Jamie Carragher has opened the lid on the changes Gerard Houllier employed around player gambling, while also discussing how Rafael Benitez would accidentally disclose his next lineup with a simple error.
The former Liverpool defender played 737 matches for the club over the course of 17 seasons, during which time he turned out for a number of different managers including the aforementioned duo, the latter of whom he won the Champions League with.
On the topic of away days, Carragher spoke to Sky Sports about what the players would do to pass the time on the long coach journeys while traveling to matches. Talking about how he and his teammates would gamble playing cards under Roy Evans, Frenchman Houllier came in and put a halt to proceedings.
"Sometimes players would look like there was something on their mind, and we'd be laughing thinking we took a couple of quid off them on the coach, maybe more." 🃏— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) September 25, 2019
Watch @Carra23's #LFC away days and the coach of card tricks in Off Script here: https://t.co/7yfpV3EyAY pic.twitter.com/lDVBnIPcip
“When I first got into the team, we’d get a coach down, we’d play cards, but that stopped with Gerard Houllier. He didn’t like money being handed over on different tables or someone being a few quid down going into a game – and rightly so," the Liverpool legend said in his Sky Sports column.
“There was a bit of cheating from David Thompson, he and I had a little thing when playing three-card brag. If he went out, he’d look at other people’s cards and give me a signal whether to stay in or not.
"One finger on the table would be ace high, two would be a pair and there were others for a flush or a run. He’d let me know whether to go in or not. That’s important when you’re not on big wages as a young lad!"
Arriving at the Premier League side ahead of the 2004/05 season, Benitez joined the Merseysiders from Valencia after Houllier's departure. The Spaniard brought great success to the Reds, but Carragher revealed how his former boss would accidentally reveal his lineups through room allocation.
“It was funny when Rafa Benitez first came in, he put me in a room with Sami Hyypia because we both played centre-back, almost as if we were going to talk about the striker we were playing against the next day. He would put the two strikers together, the full-backs and the wingers together and so on," he added.
“But you could work out the team from the rooms! Everyone knew if they were playing or not, so that quickly went out of the window!”