Leaving Old Trafford last night following United’s lackluster draw with B
asel, feeling somewhat dejected, I immediately recieved two texts almost simultaneously.
The first text read: “Didn’t see owt of Carrick all night!” The second read: “Carrick MOTM IMO”.
It was the same when I visited twitter later that night, with some claiming Carrick was a “disgrace, waste of space, passenger again etc.” Others were tweeting “superb, brilliant, best player on the pitch, the only bright light in midfield.”
Looking at various match reviews it was the same contradictory tale, the Manchester Evening News’s Stuart Mathieson gave Carrick Five out of Ten describing his performance with the sentence: The midfielder was pretty anonymous and his usual protection of a defence as anchor man was non-existent
United fans who rated the players via the MEN website went even further, giving Carrick an average of 3.9 -the worst of any United player.
The United Religion had a different view, their player ratings noted: Michael Carrick 7- Was great with the ball at his feet, and Carrick showed that he could offer much more to the United attack if he could get forward, but limited capabilities from his teammates prevent that.
The Busby Way’s Facebook page was another example of paradoxes: Carrick was our best player tonight in my opinion.
I wouldn’t trade Carrick for a pizza.
My own personal opinion of Carrick’s performance was that he played well, my only criticism was his attempted tackle on Xhaka on the way to Basel’s third goal was pitiful.
I’ve never been one for examining stats to see if a player’s performed well, I much prefer to simply watch a game and make a judgment. As I left the ground last night, I felt Carrick had been, behind Danny Welbeck, our best player.
The stats -which were all over twitter from the Carrick supporters brigade seem to back this opinion up with a high number of forward passes. That doesn’t tell the full story of course as many people will point to Carrick’s inability to fully protect the back four- as Mathieson did. I think this is being harsh as it wasn’t Carrick’s fault United conceded three goals last night- bigger fingers needed to be pointed at the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra who were both well below par.
The question is Michael Carrick: ‘Brilliant’ or ‘Anonymous’ last night?