Play Carrick And He’ll Steady The United Ship
The lack of balance in the Manchester United side has been talked to death and I wrote in pre-season that I felt it was going to be the achilles heel for the Red Devils.
Who was going to work well with who? Were LVG and Moyes men in Jose’s plans? Was this going to be a United side that promoted youth in the best traditions of the club? Were the big signings always going to play? Every one of those methods have been used, and none successfully, perhaps until Sunday.
It was against Swansea though, who have shown that a nice recipe of British and fan ownership with promotion of young managers wasn’t enough. They needed big bucks and overseas influence, which looks almost disastrous right now.
So let’s not get too ahead of ourselves, but maybe, just maybe it will be the seniors who steady the good ship United and at least be able to grind out results in the coming weeks to pacify the support, make the manager smile a little and put the club into a competitive position.
Rooney, Mata, Zlatan and Fellaini may be a mishmash of talent, but it’s senior international and experienced talent, as opposed to the vibrant youth of Martial, Fosu-Mensah and Rashford. And the theory I’m sure for Jose, is that it’s more reliable.
Carrick I left out of the senior list and for good reason. He’s worth looking at on his own. I like him but I honestly thought after the 2009 Champions League Final v Barcelona, when United were outplayed in midfield totally, that he wouldn’t last another year at United.
Yet here he is, almost invaluable as the steadying influence at a club who’ve broken a world transfer record.
They’ve also tried small and mobile with Herrera, big and strong like Fellaini and tried Rooney as he loses his pace. But none have convinced like Carrick.
I think though that he’s best used in bursts, because he just doesn’t have the legs anymore, if he ever had anyway! That’s not being rude or disrespectful, but you only have to look at Matic, Kante, Gueye, Henderson, Fernandinho etc to realise that keeping the ball and passing it beautifully is one thing but modern defensive midfielders in the Premier League have to be mobile enough to win the ball back. Especially with the Klopp, Pep and Poch high octane game.
So in the short term I think Carrick can work but only in 4 to 5 game spurts. Otherwise I’m afraid the Red Devils will slow things down so much that the anaemic team we saw under LVG, Moyes and at times Jose will come back to haunt the Old Trafford faithful.
United have 4 home games on the spin now and if there’s one player who epitomised United home dominance in the trophy winning years it was Carrick.
So give him the 4 games, get the points on the board and look ahead to who comes in as we get to what will be an incredibly exciting pre-Christmas jockeying for position.
A Carrick isn’t for life or even for Christmas, just 4 home games to steer the team back on a winning course.