Sir Alex Ferguson rarely made mistakes when it comes to the transfer market. Even then, a couple of eyebrows were raised when Manchester United signed Michael Carrick from Tottenham for £18 million. It was a significant sum of money for a midfielder back in 2006; Carrick became the sixth most expensive acquisition for United. A decade has passed and Ferguson’s judgement has been proved right once again. Carrick has gone from strength to strength during this 10-year period and now takes his place in the squad as a silent protector.
Replacement for Keane or Scholes?
Ironically, Carrick was seen as a replacement for Roy Keane, who had left the club in acrimonious circumstances. Few would have imagined that he would go on to become the replacement for none other than Paul Scholes. Carrick was not a traditional holding midfielder, as he relied more on his ability to read the game to prevent a threat. Barring a few seasons, Carrick has been an ever present in the United field largely because he has not picked up yellow cards like a traditional holding midfielder.
His constant presence also helped United unlock one of his biggest traits – vision. As Scholes’ aged with grace, United did not miss him much due to Carrick’s vision and passing skills. This will also fundamental in helping the club win numerous honours over the last decade. Five Premier league medals, one Champions League, one FA Cup title, one League Cup, and a solitary Club World Cup title are the honours Carrick has so far lifted. At 35, he may not be done just yet unless José Mourinho regards his age to be an issue.
Took United to a Contemporary Style
Perhaps, the biggest contribution by Carrick was that he allowed Manchester United to become a more contemporary team since his arrival. His passing and ability to keep possession even under difficult circumstances allowed Sir Alex Ferguson to transform United from a blood-and-thunder outfit into a team that had a sophisticated approach. Even though this transformation only brought one Champions League title, United would have had two more under their belt had it not been for the out-of-this-world Barcelona teams under Pep Guardiola.
Even though Carrick’s influence on the pitch is likely to wane in coming months or years, he has definitely left a huge mark in his own career and Manchester United’s history in the last decade.