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Player Profile: Michael Carrick – the new club captain

With Wayne Rooney’s transfer to Everton, Michael Carrick is now the longest serving Manchester United player at 11 years of service. Let’s take a look back at his impressive career and his journey to where he is now: the club captain of our club.

Life in London

West Ham United was often regarded as the Academy of Football because many great English players came through their academies. Among the likes of Frank Lampard, Jermain Defoe, Joe Cole, and fellow Manchester United great Rio Ferdinand was Michael Carrick. A few loan spells after making his move to the first team were enough for Carrick to show his class for the hammers, quickly becoming an important player for them as he eventually would be for the Spurs as well as Red Devils. Unlike Defoe, however, Carrick was willing to stay with the Hammers even after they were relegated in 2003. After failing to bounce back in the promotion playoffs, Carrick moved to Tottenham for two seasons before moving again to Old Trafford.

Big Shoes to Fill

An initially valued £14 million transfer fee was the mark to bring in Michael Carrick, who Sir Alex Ferguson intended to be his replacement for Roy Keane. Losing one of United’s best ever central midfielders to Celtic meant that Manchester United missed a strong presence in the middle of the park in the 2005-06 season. But by adding Michael Carrick to compliment Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, who also enjoyed lengthy and successful United careers, Manchester United would win the 2006-07 Premier League title. Despite having big shoes to fill, Carrick looked more than capable of doing so.

Battle Tested

Every season at Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson was a tough one but filled with opportunities for glory. Many of those opportunities became successes as Michael Carrick would become one of the most decorated English players, winning every trophy available to him. Like his midfield partner Paul Scholes, Carrick was unfortunately underutilized with the England national team. At times it was understandable given the talent of players like Steven Gerrard, but other times Scott Parker was selected instead of him. Nevertheless, Carrick proved to be one of United’s most consistent and reliable players even past his 30th birthday. Through good times and bad times, Carrick was personally a pleasant name to see on the team sheet especially when veteran defenders Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, and Patrice Evra began to leave the club. Carrick along with David de Gea were vital in easing defenders such as Chris Smalling into bigger roles. It was not always easy, but Carrick gave everything for this club and every battle against domestic and European competition improved him.

The Most Recent Chapter

Carrick enjoyed a successful first season under “the special one” Jose Mourinho. Despite being 35 years old and other talented central midfielders Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba being available for selection, the Englishman’s calming influence, and ingenious passing and defending earned in 30 appearances in all competitions. His experience made him a worthy leader of the club alongside Wayne Rooney. He came on as a substitute in the EFL Cup final and helped Manchester United defeat Southampton and add another piece of silverware to his personal collection along with the clubs. He ended the season with a stunning goal in a testimonial game for his charities, proving to be an astounding person on and off the pitch. A few questions have been raised as Michael Carrick has recently been given the club captain position, but I am confident Carrick will be able to answer them and give United fans another memorable season.

Written by Ivan Ornelas

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