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England Taking The Michael

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Michael Carrick’s career dossier so far is very impressive. He has over three hundred Premier League appearances, has won four Premier League titles, a Champions League medal and a FIFA Club World Cup with Manchester United in just six seasons, there is very little the midfielder hasn’t won in his club career.

However, Carrick’s international career has been far from successful, winning just twenty three caps for England since his debut against Mexico back in 2001.

He has regularly been overlooked by the likes of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Gareth Barry and Scott Parker. It seems odd though that such a decorated player, playing regular football for one of the best teams in the world, should be shunned as much as Carrick has been.

It’s no wonder then that before the Euros this year in Poland and Ukraine, Carrick stated that he would only play if his country really needed him, because he was fed up of being a bit part player and who can blame him? When he has played, he has been a solid performer in the Three Lions shirt, and most recently even wore the captains’ armband for the last twenty minutes against Italy in August.

So is this the long overdue recognition Michael Carrick deserves? 23 caps in eleven years, but the Newcastle native looks set to start England’s next game against San Marino with skipper Gerrard suspended. Finally Carrick might get a run of games in the team, and show the world exactly why Sir Alex Ferguson has consistently started him in big games for Manchester United.

One of three squad players not to play a minute in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, he may well be an integral part of the England set up when the next global showpiece comes around in 2014 in Brazil.

By Sean Monaghan @Sean_Monaghan