JAMIE Carragher today confirmed he’s considering quitting international football, but says he hasn’t yet made a final decision on his England future.
The Liverpool defender intends focusing solely on his club for the rest of his career.
The 29-year-old has been in constant contact with England boss Steve McClaren over recent weeks and has been convinced to put a decision on hold until the next international against Germany on August 22.
Senior England sources say they're determined to convince Carragher to remain part of the national fold.
However, it's unlikely Carragher will represent his country again.
Carragher has been considering his England future for some time.
He first thought of leaving the national set-up after last year's World Cup, but decided to continue into the European qualifiers.
Having recently seen himself drop down the England pecking order at centre half behind Ledley King and Jonathan Woodgate, he's concluded now may be the right time to end his international career.
Explaining his thoughts exclusively in today's ECHO, Carragher said: "I'm 29 now, and I have to accept if I'm not a regular starter at this stage of my England career, I don't think I will ever be.
"It's going to be difficult for me to be seen as anything more than a squad player, and that's not what I'm interested in now.
"Playing the odd game here and there for England isn't enough for me anymore. My first priority has always been winning trophies with Liverpool.
"I've always seen England as a bonus. With the club good enough to give me a four year contract, I want all my focus to be on Liverpool for the rest of my playing career.
"I've spoken Steve McClaren and explained my feelings, but I've agreed to speak to him again before England play Germany before I make a final decision.
"I'm not doing this to leave England in the lurch. If it's an absolute emergency - and by that I mean if all available centre halves are out injured or there are suspensions. I probably won't say no if I'm asked."
Since making his debut as a substitute for Rio Ferdinand against Hungary in 1999, Carragher has won 34 England caps.
Until recently, he also held the record for the most Under 21 caps with 27 appearances.
"I've committed 12 years of my career to England, but I've been thinking now is the time to concentrate 100 per cent on Liverpool," Carragher added.
A senior England source said today: "Steve McClaren has total respect for Jamie as a player and as a man and is still determined to do all he can to keep Jamie in the England squad.
"I know he will be looking to speak and meet with Jamie before he announces the squad for the Germany game. Jamie is valued very highly, but obviously he plays in a very competitive position."
WHEN Jamie Carragher told Steve McClaren he was thinking of quitting international football, he felt the burden of a year of agonising lift from his shoulders.
McClaren, understandably concerned about the key Euro qualifiers ahead, asked the Liverpool defender to sleep on the decision.
In reality, Carragher has been doing precisely that for months, but he's agreed to delay the inevitable.
This is not a knee jerk reaction by Carragher (although his recent omission in Estonia undoubtedly brought the current circumstances forward) but the consequence of a long period of careful consideration.
Carragher has been pondering his international future since the last World Cup, frustrated as a succession of England managers overlooked his claims for permanent first team status, while recognising younger blood was emerging and seemingly preferred by the current set-up.
His omission in favour of Ledley King in Estonia confirmed Carragher's well established suspicions of where he stood on the international stage.
Too often he's been shoved from pillar to post, or seen as the reliable substitute able to shift position at a moment's notice.
At 29, the role of versatile deputy no longer appeals.
"There are a number of reasons why I've been thinking about this," said Carragher.
"I first thought about it after the World Cup because I wondered how many chances I'd get for England at centre half.
"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.
"I can't really argue with that because they're top drawer players. It's not as if they're Mickey Mouse defenders.
"Even in the last two games against Brazil and Estonia, England conceded just one goal, so people can argue the manager got his decision spot on.
"It's just that from a purely personal point of view, it's been disappointing because after some of my performances for Liverpool I thought I deserved a chance.
"I hoped I could come in, play out of my skin and do well enough to keep my place, not just for one game or two, but cement it.
"It was particularly disappointing for me when Rio was out against Estonia and I wasn't picked.
"I thought I'd had a good season for Liverpool, especially helping us 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.
"Everyone can see England are very strong in the central defensive department at the moment. There are a lot of world class players there and most of them are younger than me, have their best years ahead and will get better and better.
"I'm 29 now, and I have to accept if I'm not a regular starter now, I don’t think I ever will be.
"It's going to be difficult for me to be seen as anything more than a squad player, and at this stage of my career that's not what I'm interested in.
"Playing the odd game here and there isn't enough. Four or five years ago I was happy to have that role, but not now.
"Recently when I've been asked to play at full-back I've found it a lot more difficult than I did when was doing it for Liverpool.
"It's a physically demanding position and I didn't think I played well against Brazil.
"It's more tiring than being a centre back, particularly when you're not as used to it as I used to be. I think it would be a good time for me to step aside.
"Some of the younger defenders deserve their chance, like Joleon Lescott at Everton, or Stephen Taylor from Newcastle."
McClaren is determined to keep Carragher involved, especially with King and Woodgate injury prone and Rio Ferdinand a yellow card away from a suspension in the qualifiers.
"If it's an absolute emergency – and by that I mean if all available centre halves are out injured or there are suspensions - I probably won't say no if I'm asked," said Carragher.
"I'm not doing this to leave England in the lurch."
Carragher is generous in his praise for the under siege England manager and insists he'd feel the same way no matter who was in charge.
"I want to stress this has nothing do would Steve McClaren," he said.
"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."
England's loss would undoubtedly be Liverpool's gain. Rafa Benitez would be relieved a key member of his squad no longer has the distraction of energy-sapping international breaks.
That's a factor which is also on Carragher's mind.
"When you go away with England you get back to Liverpool on a Thursday and sometimes have a match early on Saturday," he said.
"I've never liked the situation where I've not felt 100 per cent before a Liverpool match. Even if you don't play in the international, going away and travelling can take it out of you.
"Leaving all that behind would be another reason for my decision and I'll be happier when those breaks come around and I'll be fresher for the Liverpool matches.
"Liverpool has always been my first priority, and having just signed a new four-year contract I want all my focus to be on the club, winning trophies here from now on.
"I've always said I want to stay at Liverpool for life, and I think not playing for England would help make that more realistic.
"It could add at least two more years on my career at the top level, and that's uppermost in my mind."
（ quoted from Liverpool FC ）
再一次 WARNING ：英格蘭飯同胞們要看下面那段的話自便，我不會管你，死了別回來找我。我會打到你魂飛魄散。
我真的完全完全同意 nofumi 樣的說法，她很厲害，
We're Scousers but not English.
如果有喜歡英格蘭的朋友真的不聽勸喻看到這裏，你可以不同意我的話，可以看不過眼，但請你別在這兒作聲，無論你說甚麼我不也會理會你；你亦無法阻止我對英格蘭的恨。我會刪留言，真的。 = =
我真的真的很討厭 England 。