Carragher believes Chelsea made a ‘massive mistake’ with Fernando Torres at the start of his time at the club, and John Terry feels his confidence was ‘shot to bits’ due to the mistake.
Torres made the surprise £50m switch from Liverpool to Chelsea in January 2011 and his first match after his transfer, which had set a new British record, was against his former team at Stamford Bridge.
Carlo Ancelotti chose to start Torres but the striker was substituted after just 66 minutes after struggling to make an impact, much to the delight of Liverpool fans who had jeered him constantly throughout the game.
Carragher, who played against the Spaniard during his debut for Chelsea, believes Ancelotti’s decision to put their new signing in the starting XI straight away in front of the Liverpool supporters was a ‘massive mistake’.
‘I remember his first game was actually against Liverpool,’ Carragher said in an interview alongside Chelsea legend John Terry for Sky Sports.
‘It was my first game back after I dislocated my shoulder and I think Ancelotti put him straight in. I always thought it was a massive mistake putting him straight in because it was Liverpool.
‘Liverpool fans were giving him stick, Chelsea fans still not loving him, but obviously he’s a new player, they don’t know too much about him. And I just thought he should never have played in that game.
‘I know he was the big-money signing. Would that have been pressure from above on Carlo Ancelotti to play him in that game? I always thought it was a massive mistake. We won the game, he got a lot of stick and I’m sure it affected him.’
However, Terry disagreed with Carragher’s suggestion that Ancelotti would have been pressured by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to play Fernando Torres in that match against Liverpool.
But the former Chelsea skipper believes Ancelotti was unable to find the right tactical balance when he played Torres in the same side as Drogba and Nicolas Anelka.
‘I’m not sure it would’ve been pressure from above,’ Terry said in response to Jamie Carragher. ‘Carlo definitely wasn’t that type of manager to listen to the board if they were kind of pushing.
‘We kind of changed our formation, really. I think it was Didier and Fernando up front with Anelka in behind.
‘We had three unbelievable strikers and we tried to fit them in together. We had enough fire power in Didier and Anelka, whether Anelka was wide or just behind, to then bring Fernando on later in the game which would’ve been a good impact for him, I think.
‘But it seemed after that game his confidence was shot to bits, to be honest.’