I have noticed recently that there seems to be a distinct difference of opinion, amongst both United fans and those of other teams, with regards to Michael Carrick’s attributes and contributions to Manchester United Football Club. I have had numerous “discussions” with both my mates and with acquaintances on Twitter regarding this subject. Regardless of which side of the fence you sit on in reference to this subject I’m sure most Reds will have had the same discussions!
Now, this article is not intended as a way to make you all of a sudden change your opinion on him. I believe every fan is more than entitled to their opinions on anything football related. After all, the reason that we all love this game so much is because we are all so emotional and opinionated about it. If you have an opinion on a player/manager/team for valid reasons then that is good and to be applauded. However, what I don’t have too much time for is when somebody has an opinion purely because they are a “sheep following the flock”. They hear other people moaning and complaining about a player and they just go along with it. I can only put this down to one of two reasons. Firstly, they don’t particularly know much about football so they just assume these people are correct. Secondly, they disagree in principal but cannot really be bothered trying to explain their difference of opinion to anybody so they just “conform”.
SCAPEGOATS – I’m sure this happens at every club in the world of football, where a team’s supporters have one particular scapegoat who is all of a sudden the sole reason why that particular team is underperforming. Over the years United have had many scapegoats, to name a few I will mention Neil Webb, Brian McClair & Fabian Barthez who have all fallen into that category. There have been MANY MANY others. More recently Berbatov (to a lesser extent) and also Nani have come under the scapegoat heading.
Carrick however, seems to fall almost perfectly in the middle. Half the fans love him & half think he is useless. Now, let me try to explain where I sit on this subject. Up until about 2 seasons ago I didn’t particularly rate him. I don’t know why, so perhaps I was just following the flock at the time. However then I had a “lightbulb moment”. Why on earth was the greatest football manager that ever lived, SAF (of course in case you weren’t sure), continually playing this guy in our central midfield when he wasn’t up to it (in my eyes)? Had Fergie lost the plot, how was he not seeing that we needed a world class central midfielder to replace him? So, at this point my mind started ticking over. It was time to take a closer look at Carrick and his displays. What does he bring to our team that others don’t?
1, Is he a better passer than Scholesy? Absolutely not. But is there any shame in that? If you can find more than 5 players in world football in the last 10 years who are as good as, or better, passers than Scholes then you will be doing extremely well. Probably players like Zidane, Alonso, Iniesta.
2, Is he a better tackler and/or harder worker than Fletcher/Hargreaves etc? Probably not.
3, Is he better at running with the ball & taking players on than Anderson/Clevs etc? A more debatable question than the previous two points, but still the answer is probably not.
You might be wondering what my point here is, well I am getting there, just a bit more slowly than expected! So he isn’t as good at these things than the players above, but collectively he can do them ALL better than the rest of our central midfield contingent. He also brings other qualities to our team, he has a calming influence in the middle of the park, where it is most needed. He so rarely gives the ball away – I’m sure I saw a stat the other week where his percentage of passes completed away at Swansea was 96%. If this was to drop to maybe 80% then our defence would have been under a significantly higher amount of pressure and, considering our fragile defending this season, then we may well have gone on to lose that match. Furthermore, his discipline at being happy to play the deep sitting role certainly gives our other midfielders the freedom to go and express themselves in more advanced areas. Also, be under absolutely NO illusions that this lad can play a killer pass at any given time, there have been so many examples of that over the years that to name any of them would be pointless.
If you are yet to be convinced, just think about this….. Why does Fergie continue to play him in virtually every game? And ALWAYS in the big games? I think he’s started 41 out of the last 42 Premier League games (or some similar stat). He is, in essence, the first name on Fergie’s team sheet. So, if you still disagree with me then you also disagree with the greatest Football Manager of all time!! I have also seen/read many interviews with United players who rate Carrick very highly, mainly one with Rio saying that he couldn’t believe Carrick didn’t get taken to Euro 2012 as he is England’s version of Andrea Pirlo – High praise I’m sure you will agree.
Now, let me finish by saying this. If United had their choice of any players in world football to choose from then Michael Carrick would not make my first choice 11. Also, if I had to pick my all time best United team (from the 26 years I have had a season ticket) then Michael Carrick would not even make my squad. However, based on what we have available to us & his performances in the last 18 months to two years then he should continue to be the first name on our team sheet. Those who still disagree, please sit and watch him (properly) next time you find yourself at a United match and maybe, just maybe you will change your mind.
Carrick couldn’t play for Barca (iniesta xavi) real (alonso kidiera) Milan juve pirlio yes pirlo is better than carrick the crab ect he wouldn’t even get into Chelsea hazard lampard man city (yaya tore ect) man utd ermm (carrick fletcher) ffs city wouldn’t have him so do we put up with mid table mediocre players that would never get to start for other top clubs in europe man it’s have dropped their standardent considerably with these second rate players we need new top level midfield players we need players in the mid who are combative creative and a threat Yea he breaks up play n passes a ball most players do when they have space n time we need players with world class qualities he carrick front even start for Eng who are in terms of world football are shyt carrick Fletcher Evans young nani buttner are not man utd players ask Brian Robson cantona Roy Keane ince Beckham ect I want the best for my team cut frm the same cloth as van persi real world class sublime footballers only please
Didn’t we get overrun in midfield last season by erm everyone n injuerd Snieder is light years ahead of this chump what happens last season city won the league and we were overrun n outplayed repeatedly in midfield dumped out of champs lge group stage and euro uefa convisingly our midfield is shyt
im not a utd fan or a fan of carrick. but i do think he has gotten better in the last 2 seasons (ie: this season 2012/13 and last season). he was pretty terrible before that and never really looked for the ball, he would move away from the center backs and rarely venture far up the pitch, and didnt play many “killer passes” or even forward passes. so with regard to the pass completion stat he was always passing back to defenders so he never lost much possession and of course rio would say he’s great, rio is an overrated twonk!! but if this seems like im bashing him i actually think he’s pretty good now, he wasnt in the 2010/11 season and before. the image in this utd forum is hilarious and describes carrick perfectly (or at least the old one he is a bit better now) http://community.manutd.com/forums/p/206021/1841731.aspx
Currently, I have nothing to say but carrick is the heart of United, i don’t like to see united with out him.Simply he deserves credit!!!!
Xavi is the best CM in the world by a long stretch, but Carrick is one of the best after him. His best years could be still ahead of him because his game doesn’t rely on pace.
I read that Carrick has made more successful forward passes this season than anyone else, but I would like to see him shoot more and see him take set pieces occasionally, I’m sure he’s got a good free kick in his locker.