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Carragher blames Souness for Liverpool decline

September 4, 2010
By Soccernet staff

Jamie Carragher believes Graeme Souness is responsible for Liverpool losing their status as English football's top club.

Graeme Souness
GettyImages / Shaun Botterill/AllsportGraeme Souness took Liverpool to second in 1990-91 and won the FA Cup in 1992

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Liverpool won the league 11 times between 1972 and 1990, but the second-place finish under Rafael Benitez in 2009 is the closest they have come to reclaiming the trophy in the last two decades.

Sir Alex Ferguson famously said in a 2002 interview that his "greatest challenge" as Manchester United boss was "knocking Liverpool right off their f****** perch", and he has since helped United match Liverpool's 18 titles.

Yet Carragher - who spoke of his admiration for Ferguson - believes that Souness, who managed Liverpool between 1991 and 1994, is to blame for the decline of the club as a domestic force.

"What would I ask him (Ferguson)? How long have you got? All day? If I was in his company, I would also tell him first off that Manchester United never knocked Liverpool off their perch as he put it," he told the Daily Mail. "That's nonsense. Graeme Souness did that.

"When United were going for their first title under Ferguson in 1992-93, they were competing with Norwich and Aston Villa. They weren't competing with Liverpool, were they?"

Souness was one of a number of people within the game to criticise Liverpool as they slumped to a seventh-place finish in the Premier League last season. Carragher feels the Reds may have been victimised to some extent, but he has also admitted that he does not feel the club has behaved in the right manner in recent times.

"I just think that last year people didn't like Liverpool," he added in the Daily Mirror. "Other managers, you know, they hated us, the media - it was all negative. I know we weren't doing well on the pitch, but I think it was just negative Liverpool all the time.

"We had situations like Martin O'Neill and Steve Bruce criticising Liverpool and they were right. We shouldn't be getting involved with stuff like that. Everyone else should look at Liverpool and say they have dignity. It's just class.

"I mean, the way people look at Arsenal. They do things right, and you go, yep, they conduct themselves in the right way. I think we have been a club who were like that, and we need to get back to that, to do things right. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, that's football - you can't win all the time - but you can still behave in a way where people respect you.

"We need people to look at Liverpool and think we have a bit of class about us, and I think we are getting back to that. I'm not getting into why we lost that, but we do need to get back to it."