Despite the topic of European qualification coming up approximately every six seconds at Liverpool FC, vice-captain Jamie Carragher thinks his teammates are far less aware than many in the club's perpetually hopeful fan base of the statistical permutations and crunched numbers that help predict whether the team will see another season of continental competition next year.
"To be honest, if you asked most of the lads I don't think they’d know what position will get us into Europe this season!" Carragher joked. "Sometimes it’s fifth, sometimes sixth and sometimes seventh so you’re not really sure. All we can do is carry on winning games and see where it takes us."
The match-by-match mentality is currently the popular approach to discussing Europe by players and manager alike, but Carra is also hoping for a little help in the form of at least a few missteps (or perhaps a giant meltdown) by the clubs ahead of Liverpool in the table.
"It all depends on other teams," Carragher said. "You just go onto the next game, try and win that and not look too far ahead. We have West Ham at home next and they've had a good win at the weekend. So I don't ever look too far ahead and look at the seven games left and Europe."
Of Everton, Arsenal, and Chelsea, only Arsenal's form has been better than Liverpool's in the last six matches. Five points up with a game in hand, the fifth place Gunners still have to face Everton and Manchester United, on top of ending their season with three matches against relegation battlers QPR, Wigan, and Newcastle. Probability isn't high that Liverpool can overtake Arsenal; however, if they can avoid helping out the other teams by preventing their own missteps in the final run of matches, the club will have at least positioned themselves to take maximum advantage of the possible failings of others.
Carra's pending retirement means that no matter what place the club finishes, he won't be seeing European football next season, at least not from the pitch. If all the stars align properly, though, he could be watching it from a newly wifi-enabled Anfield.