescott and Steven Taylor of Newcastle a chance.

But he will make himself available if England have an "absolute emergency" as they head toward the climax of their Euro 2008 qualifying campaign.

"I want to stress this has nothing do would Steve McClaren," added Carragher.

"It wouldn't have mattered who was the England manager, I've been thinking about this for a while.

"I've worked with Steve for five years as part of the England set-up.

"I have a great time working with him and a lot of the England coaches. I'm just thinking about this from a purely personal point of view.

"The reason I'm delaying a final decision is because I didn't want people to think I have a bad attitude or I'm turning my back on the country at a bad time."



SEE ALSO
McClaren in fan plea over Lampard
23 Jun 07 |  Internationals
Beckham assured of England future
15 Jun 07 |  Football
McClaren unfazed by media blitz
08 Jun 07 |  Internationals
Estonia 0-3 England
06 Jun 07 |  Internationals
McClaren made double Scholes plea
01 Oct 06 |  Internationals
Scholes quits England
03 Aug 04 |  Internationals


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