We’ve all heard the chant, arguably the most popular one to be sung by Reds in recent months, so popular in fact that even Micah Richards was caught on camera singing it, while Chelsea have bastardised it into their own unoriginal version.
One of the reasons it’s hard to believe it’s not Scholes is the fact that Carrick has had seven seasons- well six and a half technically- playing alongside the Ginger Genius which cannot have harmed his ability to pick out a pass. It’s similar to the way so many of the class of ’92 benefitted from just being around Eric Cantona for a few seasons- genius rubs off on those willing to learn.
Carrick has just enjoyed his best ever season for the Reds- although some may argue 2006/07 was even more impressive- and there’s little doubt that he’s honed some of his passing skills by playing alongside Scholes for so long. There’s no reason to think that Carrick can’t be at the heart of United’s midfield for at least another two seasons, maybe even three or four despite the fact he turns 32 next month. After all Carrick’s game isn’t based on pace- its about quick thinking not legs- and he seems to take care of himself. When United do decide to replace Carrick they need to find someone who’s as disciplined as an army veteran, has the vision of a chess master, the speed of thought of a fighter pilot and the calmness of a buddhist- hardly an easy mix to find.
One idea that may help Carrick’s successor is a prolonged run in the side alongside or at least rotating alongside the man himself. Just as the former Spurs man learned from Scholes over the years, so could Carrick’s successor during the next two or so seasons.
Some people may think Tom Cleverley is the heir apparent to Carrick’s throne, while arguably a few more see that successor yet to arrive at Old Trafford, which means United need to act now to bring someone in to lean his trade from the man he’s charged with succeeding.
Taking over from Michael Carrick won’t be easy but if the Reds bring in a midfielder who can do a job now as well as learning from the man himself, then it may not be as difficult as many of us fear.