Almost half of the second half era of Sir Alex Ferguson saw Manchester United craving for midfielders and then under Louis Van Gaal’s transfer policy, Manchester United recruited midfields like Morgan Schneiderlin and even the legendary Bastian Schweinsteiger, but injuries have left Manchester United reeling this season and Louis Van Gaal has had to rotate a lot with minimum squad capacity.
However, we did see glimpses of what a fully fit Bastian can do in the midfield, and what the experienced Carrick can supply for United as well. It is at the utmost important that Manchester United supply Carrick a contract extension and this is due to the following reasons :-
* In possession, Michael Carrick is calm, confident and he oozes class.
*Out of it, Carrick is intelligent, watchful and almost clairvoyant in closing down lanes.
Michael Carrick is the epitome of a modern day midfielder who’s often the unsung hero and one the best players in his role!
* Statistically speaking, 100% shot accuracy, 86% passing accuracy and 19 meters as the average passing length! This is an incredible feat for a midfielder and Carrick doesn’t surprise me at all because he’s consistent, but also he’s underrated in every aspect and a player who never ever shies away from controlling the game.
* Defensively as well, Carrick maintains his composure and he’s really calculative. Apart from this, time and again Carrick is seen dropping in between the center halves to maintain a feeling of assurance, provide as a cover or usually get the ball flowing from the back. This is really vital for any side and considering the possession based football of Man United, Carrick does a sublime job.
Let’s now turn our thoughts to Bastian Schweinsteiger. Another beast in the red shirt who has had a mediocre season at United so far. Mostly he’s been out due to injuries and hasn’t been able to fulfill his potential, but over the course of the season we’ve just seen what Bastian can provide United with. His layoff balls, defensive actions, long range exquisite passes and regulation of football. That’s what Bastian provides.
Coming to the main-point, our discussion takes us to how will Manchester United line up with Michael Carrick and a fully fit Bastian Schweinsteiger?
Manchester United could field a 4-3-3 against their opponents and this is something new which came from Louis Van Gaal’s side in between the season, with Wayne Rooney joining Fellaini as well as Michael Carrick in the midfield. Manchester United depend upon their wing-play supplied sublimely by the likes of Carrick and Rooney. This also enables United to hold the from the midfield and establish a possession based football game.
4-4-2 was another type of formation used by Van Gaal where both Rooney and Marcus Rashford play alongside each other while Martial and Jesse Lingard supply from the wide areas. Central Midfielders usually hold their ground, but we’ve also seen one midfielder rush forward while the other one acts as a cover. In United’s case, this formation hasn’t been used so much to give the fans some expectations, but if executed well, then United can flourish with two of the most experienced midfielders playing centrally alongside each other.
Almost the entire season, United have played the formation of 4-2-3-1 where double pivots ensure and establish a possession based football and where the 4 players up front are supposed to attack with venom. Even though United have come under scrutiny for proving less in the attacking sector, they can still rely on the 4-2-3-1 and improvise from here like they have tried to do consistently. Bastian and Carrick both will find themselves playing in the pivot role with Bastian attacking with more intent and Carrick dropping back to help with the defensive duties at times!