One of Manchester United’s unsung heroes, Michael Carrick, announced on Monday that he will retire at the end of this season, writes DEAN WORKMAN
‘There comes a time when, as much as you like or don’t like it, your body tells you it’s time to stop playing football. That’s pretty much where I’m at, which is fine. It’s something you have to accept. That’s where I’m at,’ said Carrick on his retirement.
The Englishman will not likely receive the glowing tributes afforded to the likes of Steven Gerrard or Frank Lampard but his role in Sir Alex Ferguson’s side which dominated English and European football cannot go unnoticed.
‘He is one of the best holding midfielders I’ve ever seen in my life, by far,’ said Pep Guardiola on Carrick. While former manager Ferguson once described him as the ‘best English player in the game.’
Carrick won 17 major trophies during his time at the Red Devils which included: 6 Community Shields, 5 Premier League titles, 2 League Cups, 1 FA Cup, 1 Champions League, 1 Club World Cup and 1 Europa League. A trophy hall that not many players can match. Despite this record and the high praise, he has received from his managers and teammates, Carrick has not garnered the same attention from the rest of the footballing world.
The midfielder had the uncanny ability to get the best out of his teammates which allowed the likes of Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and many others to benefit from his positioning, awareness and ability to always pick the right pass. Carrick knew how to control the tempo of the game in a way that not many midfielders could, he was a true ‘Rolls Royce’ in the midfield.
‘One of the biggest compliments you can pay Michael is that the team-mates around him had huge appreciation for him. He made everybody play better. The sign of a good player is that they always look in control. Michael was always in control,’ said Gary Neville before Carrick’s Manchester United testimonial last year.
While enjoying a highly successful club career, Carrick’s England career never reached the same heights. The midfielder only received 34 caps for England since his debut in 2001 and was grossly underutilised by the Three Lions throughout his career.
A mainstay at Manchester United since 2006, Carrick in my opinion is one of the most underrated players in the Premier League era. I, however, don’t think this will faze a man who has won just about all there is to win in the game. The Manchester United captain will see out the rest of the season before joining Jose Mourinho’s coaching staff next season.
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