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Why Michael Carrick could be the key man for Manchester United

manchester united midfielder michael carrick

Written by Abir Ahmed Chowdhury.

Michael Carrick was almost a forgotten man at the latter part of last season. Players in the ‘Carrick role’ are often under-appreciated by many, e.g. Busquets. Although Busquets has a slightly different role to play for his club and country, both him and Carrick are similar type of players. To think of Carrick as a key man may be going a bit too far. Mainly because his performances last season were not worthy of much appreciation and there have been rumours this summer about his possible departure from the club. Even in the small country of Bangladesh where I live in, Carrick’s popularity is declining among the rapidly growing community of Premier League fans. So how could someone who has been out of form for some time now be United’s key man?

With Ferguson opting to play 4-5-1 in big games lately, there is always a need to control the midfield and keep possession of the ball. United’s midfield do not lack in depth, but in quality. Apart from Fletcher, there is no one who can provide stability in the midfield. Anderson has been out injured for a long time and it will take him some time to get back to full flow. Hargreaves’ career apparently seems over. Giggs and Scholes cannot play every game while Gibson has to improve his overall game and not just rely on shooting. Despite the rumours about Oezil recently, any new signing looks highly unlikely on the cards.

There is no denying the fact that Carrick is one of the best passers in the game. A product of the West Ham youth academy, Carrick played a major role in his first two seasons at Old Trafford. After the disastrous performance in the Champions League final defeat against Barcelona, he suffered from a severe dip in form and found himself on the bench for many important games last season. However, a great distributor of the ball, Carrick can play either as a holding midfielder or further forward as a playmaker. He can read the game well and make valuable interceptions. More importantly, he can provide the creativity which United lacked so many times last season with his immense footballing intelligence.

Carrick is often guilty of fluctuations in form and a lot depends on it. But on his day, he can work wonders with his accurate passing.  If he can replicate the form that convinced Sir Alex to splash £14m to bring him to Old Trafford, United are in for a fine season.



  1. timbo

    August 6, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Rubbish. Carrick is a flat track bully who’s rarely showed himself able to deal with quality opposition – more often then not he goes missing in action in the big games, as exemplified by his disastrous performance against Barcelona, which shot his confidence to pieces. Carrick revels against weaker sides who essentially play negative football by hanging back and playing in their own halves. That allows him all the time in the world to wander about and try to pick out open team mates. Pressed and harried by better players, he looks all at sea, scattering his passes hurriedly and inaccurately. Where a player like Berbatov always seems to have all the time in the world to make a decision, even when having to hold off two or three defenders, Carrick invariably looks panic-stricken and out of his depth.

    I’ve been saying for the last two to three years that United needs to add quality to the engine room, because it’s being played off the paddock in that area by the better teams. It’s forced United into the 4-5-1 formation in order to make up in numbers what it lacks in class in midfield. The cost has been the sacrifice of Berbatov, both for the enforced loss of his presence on the field and the fact he’s unfairly had to bear the brunt of fan dissatisfaction that should have been directed at players like Carrick. It’s also forced United to play Rooney in the role of sole striker, for which he’s palpably unsuited against quality defenses.

    United need to bring in two players of class, because Carrick provides no answer at all. The first player needs to be an iron-fisted holding midfielder to protect the back four and stamp his authority on the middle of the pitch. The second player needs to be a creative general who can pick apart defenses, tap into the true potential of the forwards available, and add the odd dozen goals per season that United used to expect from Scholes in his prime.

    That’s all well and good, but getting the Glazers to part with the necessary funds is another matter. Fergie keeps towing the company line and claiming that there’s no value in the market, which seems to sound increasingly like a euphemism for the fact he’s not being given any real money to spend. So the only hope is that Anderson makes a full recovery mentally and physically and builds upon the promise he showed in his first season, and that Cleverly might just pull it out of the hat for everyone and become something akin to the kind of player Scholes once was.

    Note that I don’t mention Gibson. He seems at best a bench player of the future for United, not a star player. He doesn’t seem to have the mobility, speed or skill to become a good midfield general, and seems far too enamored of his long range efforts at the cost of better placed team mates.

    This is a watershed season for United, one in which I fear that all that the Glazers have brought to bear on the club will finally come home to roost. My prediction is that unless some of the youth brigade pull off a surprise and make a splash this season United will struggle to finish better than fourth, behind the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, and City.

  2. Jonny Hine

    August 6, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Agreed, Fergie need to give Carrick more time on the pitch as he is one of our most reliable players and is one of our few holding players

  3. abir619

    August 6, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Good points in your comment. I just noticed it is bigger than my whole article =P

  4. abir619

    August 6, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    The previous response was for timbo.

  5. Pingback: Why Michael Carrick could be the key man for Manchester United « We'll Never Die…

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