Name: Michael Carrick
England and Manchester United’s unsung hero Michael Carrick is recognised as a fans’ favourite. Despite the arrival of several stars for big money; such as Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Marouane Fellaini, it is Carrick who is still first choice at the age of 34.
The midfielder still sets the tempo of play at Old Trafford. United’s recent attacking performances of old have coincided with veteran’s return to the starting line-up after missing three of the four matches for the Red Devils in January. His influence was there for all to see last week against Stoke City, as he started the fluid counter-attacking move, which was delightfully finished off by United’s young star Anthony Martial. It had fans reminiscing of times of years gone by with Rooney linking up with Cristiano Ronaldo. Yet the player who is always forgotten when the play is analysed is Carrick.
Sir Alex Ferguson once described the Tyne and Weir born star as “the best English player” around. Extremely high praise for an individual who is regularly overlooked by the star names associated with Manchester United. However Carrick, who celebrates 10 years at the club in the summer, is highly appreciated by the fans as they chant his name to ‘Magic’ by Pilot and compare him to Paul Scholes.
Under-fire manager Louis van Gaal will need Carrick to stay fit to help get the fans back onside for the remainder of the season and to try and help United finish in the top four.