Today marked Michael Carrick’s last game for Manchester United. It is fitting that he played his final appearance in the Premier League at Old Trafford, the home of the club where the supreme passer won a fantastic haul of silverware. In his twelve years at the Theatre of Dreams, Michael Carrick won five Premier Leagues, three League Cups, one F.A. Cup, one Champions League, one Club World Cup, one Europa League and several Community Shields, which we all know are the most important. This is obviously an impressive resume for United’s new coach.
Carrick’s final season was cut short in September of 2017 after finding an irregular heart rhythm to be the root of his discomfort on the field in a cup match against Burton. He made the tough but ultimately right decision to hang up his playing boots and put on his coaching boots. Unlike Mourinho and Rui Faria, the assistant coach, who have both never played competitive football, it is fair to say that Carrick has a wealth of experience on the pitch. This will ease his transition into the coaching role. Carrick has also always been an extremely gifted technical player with an eye for the killer pass. His guidance and knowledge of the physical Premier League will help young talents like McTominay and Rashford continue their impressive respective starts to life in the Premier League in the seasons to come.
Please enjoy this video with depressing music. Happy Sunday, you go back to work tomorrow!
Carrick has been a favourite of mine since his arrival at the club in the summer of 2006. As an Irishman, I was wary of anyone who was taking the number 16 after the departure of Roy Keane a year earlier. I had seen Carrick in Match! magazine in an article about his range of vision and passing(Jaysus, Match magazine was unreal, wasn’t it?). Immediately you could see why he was signed. His passing and vision was one thing, but his ability to move the ball out of seemingly impossible situations as well as defend impressively too were more tools at his disposal.
And he could score too! I’ll always remember his two thunderbastard goals against Roma when United demolished them in the Champions League were unbelievable. I watch the highlights of that game every once in a while just to watch Carrick fire two unstoppable shots into the top right corner in each half. He was part of the sensational squad that won the Champions League in 2008 against Chelsea, and was vital in United reaching two more finals in the next three years.
In the last few years at the club, only Rooney rivaled him for composure on the ball and that trademark curling ball to the wing from midfield remained everpresent, even in today’s match against Watford. After Rooney left, Carrick was named club captain, a sign of respect for the man and his achievements at the club. I for one am sad that he did not get more time to play with Pogba this year. Despite Pogba being disappointing, which goes for most of the team, playing another year with the calming presence of Carrick would have greatly benefited him. I do remain hopeful for next season with this current bunch of players, providing they step up and actually want to win games. And with Carrick now providing advice full time from the sidelines, it might be a more attacking style of football we play.
All in all, it is a sad day as the last member of the UCL victors of 2008 leaves the team and the game. Although he is staying in the dugout, we will miss his loping runs and perfect passes. Michael Carrick, we salute you!