Michael Carrick: A shining example all players could learn from

Micheal Carrick oozes class. Players and managers who have played with him or against him have all said it. He plays with a subtle yet, intellectual style. A style that can often be overlooked while he is playing, yet sorely missed when he is not. He has been the architect of Manchester United’s midfield for over a decade.

This reputation is more than deserved, and it was no surprise that his testimonial was a classy affair. Touching speeches, impressive crowd mosaics and an array of legendary footballers was always going to create a professional yet jovial atmosphere. Carrick wanted to mark a sensational career with an event that was able to capture all of his professional attributes. He wanted the fans to enjoy the day as much as he has enjoyed his time at Manchester United, and he got it just right.

Clarence Seedorf rolled back the years several times with some elegant touches, Robbie Keane gave an impressive showing and Scholes looked as though he never stopped playing. Carragher resumed his TV battle with Gary Neville, making sure he left one on him 59 minutes into the affair. Yet Carrick stole the show, he was involved in a jovial tussle with John Terry before he lined up a strike 30 yards out and hit it perfectly. He was enjoying himself and so was everyone else.

One person who did not seem to be seeing the jovial side of more or less anything was club captain and record goal scorer; Wayne Rooney. Who, painfully, did not look any fresher than some of the players who retired a number of years ago. A known competitor, yes. But on this occasion, he appeared petulant. On an occasion that meant so much, not only to those involved but for the charities and the families who have been affected by recent events. Some would have thought Rooney would have followed the example Carrick had set, that he would have worn is “family man Rooney” face.

In actual fact, Carrick made Rooney look very unprofessional. Maybe Rooney had his reasons to be annoyed. Maybe he feels Carrick is receiving much more respect than he receives. But for what could be his last appearance at Old Trafford in a Manchester United shirt, Rooney’s attitude was borderline laughable. Rooney is a club legend there are no doubts about that, but the academy players should be looking at Carrick if they want to model themselves on, not Rooney.

Written by Anthony Withington


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