The Half-time Whistle may be relatively new, but it has already set up a theme of Jamie Carragher-bashing. Much maligned, and a figure of fun for his sweaty appearances so far for England in the World Cup, we’ve mocked whenever presented with the opportunity. Which has been every time he’s played.
But we were wrong. Jamie Carragher – or Jesus Christ as we shall now call him – is a football genius, and nailed on (geddit? – nailed on) to get the Golden Ball for best player at this year’s World Cup. And this is despite him playing only a game and a half so far, picking up two bookings ruling him out of the third group, and England’s dismal performances meaning that a fourth game in the tournament is far from likely.
Perusing through FIFA’s stats on their website, we noted that JC has an impressive collection of passing statistics. In his two games, JC has made 87 passes of which 72 have been completed (83%). At first we put this down to him playing in defence and passing frequently to John Terry or, if he was feeling particularly ambitious, Glen Johnson. But as it turns out he has completed 9 of 11 long passes (82%) and 53 of 64 medium passes (83%). His short passing is also at 83%.
This is better than Italy’s classy defender Fabio Cannavaro (overall: 81%) who has a pathetic 36% completion rate from his 11 long passes. He’s on a par with France’s petulant William Gallas although Gallas can only boast a 58% completion rate from his 12 long passes.
It gets more ridiculous: JC has a better pass completion rate than Kaka (before the Ivory Coast game), Xavi, Rooney, Ribery (overall: a woeful 62%) Cristiano Ronaldo (an even worse 60%) and Sneijder.
We’ll now be praying to a God we barely believe in to ensure that England get through to the next round so that JC can continue dazzling the world stage with his impressive range of passing. Perhaps Xavi could learn a thing or two from JC?