Date:Monday February 2 2009
I watched United beat Everton 1-0, opening up a five-point gap at the top of the table. When I got home I was greeted by a great surprise: papers rushed to acknowledge the masterful display of Michael Carrick, singling him out as the man who will be pivotal in our title charge.
But it's oh so typical of the English media that it took so long for them to realise what an asset Carrick is. One paper wrote that eyebrows were raised when we paid that hefty sum for him because 'he had failed to establish himself in the England team'.
What does this mean? Carrick did not get the recognition he deserved and what Gareth Barry, for example, got because of the professional judgment of two people, Sven-Göran Eriksson and Steve McClaren. Well, if they set the standard then I'm not surprised that nobody noticed the quiet excellence of Carrick.
The truth is that while it took him a while to settle he gradually became more and more consistent in his first season. By January 2007 he became an absolutely vital part of this team and though it took him a while again to start firing during the next campaign, he ended up as United's best midfield player of the season (please, don't tell me Ronaldo is a midfielder). This season he's consistent, reliable and even chipped in with a couple of goals.
The guy has wonderful passing, awareness and has a knack for timing his interceptions perfectly - on Saturday I lost count the number of times he nicked the ball of an Everton player. So, yes, the papers are right: Michael Carrick developed into a fantastic player - but that development was clear from his very first minutes in a United shirt.
Date:Monday February 2 2009
Januzaj Plumps for Belgium (Thursday April 24 2014)
Should Sir Alex Ferguson Remain Involved? (Wednesday April 23 2014)
Moyes Fury! (Wednesday April 23 2014)
Duo Wanted? (Wednesday April 23 2014)
Van Gaal or Ancelotti? (Wednesday April 23 2014)
Why Moyes Had to Go! (Tuesday April 22 2014)
Four on a Short-List? (Tuesday April 22 2014)
Has Moyes Been Sacked? (Monday April 21 2014)
Trust in Moyes Wavering? (Monday April 21 2014)
Lallana Has Sell-On Clause! (Monday April 21 2014)
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