Tuesday (23rd August) marked a decade since midfielder Michael Carrick made his competitive debut for Manchester United, coming on as a substitute in a 3-0 win over Charlton Athletic.
In an interview with MUTV, Carrick was quoted saying, “When I signed, I came here just hoping to try to force my way into the team. Ten years later, to be here and have had a decent time, winning some good things, it’s a bit strange how quickly it has all gone, but hopefully there is still more to come.”
Sir Alex Ferguson signed Carrick for £18million from Tottenham Hotspur, trusted him in midfield, and United dominated domestically and even became Champions of Europe in an era when Guardiola, Messi and Barcelona were taking their place in history as one of the greatest ever club sides. He has gone on to win almost every honour in the English game; 5x EPL, 1x FA Cup, 1x League Cup, 6x Community Shield, 1x Champions League, 1x Club World Cup.
Carrick, who is rated as one of the most underrated midfielders of all time even by the rivals, started out as a centre-forward at West Ham United and slowly developed his game as a central midfielder. His work rate at both attack and defence is worth applause in almost every match. He can even pop up as a centre-back if the team needs him there.
His chant rounds at Old Trafford compare him to the incomparable genius of Paul Scholes. The rhyme, penned to the tune of ’70s Scottish band Pilot’s smash hit “Magic,” goes “It’s Carrick, you know, hard to believe it is not Scholes.”
Michael Carrick has not always been so highly regarded by the Manchester United fans. He had come to define the deficiency that many fans believed existed in the centre of United’s midfield. Till date, Carrick has always carried the seal of a quality player. Much of the attacking excellence is made possible by the calm maturity that Carrick has brought to the midfield. Reaching a level of consistency that he has not found in his United career, Michael Carrick is the pivot that connects defensive stability with attacking intent.
Surely the bad games made a few holes in his resume, but the English midfielder has now reached the level where he is only praised by the best and obviously, the fans as well. He has made a total of 291 appearances and scored 17 goals for Manchester United, and has another year at the club under Jose Mourinho, who was keen to keep the 33-year-old at the club.