We ran an excerpt from Simon Hughes' new book, Ring of Fire, telling the story of Liverpool in the 200os through a series of interviews earlier this week, a cracking story of Didi Hamann celebrating Istanbul in the shower with a cigarette and the club's owner. Jamie Carragher is a very important figure in the book, with his name mentioned by all but one interviewees in the book. His name comes up more often than Steven Gerrard's, testament to the incredible influence the defender had over the club in one of its relatively successful eras.
Carragher is interviewed also, and he reveals the highly creative approach he took to helping Fernando Torres score goals when he first arrived at Liverpool. In the early weeks of pre-season upon Torres' arrival, he underwhelmed in training, and Carragher used his son to boost Torres' confidence:
He didn't say a word to anyone and was struggling in training for the first week. So I bought my son a kit with Torres's name on the back. I brought James into Melwood to try make Torres feel a bit better. James was only four years old and didn't have a clue.
Carragher is not the only figure to take action in a bid to boost Torres' confidence. In an interview in Denmark a couple of months ago, Daniel Agger revealed that Roy Hodgson reshaped training in a bid to help Torres rediscover his goalscoring touch. Agger viewed this from ploy quite negatively, from a defender's point of view:
Often we had eight forwards playing against me and Martin Skrtel [apparently to let Fernando Torres score to regain his confidence]. Skrtel and I had a really hard training session as we were defending against eight with two but the eight players attacking were just faffing around. They had hardly run a kilometre and it was so uninspiring.
If you're a Liverpool fan, we cannot recommend Ring of Fire highly enough. There's cracking insight across the board.