Michael Carrick: a season in numbers



Love him, hate him, Michael Carrick has divided supporter opinion like few other modern Manchester United players. Superb during his début season with the club, only to suffer an 18 month slump after the 2009 Champions League final. But the Wallsend-born midfielder has returned to form with gusto this season… (right-click ‘open in new tab’ for the full size image)

Michael Carrick infographic

Share Button

Comments

  1. Tschousen says:

    Great picture. Would be interesting to see Scholsey’s stats

  2. Outstanding. But it still doesn’t get him up there with Scott Parker in the PFA nominations. It’s a joke!

  3. Charmingman93 says:

    What was that about passing backwards too much? Yeah thought so… Carrick is going to be remembered by those who love him as the most underrated United player of modern times. The haters will say he was a waste of money. I was sceptical at first but I think he’s proven himself this season and at his first season.

    Is it me or is he very, VERY unconfident about his shooting skills, his shot against QPR almost went in and it was outside the area. Given some practice he could do wonders with that shot of his!

    • DeadRevel says:

      Did you see the one against Aston Villa? Beautifully jinked past 2 defenders, only to pass in the area when he probably would have scored… lack of confidence or just very humble…? Likely a bit of both.

      He has been fantastic this season.

      • Charmingman93 says:

        Yeah I did, though when he got right next to the box he looked like “oh no, don’t shoot I might miss!” and passed it, but I’m glad he did pass it, because we need a good passer on the ball.

  4. chocolatteballs says:

    A symbol of mediocrity that we now are.
    He’s brilliant if our ambition is to bruise our way to a title in a rapidly declining premiership every year but he is horribly exposed in Europe and indeed against competent passing teams in general and that seems to not matter to most or even seem relevant at all.
    He should be selected for premiership games only where he is comfortably adequate and not particularly needed to do anything he can’t like keep the ball under pressure and still pass it forward ,or, pass to a teammate and move towards said teammate to give them an option to pass back to him.
    An honest modest lad but he’s not what we need at all and deep down we actually know it.

    • I gotta say you are so way off the mark here it’s actually baffling. Carrick is more suited to European football than he is Premier League football, he’d very well be better suited for Serie A and La Liga than the league he plays in. He’s a very ‘European’ kind of player, that’s exactly the reason why he’s so underappreciated in England.

      Carrick can struggle with high-tempo pressing as is evident from the kind of mistakes he makes, as few as he makes. You get more of that in the Premier League than any other top league or competition, it’s actually a major feature for English players and managers who instruct them, and it’s a distinctly different situation in mainland Europe, Germany aside.

      You’re right about the kind of passes and options he doesn’t take up, especially in the attacking third. But he’s not a link man at all, and he has more defensive responsibility than our other midfielders which means he has to be very careful in the moments he chooses to step up the pitch and make runs.

      Not being funny here or trying to be a cunt, but I don’t think you fully get the role and position he plays.

      He’s a very Busquets kind of player. Busquets is obviously better, in fact he’s the best, but don’t forget, he has Xavi and Iniesta in front of him in a midfield three and their movement is also the best you’ll see. Carrick’s actually a much more complete player, who believe it or not is more creative and has more to offer in attack even though he is quite rigid in style. His stats, (yes they do matter and give you another perspective that you can’t full glean from purely watching the game) are always very impressive and he plays in a midfield two with, Scholes aside, inferior players with inferior movement to what you see at Barca, so his options are much more limited which only enhances his stats. So when he doesn’t play a pass forward, it’s not always because he can’t, sometimes the movement ahead is poor or it’s too risky and with that defensive reponsibility I mentioned he has, risks are not something he, or any defensively responsible player does too often.

      Sorry for the length of that!

      • thebigman says:

        Of course he understands the role he is supposed to play, you will be well suited to bobby zamora, people don’t understand my role. They do he’s just shit at it, as is carrick.

        He’s so suited to Europe that we went out in the group stage and embarrassed ourselves further in the Europa league.

        He can’t dictate tempo or break up play, he is completely mediocre and shouldn’t be more than a squad player, where would he compare to Keane or Viera?

        • Okay, well we didn’t perform too well in Europe but let’s take our two worst results. The defeat to Basel and the home defeat to Ajax. Carrick didn’t play in either.

          He was our best player in the 3-3 draw with Basel although the whole team had a very complacent night, he still was our best player and wasn’t “bad”.

          And even if his performances against Bilbao, (the first he din’t start in) weren’t that good, they weren’t as bad as some of the others.

          Even still I don’t know what your point is. You go on as if he is directly to blame. Do you also think the rest of the players aren’t good enough?

          He may have got battered against Barca, LIKE EVERY SINGLE PLAYER WHO FACES THEM, JESUS CHRIST. But in both finals he wasn’t our worst midfielder, in fact he was the best (starter) in both finals, but of course, he takes the blame.

          Where would he compare to Vieira and Scholes? Ugh where does anyone compare to those two? These are two of the greatest ever Premier League players and because someone doesn’t match up he’s shit, get real. I swear to god, the arguemnts against Carrick are truly pathetic and I can tell you nobody says that shit for other players, just Carrick and Evans, another fantastic performer this season.

          In an arguement, the truth is generally somewhere in between both sides. And in Carrick’s case, those who slate him are much more in the wrong and his supporters are far closer to the truth. I also notice the majority of his haters have terrible arguements that look as though are written by a 13-year-old. And his supporters make actual sense an show a fairly acute understanding of the game most of the time.

          I don’t know why I bother. He can’t win.

          He’s a good passer = He only passes backwards
          Here’s evidence that he doesn’t = Oh they’re easy passes
          Most passes are easy = Oh it was shit opposition

          There’s always an excuse and it’s nearly always wrong and to be honest, nearly always frivolous bullcrap.

          • DeadRevel says:

            Well said. I can’t be arsed writing anything else because you’ve summed up why their arguments are so flawed.

            What we need is MORE players like Carrick, not less. Then he will be more effective.

            But sigh…. the people on here probably would rather swap him for Scott Parker or Ryan Shawcross.

        • And all of his supporters claim he’s a good player, maybe very good. Nobody is claiming he’s amazing, world class. But that’s not enough for all the idiots they’re no conten with that, the have to insist he’s a bad player, an average player.

          Well I’m sorry, all the evidence is there to suggest he’s at least a good player and Fergie picks him all the time and his spell with the club is the most successful of the club’s entire history. Not saying he is the reason but as a member of the team, in midfield, a crucial area, he has most certainly played his part.

          We see his qualities, his teammates see his qualities, Fergie sees his qualities.

          Now isn’t it a little obvious that it’s YOU and all of Carrick’s detractors are the ones who are missing something?!

          He might not be your kind of player, I’ll give you that, it’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it. But your opinion is wrong.

    • DeadRevel says:

      “He’s brilliant if our ambition is to bruise our way to a title ”

      I think most people would have discounted your entire post after the first sentence. Possibly the most misinformed comment I’ve ever read on Rant. Congrats.

  5. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    he’s graduated from butch wilkins to neil webb, maybe one day he’ll get to paul ince

    keane robson and scholes are off limits

  6. uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    he’s graduated from butch wilkins to neil webb, maybe one day he’ll get to paul ince

    keane robson and scholes are off limits

    he is way better than Neil Webb. Now that postman had no balls.

  7. Please do a infographic on Wayne Rooney too…..please! :)

  8. ^^^Good post.

    I dont have a problem with Carrick. He needs a proper destroyer next to him. He was ace at Spurs when he played alongside Davids.

    You must ignore Knobby. He likes his players to bleed like Butcher did back in the day. You know – proper hard men with balls bollox.

  9. One of the key points David makes is about the poorness of the movement ahead of Carrick. When we had GolfTroll, Ronaldo, and Rooney in the side ahead of Carrick our movement was utterly first rate and baffled defences.

    Right now, United are exceptionally predictable. Our left wingers come inside, Evra overlaps. Rooney drops deep, and tends to try and pick up the ball somewhere between the midfield and the defence – but his form has been so terrible in many games this season his first touch lets him down, or he hits a terrible shot, etc. On the right hand side, the right back offers an inside ball to Valencia, who typically looks to go outside and supply a cross. If Hernandez is playing, the ball over the top is an option. If Welbeck plays, the long ball and second phase play is on.

    Predictable, and easy to counter if you’re organised and disciplined. Blackburn did it for a good 80 minutes before they visibly tired and succumbed to a moment of genius from Valencia.

    Better sides – typically those in Europe – require a little something else, something we don’t have the attackers to provide. Blaming Carrick is all well and good but the fact is, if he doesn’t have a compelling option to play the ball to, all he can do is provide the ball to one of our attackers and see what happens.

    Carrick does get overrun, but typically that is where (a) the opposition plays three men in the middle, (b) the opposition deliberately presses all over the park, and (c) where Carrick has been team with one of Giggs, Park, et al (i.e. not Scholesy). Not many midfielders can cope with sustained pressure from the opposition with a partner who isn’t doing much running, or is technically so bad with first touch etc any second ball in the midfield isn’t swept up easily.

    I would challenge anyone to suggest midfielders who play in a two in midfield who don’t and can’t get overrun when playing against 3.

    Where I think Carrick brings real value is his ability to win the ball on his feet and distribute it quickly. All these “blaaaaahd and thundddaaah” midfielders who go to ground at the slightest scent of the ball, or who run around clattering people are liabilities in the modern game, especially in Europe. There is no value in having a player win the ball on the floor, then take further time to get up, and then play the ball. You’ve probably already lost an element of momentum in the time they take to get up and then start to play the ball. Carrick also has excellent positioning, allowing our fullbacks to get forward. The number of interceptions is also testament to that. Carrick will often drop ever so slightly off while we have possession, and if we lose it his first move is usually to drop into one of the flanks to cover a forward fullback.

    You can say what you like about him getting pounded by teams like Barcelona, and lately Athletic Bilbao – but, firstly, how many players DON’T get shown up by Barcelona, and secondly who DID actually play well against Bilbao, or Wigan for that matter?

    • DeadRevel says:

      Good post, unfortunately some people are stupid and cannot recognise Carrick’s class.

      Knobby probably thinks Scott Parker is a better footballer.

  10. chocolatteballs says:

    Commenter said:
    “He’s brilliant if our ambition is to bruise our way to a title ”
    I think most people would have discounted your entire post after the first sentence. Possibly the most misinformed comment I’ve ever read on Rant. Congrats.

    I’m sure there are alot of people who discount your opinion altogether.
    Some might say that this year we are stumbling our way , many others that we are flukeing and diving our way.
    Your use of the word misinformed is as unfortunate as your actual comment which you haven’t even bothered to explain or justify.
    And when people say that Carrick IS a European player despite a titanic of games to choose from in Europe where he’s ACTUALLY played in in the last 4 year’s that clearly ….clearly … prove otherwise, always just baffles me.
    He’s not this or that kind of player , or he needs a better player playing beside him etc etc .
    These are excuses. He’,s reached his peak and that peak isn’t quite good enough for where we should be…. not where we actually’ are’ as a team.

    The real troubles in life are apt to the things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle tuesday.

    • DeadRevel says:

      You just wasted your time writing that, because no-one will waste their time reading it.

    • Charmingman93 says:

      I think its very well justified to say a player needs the right partner to play well. Sometimes another players style doesn’t blend well with another, or one player is in such bad form the two just cancel each other out. Carrick IS the type of player that needs the right person to play with him.

  11. chocolatteballs says:

    Commenter said:
    “He’s brilliant if our ambition is to bruise our way to a title ”
    I think most people would have discounted your entire post after the first sentence. Possibly the most misinformed comment I’ve ever read on Rant. Congrats.

    Commenter said:
    “He’s brilliant if our ambition is to bruise our way to a title ”
    I think most people would have discounted your entire post after the first sentence. Possibly the most misinformed comment I’ve ever read on Rant. Congrats.

    I’m sure there are alot of people who discount your opinion altogether.
    Some might say that this year we are stumbling our way , many others that we are flukeing and diving our way.
    Your use of the word misinformed is as unfortunate as your actual comment which you haven’t even bothered to explain or justify.
    And when people say that Carrick IS a European player despite a titanic of games to choose from in Europe where he’s ACTUALLY played in in the last 4 year’s that clearly ….clearly … prove otherwise, always just baffles me.
    He’s not this or that kind of player , or he needs a better player playing beside him etc etc .
    These are excuses. He’,s reached his peak and that peak isn’t quite good enough for where we should be…. not where we actually’ are’ as a team.

    The real troubles in life are apt to the things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle tuesday.

  12. chocolatteballs says:

    Commenter said:
    You just wasted your time writing that, because no-one will waste their time reading it.

    The poster who posted after you read it.

  13. chocolatteballs says:

    Commenter said:
    I think its very well justified to say a player needs the right partner to play well. Sometimes another players style doesn’t blend well with another, or one player is in such bad form the two just cancel each other out. Carrick IS the type of player that needs the right person to play with him.

    Yea but Gareth Barry needs the right player to play with him ie somone much better than him to disguise the fact that he’s not good enough.

    When you take Carrick or Barry or Parker or whoever outside of the comfort of the premier league you get a pretty accurate picture of how good they actually are.

    Were one of the biggest clubs in the world and we could very well end up with Carrick and Cleverly pulling the strings in midfield next year .
    Shoot me now.

    • Even though Carrick didn’t have a good Premier League last year, I feel he was one of the reasons we did so well in The Champions League… his performance against Chelsea was right up there. I was one of the people who ripped him for his performance last year, but credit where credit it due. Fantastic season this year, and I can tell he’s enjoying playing which is wonderful to see.

  14. chocolatteballs says:

    Commenter said:
    Even though Carrick didn’t have a good Premier League last year, I feel he was one of the reasons we did so well in The Champions League… his performance against Chelsea was right up there. I was one of the people who ripped him for his performance last year, but credit where credit it due. Fantastic season this year, and I can tell he’s enjoying playing which is wonderful to see.

    Not gonna drag this one out, as it’d done to death ny now but he indeed had two great games against Chelsea in the Champions league last season .
    But people make way too much of these two games.
    Firstly Chelsea arnt they team they were and secondly, Chelsea are a Premiership team not Spanish , German or Portuguese team that we cant often even match in midfield.
    He (Carrick) soon reverted back to type against Barcelona and practically every team we have played that have anything resembling decent, skillfull technical players who won’t just donate time on the ball.
    In these games Carrick ie as usefull as a straw in the desert, he just can’t offer us anything in fact he’s appalling in every aspect of his game.
    But it’s always the same story. It’s the managers fault, he has the wrong player playing off him, wrong formation, he’s told to play that way.
    He or his limitations are never the problem.
    We need much better.

  15. chocolatteballs said:
    Not gonna drag this one out, as it’d done to death ny now but he indeed had two great games against Chelsea in the Champions league last season .
    But people make way too much of these two games.
    Firstly Chelsea arnt they team they were and secondly, Chelsea are a Premiership team not Spanish , German or Portuguese team that we cant often even match in midfield.
    He (Carrick) soon reverted back to type against Barcelona and practically every team we have played that have anything resembling decent, skillfull technical players who won’t just donate time on the ball.
    In these games Carrick ie as usefull as a straw in the desert, he just can’t offer us anything in fact he’s appalling in every aspect of his game.
    But it’s always the same story. It’s the managers fault, he has the wrong player playing off him, wrong formation, he’s told to play that way.
    He or his limitations are never the problem.
    We need much better.

    I see the point you’re trying to make but I still think you’re underrating him. Keane or Scholes he’s not but how many better midfielders have we had? Keane and Scholes. That’s it.
    Who wasn’t shite against Barca? But he didn’t do too well yes.
    He’s got his limitations yes, but there are very few midfield players better than him available. Toure was unaffordable. Xavi, Iniesta etc aren’t available.
    Until we get a Keane type player, we better be grateful for what we have. We’ll be in trouble if he wanted to leave however unlikely that may be.

    Sir Ryan Giggs? No no no. Sir Paul Scholes say.

  16. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Commenter said:
    You just wasted your time writing that, because no-one will waste their time reading it.

    You’re a bit of an asshole, aren’t you?

  17. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    My problem with Carrick really isn’t Carricks fault… he is what he is… a good midfielder.
    But he occupies one of the most important positions in a football team, and for a club of the stature and supposed ambition of Manchester United, he shouldn’t be the best we can put out there.
    Ever since Keane left, and Scholes started to show his years, we’ve been complaining about our poor midfield, and let’s not forget that although Carrick is having a decent season, he was rubbish for 3 years.
    There aren’t many United fans that haven’t been crying out for a top class midfield signing,(or 2) for years… why we haven’t signed one is a mystery, and a different argument altogether, but the fact is, if we HAD signed such a player, then Carrick would have been relegated to the bench, and no one would be surprised.
    A squaddie to back up a better player is exactly what Carrick is best suited to… or a starting place for a team like Liverpool, Everton, Newcastle… but we’re SUPPOSED to be aspiring to be the best in Europe/World… aren’t we?
    Our defence is going through transition, but is usually world class standard… Rio, Vidic, Stam, Bruce, Irwin… and we’ve had teams that could boast Rooney, van Nistelrooy, Ronaldo, Robson, Cantona, Giggs and Scholes in their prime, Roy Keane, Beckham, and many other Champions League class players… defend Carrick all you like… he is not of THAT standard… at least not consistently… and it always comes back to the question… why have we NOT improved our midfield for so many years… instead of just trying to get by with what we’ve got?
    Carrick, Park, Fletcher, Anderson, Old Scholes, and even Gibson for a while… it’s just NOT good enough.

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

  18. DeadRevel says:

    Pretty much just summed up the average anti-Carrick bollocks though haven’t you…

    he isn’t like Keane so he must be shit.

    By today’s standards Roy Keane would be a mediocre footballer at best. His main talents are redundant and would be even more of a liability now than he used to be. Think: 1 red card every 3 games. Think: a complete lack of understanding about how modern midfields operate.

    Oh and before you insult me actually read the entire thread or don’t bother. If you actually agree with that guy that we have ‘bruised our way to a title’ with Carrick then I’m afraid you are just as fucking stupid as he is mate. Sorry.

    Using the word ‘Carrick’ with the word ‘bruised’ in the same sentence renders your opinion obsolete.

    Xavi would have been treated the same way if he was English.

    Thanks for reading.

  19. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    gobsmacked at that keane bit

    clearly we’ve reached the point where grown men will comment on the treble side whilst clearly having been pre pubescent when they were in their pomp, but will still put the opinion forward as fact

    keane mediocre and redundant, good grief

  20. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Commenter said:
    Use the proper English term you cunt or don’t insult me.

    You’re right of course… a “bit” doesn’t say much does it?

    You’re a gaping asshole…

  21. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Commenter said:
    Pretty much just summed up the average anti-Carrick bollocks though haven’t you…

    he isn’t like Keane so he must be shit.

    By today’s standards Roy Keane would be a mediocre footballer at best. His main talents are redundant and would be even more of a liability now than he used to be. Think: 1 red card every 3 games. Think: a complete lack of understanding about how modern midfields operate.

    Oh and before you insult me actually read the entire thread or don’t bother. If you actually agree with that guy that we have ‘bruised our way to a title’ with Carrick then I’m afraid you are just as fucking stupid as he is mate. Sorry.

    Using the word ‘Carrick’ with the word ‘bruised’ in the same sentence renders your opinion obsolete.

    Xavi would have been treated the same way if he was English.

    Thanks for reading.

    Don’t get so emotional, you big baby…

    Not everything written in this thread is directly related to the initial article… some here, obviously you included, rate Carrick a lot higher than others… that in itself doesn’t make you an asshole… insulting someone simply because they disagree with you does.

    You want to big up Carrick for the first good season he’s had in years… that’s up to you… but don’t twist others arguments, just to make yours.

    No one said “he isn’t like Keane so he must be shit”… and that is a ridiculous attempt to validate your opinion.

    I’m not going to argue with you on this, because you’re a tool… I made a perfectly reasonable argument, that you obviously didn’t read… I called you an “asshole” for insulting someone for no reason, and that was it, you were off on this hilarious tangent comparing Carrick first with Keane then with Xavi… and finally assuming everyone who doesn’t agree with you of preferring Parker and Shawcross.

    And you accuse others of wandering off topic… fuckin hell…

  22. Carrick is a fantastic footballer. We have greatly under utilised him in two ways: 1 we give him always the wrong midfield partner and 2 we always play him in a midfield duo. Which top European team plays 4-4-2 again I keep asking?

    I watch Xabi Alonso and Sergio Busquets and I see how these players are played in formations that bring out the best in them. But we expect Carrick to do the job of three players cos he is wearing the no 16!

    Before we try and rewrite history, we picked up last season when Carrick got his form back around November. He was sensational in all our European games. Our manager had a stinker in the Champions League final by playing him and Giggs against Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets in the final. This season he has been exceptional too.

  23. Carrick is better because he hasn’t got that bungling overweight buffoon anderson next to him fucking everything up and thinking about doner kebab topping on his pizza.

    You cunts have no idea how shit Anderson is. Ban the cunt.

  24. Charmingman93 says:

    Some people forget there have been more great midfielders at this club than Keane and Scholes…

  25. lol dannii
    superbly put – but banning that lump of lard is the easy option
    make him work his fat arse off
    but back to carrick – he was one player that pissed me off no end over the past 3 seasons but he has looked the part for the majority of the games he has played so long as he has time on the ball and isn’t harrassed into making errors/giving away possession cheaply
    he will never make it to ginger ninja level, but i’d rather have him than fat fuck – at least he plays the full 90 minutes more often than not

  26. Commenter said:
    Some people forget there have been more great midfielders at this club than Keane and Scholes…

    but footba wasn’t invented before 1992/93 season ……….

  27. Some of the nonsense being peddled about Carrick in this thread is hilarious.

    Chococlateballs suggests he doesn’t break up the play. What is laughable about this is the number of tackles, interceptions, duels won, clearances, and blocks he has made this season. Let’s ignore those eh?

    There is also a suggestion that systems, formations, and partners don’t matter – and, sure, I would agree if we were talking golf or tennis or some other sport that is not team and system based!

    Carrick is fantastic, he just suffers – as Calvino points out – because we still insist on playing 4-4-2. When we played a more 4-5-1 / 4-3-3 system, we looked significantly better.

    There’s also an accusation Carrick “isn’t very good in Europe” – United’s recent record in Europe means nothing thought, right? Since 2007, we have been semis, winners, final, quarters, and finals to 2011, with this year being the abomination. When Carrick didn’t play for the first set of games.

    Carrick joined United in 2006.

    But let’s just ignore those good old things called facts, and have a bit of rhetoric.

    He’s no Keane, Scholes, etc. it’s a nonsense. It’s also ridiculous rhetoric. Keane, Bryan Robson, they have an iconic image in the eyes of most who support and follow the club. Their style of play, all action and drive, is eye catching. It’s easy to dismiss players who play to a system, are neat, or have a certain amount of discipline in their play. Carrick does a very specific job at United, and is impeccable at performing it.

    Finally I once again challenge all those who state Carrick is not good enough – name me three realistically available midfielders who the club could sign to replace him. Seriously. And I’m not talking about football manager wet dream nonsense. Realistic transfers that would make a difference.

    • Well said Ben, completely agree.

      But the truth is we are going to have to replace Carrick soonish. Scholes might retire in the summer but as much as I love Carrick he might not have more than 2 seasons at he top, he’s 31 now. His expereince is essential to us right though, he’s always directing the play, organising our defensive set-up – all the things you expect from a top pro.

      After seing something about us being linked with him, I’ve watched a few games of that lad Strootman at PSV, he looks in Carrick’s mould but with a bit more urgency and intent to shoot. (a thing I’ve always wondered about with Carrick, he obviously has it in him) Could be pure speculation about him but I thin he could be a serious option for us in the future.

      Marchisio is another I like, Juventus are doing quite well now and are just a player or two away from being a top class side. s maybe he wouldn’t be an option.

      There’s plenty of flashy players out there but I those two would be really good signings and and probably more affordable than Modric who I also think would be a great addition, maybe the best.

      Montelivio is out of contract as well but I’m not sure if he’d b int leaving Italy and Milan and maybe Juventus will be going flat out for him, both for the same reason – a long-term replacement for Pirlo.

      It will be interesing to see where we go but I’m enjoying every minute of Scholes and Carrick at the moment. They’ve been one of the best midfields Europe has seen in a good 15 years.

      I disagree wih that Keane bullshit down below but I think it’s fair to say that Carrick and the ‘second’ Scholes i.e. Andrea Pirlo deep-playmaker type “control” the midfield better than Keane and the original, more attack-minded Scholes did. That as you pointed out has enabled us to really crack Europe and we’ve been true heavyweights since Carrick’s arrival and partnership with Scholes.

  28. To the person who seriously believes that Keane would be redundant in today’s EPL and UCL.

    I don’t know you but take from me, in my five years on this forum, that is without any doubt the most ridiculous, stupid, ignorant, inept and foolish opinion, anyone has ever had.

    You Sir, are a dumb-ass.

  29. Ben Hulston said:
    Finally I once again challenge all those who state Carrick is not good enough – name me three realistically available midfielders who the club could sign to replace him. Seriously. And I’m not talking about football manager wet dream nonsense. Realistic transfers that would make a difference.

    I think Carrick’s a fine player. For all those who wank about Busquets, I reckon Carrick would look a lot better than him if he had the luck to play alongside Xavi and Iniesta too. Try putting Busquets in a two man midfield with Anderson, let’s see how ace he looks.

    I think the natural replacement for Carrick is Javi Martinez at Bilbao — he looks very Carrick-esque, and perhaps even better than Carrick, apart from being younger.

  30. I also think Eriksen looks really like a young Scholes, for all the players he get called that, Eriksen really does remind me of his style and skills in the earlier days. A combo of Martinez and Eriksen would be pretty magic I reckon.

  31. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    you don’t half go on about that martinez

  32. danniitronix said:
    To the person who seriously believes that Keane would be redundant in today’s EPL and UCL.

    I don’t know you but take from me, in my five years on this forum, that is without any doubt the most ridiculous, stupid, ignorant, inept and foolish opinion, anyone has ever had.

    You Sir, are a dumb-ass.

    5 years?????
    do u know what happened to galway? or did he metamorph into knobhead – there are so many similarities its unreal

  33. Well I think he’s the real deal, easily as good as any of the young lads who get celebrated like Gotze, Eriksen, Hazard, just he plays a less glamourous role.

  34. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    difference between me and galway is he thinks rooneys shit and continually doubted lkhf

  35. Oh how I have missed this place. Dannii, what are you doing in SA? Have a read on their famous website http://www.supersport.com and read the grief I get all over Africa cos I do not wank all over Barcelona. Incredible.

  36. Carrick criminally overlooked by England and for pfa player of the year, apparently he hasnt been as good as Scott Parker?

  37. Cal is back! Good stuff. Someone who isn’t completely insane!

  38. Ben Hulston said:
    Cal is back! Good stuff. Someone who isn’t completely insane!

    Gee Ben! Am not sure many here will agree with you on that.

    Anyway back to our Michael. I honestly have no idea why our manager has insisted on this 2 man central midfield that the whole world is doing away with. I can’t understand the rhyme or reason to it at all. It is compounded when Hernandez is Rooney’s partner. When Welbeck plays at least he has the power and pace to present a target for Carrick to pass long or short to.

    As Ben also asked, can his detractors name us realistic replacments. I like Javi Martinez and I believe that if we went to him and spoke to him properly telling him that Real and Barca might never come for him that we present his best chance of regular Champions League football he will come. Even if we bought Eriksen from Ajax, how on earth can we ask him to play in a central midfield 2? That will expose him and make him out to be a bad player when it is actually the system that is making him poor.

  39. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Ben Hulston said:
    Cal is back! Good stuff. Someone who isn’t completely insane!

    What the fuck!!! Cal is mad as a box of frogs… wouldn’t have him any other way though.

  40. Commenter said:
    Well said Ben, completely agree.

    But the truth is we are going to have to replace Carrick soonish. Scholes might retire in the summer but as much as I love Carrick he might not have more than 2 seasons at he top, he’s 31 now. His expereince is essential to us right though, he’s always directing the play, organising our defensive set-up – all the things you expect from a top pro.

    Don’t see why we can’t get a good few years out of Carrick yet, it’s not like his athleticism is his primary asset, and he’s not had any major injury worries. it’s all about motivation and concentration for him, he might even be a better, more consistent performer in the next couple of season.

    • Well yeah I agree that he can go on for longer, but it’s likely to be a different side by then, at least the dynamic of the side should be different. So that’s not the be all and end all.

      It could lead us to needing a different kind of player to bring it all together and take us forward into a new era of dominance. Just as we needed that change in 2006 to truly establish our status on the European stage.

      Just thinking by 2015 we’re likely to have lost veterans such as Ferdinand, Scholes and Giggs, while Vidic, Evra and Carrick will be the stage they’re at now.

      And looking at fairly recent signings such as Hernandez, Jones, Young and Valencia added to the possible further emergence of younger lads such as Rafael, Fabio and Cleverley, it looks as though we’re building a fairly dynamic side and I feel it’s very likely the next midfield acquisition will be an energetic, athletic type of player.

      The three-man midfield that Barca deploy seems to be the way forward but I don’t think it’s the only way to the top. Barcelona have also shown how effective pressing all over the pitch can be. Ideally we want to have the players that enable us to play different systems and be able to switch freely between them during games, like we could do so well in 2007/08. But with the emerging players we have, a very dynamic 4-4-2 could work quite well.

  41. Calvino said:
    Oh how I have missed this place. Dannii, what are you doing in SA? Have a read on their famous website http://www.supersport.com and read the grief I get all over Africa cos I do not wank all over Barcelona. Incredible.

    Where exactly on the Supersport site Cal?

  42. Jaysus if we’re still playing Scholes and Giggs in 2015, please shoot me. Barca have something more like a four man midfield, because they’ve got three central midfielders, plus at least one “forward” who acts more like a midfielder, the way Rooney does when we’re getting our arses kicked.

  43. Does anyone know what the story with Nuri Sahin at Madrid is? He looked a cracking player at Dortmund, but he never plays for Real. Has he been injured, or might they be looking to offload him?

  44. Just1n said:
    Where exactly on the Supersport site Cal?

    http://www.supersport.com/football/blogs

    I started during the Cup of Nations…

  45. Bman,
    Sahin started last saturday and he did not look any special to me.

  46. chocolatteballs says:

    Commenter said:
    Okay, well we didn’t perform too well in Europe but let’s take our two worst results. The defeat to Basel and the home defeat to Ajax. Carrick didn’t play in either.

    He was our best player in the 3-3 draw with Basel although the whole team had a very complacent night, he still was our best player and wasn’t “bad”.

    And even if his performances against Bilbao, (the first he din’t start in) weren’t that good, they weren’t as bad as some of the others.

    Even still I don’t know what your point is. You go on as if he is directly to blame. Do you also think the rest of the players aren’t good enough?

    He may have got battered against Barca, LIKE EVERY SINGLE PLAYER WHO FACES THEM, JESUS CHRIST. But in both finals he wasn’t our worst midfielder, in fact he was the best (starter) in both finals, but of course, he takes the blame.

    Where would he compare to Vieira and Scholes? Ugh where does anyone compare to those two? These are two of the greatest ever Premier League players and because someone doesn’t match up he’s shit, get real. I swear to god, the arguemnts against Carrick are truly pathetic and I can tell you nobody says that shit for other players, just Carrick and Evans, another fantastic performer this season.

    In an arguement, the truth is generally somewhere in between both sides. And in Carrick’s case, those who slate him are much more in the wrong and his supporters are far closer to the truth. I also notice the majority of his haters have terrible arguements that look as though are written by a 13-year-old. And his supporters make actual sense an show a fairly acute understanding of the game most of the time.

    I don’t know why I bother. He can’t win.

    He’s a good passer = He only passes backwards
    Here’s evidence that he doesn’t = Oh they’re easy passes
    Most passes are easy = Oh it was shit opposition

    There’s always an excuse and it’s nearly always wrong and to be honest, nearly always frivolous bullcrap.

    Sorry been away but David did you just say he was our best midfielder in both Finals against Barcelona?
    Ah hear , sure he didn’t find a United player once in either game and I have both of them taped so
    I’m just not accepting that unless you think Our team should play like Tranmere Rovers.

    What’s my point? Read the first line of my first post in this thread Dave that’s actually what my point is , and as Alf mentioned in his post Midfield is the area that we have needed to address for a long time.

    And , your points relate to this season’s European campaign , mine stretch back over a few years .Even when we beat Chelsea on Penos in Moscow and we had Ronaldo.
    Everyone here was shocked we even got to last year’s final myself included (check out all the threads here from Feb to May 2011). We almost got their by default just as we are currently leading the league .
    Our best player against Basel? Are you actually Michael Carrick ?!!!
    We have been Carrying Carrick for years in Europe against teams we should be bossing . Remember Carrick and Fletcher playing together when Hargreves and Scholes were out? Guess which one contributed more?
    Na not having that mate .
    The poorest premier Leauge as long as I can remember this year as well and city imploding at the wrong time.
    Getting back to good football that starts with (yes you guessed it) ‘Our Midfield’ and replacing Carrick , Anderson and other mediocrity while we still have Rooney.Should have been done this Summer.
    Your point about the truth being somewhere in between… no it isn’t.We need two world Class midfielders if we want to move forward and stop embarrassing ourselves on the world stage.

    • 2009 final we started with Giggs and Anderson, and surely I don’t need to tell you that those two, even though Giggs has had a wonderful career showing incredible longevity, are the most wasteful Utd midfilders. They give the ball away more often than Carrick and obviously Scholes. I’m sure the stats would show this if I had access to them, they usually do.

      Carrick and the entire midfield was outclassed nevertheless and Giggs and Anderson both got subbed, Anderson in particular was woeful. Don’t even dare suggest Carrick was worse.

      2011 final we started with Giggs and Park alongside Carrick. Park was without doubt the worst player on the pitch and Giggs, again, wasteful. Carrick in those 80 mins he was on helped us keep Barca at bay as they launched wave after wave of attack. You do realise two of those goals were long range efforts, goals out of nothing? He also played a part in the move leading up to the goal, as did Giggs.

      As for my points just regading this seasons European campaign. well that’s pure nonsense as all th other campaigns make an even stronger case for Carrick. You all too conveiniently say the rest of the team carried him. Well that sums up what I’m saying in that he can’t win, that’s the other reason I left out. Have you forgotten him absolutely “bossing” Mourinho’s Inter against brilliant players like Cambiasso, who is the kind of player I’m sure people would readily compare to Carrick to highlight his apparent ineptness.

      Good performance = Oh the team carried him
      Bad performance = His fault and his fault alone

      Pathetic. Get your head out of the sand.

    • And poorest Premier League?!

      I’m sorry, but you are an absolute moron. Look at the points tally of both Manchester clubs. Both had the best starts the Premier League had EVER seen and City have raised the bar compared to other seasons and we’ve seen them, and raised them.

      My word, talk about looking at English clubs’ European performances and jumping to conclusions!

      Pure nonsense. This has been an unusully bad year for Utd in Europe, and City too. You can’t seriously suggest that that means the league is in decline. 10 years ago one English club in the semi-finals was as good as it got.

  47. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    I’d be interested to see how many of Carricks new found advocates, made these same arguments a couple years ago, when it was openly accepted that he was shite.

    Probably someone elses fault… wrong partner and all that nonsense.

  48. Alfonso – I’ve always supported Carrick, whilst also accepting his form hasn’t been great for a couple of seasons.

    Chocolateballs – great wall of text and rhetoric – but all I read is “I believe he sucks, and this is a load of text saying he sucks” without actually stating what it is you believe he does, or doesn’t do, that means he sucks. Which teams haven’t we “bossed”? Define “Bossing”? I don’t really understand what you mean. It’s just subjective claptrap. It doesn’t provide any objective measurement to assess a player, or system, against.

    And, I think I quite clearly addressed your points on our record over the last three – five seasons in Europe. It’s actually quite good. Or are we just ignoring results now, and instead judging players on something less tangible? I don’t understand any of the points you’re making.

    But hey, maybe I am blinkered and stupid, and spouting a load of “he’s crap” sure does make a great point.

    And, once again – who are these “World Class” midfielders everyone is selling these days, and where are we going to get them (especially given the current constraints of Glazernomics?)? Or have you fired up Football Manager and are busy popping Xavi next to Schweinsteiger in United’s midfield as an impotent rage fuelled one man protest against Carrick?

    I think it is perfectly acceptable to play 4 – 4 – 2 in the league (Sorry Cal but it is), because it is easy enough to dominate 12 to 15 out of 20 of the current Premier league sides by smothering them with possession, and having enough flair / attacking nouse up front to comfortably get the points we need to compete in the league. The remaining teams in England – the better sides – along with the top sides in Europe require a different approach. And that’s where we need to change personnel.

    My view is we need to acquire an athletic midfield player with good dribbling and short range distribution skills – similar to Javi Martinez / Cheik Tiote / Ramires – to compliment Carrick and Cleverley in our midfield. We then sign a more creative player – someone like Eden Hazard, Gaitan, etc – to play as a floating creative midfielder, and two strikers – Rooney and Welbeck – who can alternate playing in the channels, dropping deep to receive the ball and join up play, or as a central target man / bursting into the box. The intention is to have pace and movement, so you can pop a ball long, or you can break down teams with clever movement. This also allows Valencia to come in wide right and play a more traditional 4 – 5 – 1 / 4 – 3 – 3 system, allowing Rooney to play a pure “number 9″ style role.

    We continue to send the full backs forward to provide width, and alternate that. Carrick remains in a similar role as to now, dropping deeper and covering for one of Evra or Raphael as they go forward.

    This gives us movement, pace and options, and also the kind of drive from midfield we do not possess now, which I think everyone can acknowledge – a powerful, athletic driver from midfield, who can bring the ball out from midfield into the attacking third, distribute accurately and quickly, and attack the penalty area.

  49. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Ben… you talk about others making redundant arguments… but keep repeating this… “who are these “World Class” midfielders everyone is selling these days”… as our excuse for doing nothing.

    Since we bought Carrick there have been countless midfielders changing teams… Milner, Silva, Toure, Wishere, Arteta, Chamberlain, Benayoun, Bale, Huddlestone, Modric, van der Vaart, Ben Arfa, Tiote, Ramirez, Meireles, Mata, Sessegnon… even Charlie Adam, who Cal wanted us to sign… and that’s just from a few teams in England… never mind the talent in Italy, Spain or Germany…

    Now granted some of those names would have chased the money, some would have personal preferences, and some just aren’t an improvement… but that doesn’t explain why we never even seemed to be shopping… with the various ridiculous versions of “no value” trotted out… there has been, and still is plenty of crackin talent out there… Fergie just wasn’t interested… that doesn’t make Carrick a rubbish player… but I think it takes care of your, where’s the alternatives, argument.

  50. Stevie D says:

    Carrick’s only problem is that he is not Paul Scholes or Roy Keane!! We’ve had the pleasure of having the best two midfielders (by some distance) in Keane and Scholes in Premier League history in our side for the past 20 years. Two of the best players to ever play for United, I think it’s fair to say.
    While Carrick does a pretty solid job in midfield, he will never set the world alight, like Scholes or Keane did for so long. It’s just not his game. But unfortunately for Carrick, he will always be compared to his predecessors. Sucks for him!

    For me personally, Carrick is a bit of a conundrum. He is a very good player…..but I just don’t get that excited about him. His game is a bit slow, he doesn’t score many goals (despite having a great right foot), he’s not that creative, he can be cumbersome on the ball and get caught in possession….especially when under pressure.
    However, someone asked earlier to name 3 realistic signings who would be better than Carrick…..but to be honest, I can’t! (excluding the Barca midfield, as obviously they are not realistic signings!)

  51. chocolatteballs says:

    Ben , I feel Alf has amply explained the who are these other midfielders question but if you want me to wade in I gladly will.
    Now I did explain what Carrick sucks at very specifically in my first post but I will give you an example that dosn’t even need words in a moment so as to leave you in no doubt.

    Yes Ben it is a results business and if that is what matters to you ultimately why even talk about football or the beautifull game at all.Yes I admit the manner in which we play is more important to me personally than the result as it’s why I originally supported the club. And your right, in the last few years our results in Europe as a whole have not been bad .
    The manner of the defeats in those finals will (for me ) will always eclipse the fact that we actually got there playing our unique brand of bore me to death football,and, it matters to anyone watching as it showed how far behind we have fallen and why I think Carrick especially is the biggest reason.

    Now to the example.
    Last year’s Cl fina,l 80 odd minutes on the clock and we( like two years before ) are getting taught how to play football all over again.
    A certain short arsed Ginger comes on to make his last ever appearance for the club ( or so we thought). What happened then Ben ? You saw it , I saw it we all saw it .Never in the history of football has there been an example so clear cut of what was wrong with our team, …what was wrong with our midfield.
    Scholes past it to red shirts, he then moved (yes fucking moved!) and he created triangles , we even created a chance, the players pepped up, we held the fucking ball for a whole 3 mins and we actually looked like a team.The Barca fans wondered why he didn’t start and the United fans wondered how we’d replace him.
    Where was Carrick for the previous 80 mins Ben?
    What was he doing?
    If one world class midfielder can make us look so good in just ten mins and the other make us look like schoolboys for 80 mins dosn’t that tell you something?You saw what we were with Carrick in midfield and you saw what we looked like with Scholes.
    Why is he in our team ? Tell me Ben what Carrick was doing for that match please someone.
    Would it be cause he’s not THAT type of player.
    Damm fucking right he’s not. Some of you need to seriously cop on.

  52. Commenter said:
    And poorest Premier League?!

    I’m sorry, but you are an absolute moron. Look at the points tally of both Manchester clubs. Both had the best starts the Premier League had EVER seen and City have raised the bar compared to other seasons and we’ve seen them, and raised them.

    My word, talk about looking at English clubs’ European performances and jumping to conclusions!

    Pure nonsense. This has been an unusully bad year for Utd in Europe, and City too. You can’t seriously suggest that that means the league is in decline. 10 years ago one English club in the semi-finals was as good as it got.

    That this United has only dropped 20 points this season is a sign how bad the league is. A team which is

    1 Missing it’s captain
    2 Playing a 21 year old in goals
    3 Playing near half a dozen players who in the long are not good enough.
    4.Bringing back a retired player and seeing him dominate.
    5.Rooney on for his best goalscoring season yet has been average by his standards.

  53. Squigs behave yourself!!!
    how old was Cassillas when he won his first Champions League title? In ’98 we ran Arsenal very close without the use of Roy Keane for long periods. We miss Rio Ferdinand more than we will ever miss Vidic and many know it.

    I do not agree that Scholes ‘dominates’ matches as much as you people keep on saying. I want to see Scholes play one match without Carrick alongside him and let us see what will happen.

    Who are these “half a dozen players not good enough”? Welbeck is good enough. So is Jonny Evans. And Rafael. And Smalling. And Jones. And Valencia. And Nani. Young has been very good in the PL since his days at Watford. Park hardly gets a game these days. So, seriously, what exactly is wrong with our team in terms of personnel? I’ll answer that myself.

    I will sooner have Giggs and Scholes quit end of this season and not be available for selection again. I will also prefer our manager to put an end to this rubbish of playing a two man central midfield. Let Jones run around there alongside Carrick and one other. Rooney up top with any two wide of him. Speaking of Rooney, I have a feeling he will be off this summer. His body language is all bad.

  54. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    I’m pretty sure both Scholes and Giggs will sign on for another season Cal…

  55. chocolatteballs says:

    Oh god you are a moron David.

    park and giggs arnt central midfielders , Is there name on this thread?

    and the post after that just shows how ignorant you are .I suppose its topping the rich list 2012 means we should be lucky to win a game in Europe at all?

    And saying you don’t think Carrick gave the ball away ‘as’ much as giggs just proves my point.
    Why haven’t you answered my question about Carrick in that game ?where was he David?

    Also take the games Porto , Benfica , fucking Lille home and away over 4 years .Someone tell me w where was he in these games? Alot of these 4-5-1
    Why we get dominated in Midfield? What does he really do

    Is it not easier for you guys to write a paragraph about what he dosn’t or isn’t able to do.You guys will find answers that way ,won’t even have to read.

    David you have proved time and time again how ‘not to’ make excuses and for you to tell anyone to get their head out of the sand sums this thread up.

    • The fact that Park or Giggs are not natural centre-midfielders doesn’t change the fact that they were playing there that night, does it. What an absolutely useless point.

      Actually maybe it’s not that useless because it can help explain your next question. Carrick did not play too well himself those nights, I’m under no illusions. But if Park or Giggs are not natural centre-midfielders, and I agree they are not, doesn’t that make Carrick’s job a little more difficult?

      They’re often guilty of forcing the play, losing possession, and getting caught further up the pitch, leaving us exposed and susceptible to couner-attacks and being pinned back once again by a team of Barcelona’s quality.

      In each final Carrick was joined by one of the above and Anderson. Now I think we all agree he isn’t the best. He gives the ball away often and positionally he is one of the doziest midfielders you will ever see at a top club.

      Now doesn’t that make Carrick’s job difficult. Of course, he didn’t do brilliantly, especially in the 2009 final but there are very few players, if any, who could help us overpower a side like Barcelona when those are his partners in crime.

  56. Calvino said:
    Squigs behave yourself!!!
    how old was Cassillas when he won his first Champions League title? In ’98 we ran Arsenal very close without the use of Roy Keane for long periods. We miss Rio Ferdinand more than we will ever miss Vidic and many know it.

    I do not agree that Scholes ‘dominates’ matches as much as you people keep on saying. I want to see Scholes play one match without Carrick alongside him and let us see what will happen.

    Who are these “half a dozen players not good enough”? Welbeck is good enough. So is Jonny Evans. And Rafael. And Smalling. And Jones. And Valencia. And Nani. Young has been very good in the PL since his days at Watford. Park hardly gets a game these days. So, seriously, what exactly is wrong with our team in terms of personnel? I’ll answer that myself.

    I will sooner have Giggs and Scholes quit end of this season and not be available for selection again. I will also prefer our manager to put an end to this rubbish of playing a two man central midfield. Let Jones run around there alongside Carrick and one other. Rooney up top with any two wide of him. Speaking of Rooney, I have a feeling he will be off this summer. His body language is all bad.

    Re: 98 we threw a league away,

    1 Casillas was exceptionally young, De Gea is an exceptional talent who will be between the sticks for a decade, but I do feel the mistakes he has made (West Brom) would have been punished much more in a tougher league. Mistakes against the likes of Basel were punished and we were out of Europe early.

    2 We see Michael Carrick play a game without Scholes and we get beaten by Wigan.

    3 Welbeck not good enough, Evans not good enough, Hernandez really struggled this season, Rafael and Fabio haven’t pushed on at all. Phil Jones still learning his trade and positionally very poor. Btw, I really rate Smalling. Most teams would not be challenging for a league title with so many mediocre/transition players.

    4 Performance wise; Nani has been hot and cold, Evra has been ordinary. Young has been injured for a long period as has Valencia. In other years United would have been blown away, 2008 been a prime example.

    5 I think Rooney will be off as well, if we could reinvest the money well, I would take the cash.

    • “2 We see Michael Carrick play a game without Scholes and we get beaten by Wigan.”

      What about all the gamess we’ve played this season without Carrick and have lost or drawn? What about all the games we’ve won with Carrick in he side and Scholes not?

      The fact is our record with Carrick is a hell of a lot better than our record without him.

      Our record is best when both Scholes and Carrick plauy because they are the two best ball players, they keep possession, control the midfield and they form a really good partnership in the centre.

  57. Squigs,
    into the ’98 run-in we were knackered and running on empty while Arsenal were on a roll. We were then later decimated by injuries to the back line and midfield as the Gunners had their best players fit. That was the season that made the manager decided it was time for rotation and a bigger squad.

    We lost to Wigan again because the manager kept a 2 man central midfield while the home side had four men centrally!!!!

    Rafael is top class. He is going to be a great. Fabio is unlucky and really needs to leave United. Jones has to cement a proper position preferably as a holding midfielder or centre-back. Welbeck is well good enough. He has all the physical attributes we need for a frontman.

    If we can swap Rooney – if he really wants to go – for a proper no 10 then we shall be fine.

  58. Calvino said:
    Squigs,
    into the ’98 run-in we were knackered and running on empty while Arsenal were on a roll. We were then later decimated by injuries to the back line and midfield as the Gunners had their best players fit. That was the season that made the manager decided it was time for rotation and a bigger squad.

    We lost to Wigan again because the manager kept a 2 man central midfield while the home side had four men centrally!!!!

    Rafael is top class. He is going to be a great. Fabio is unlucky and really needs to leave United. Jones has to cement a proper position preferably as a holding midfielder or centre-back. Welbeck is well good enough. He has all the physical attributes we need for a frontman.

    If we can swap Rooney – if he really wants to go – for a proper no 10 then we shall be fine.

    Your not disagreeing with me, we fell away and threw it away down to injuries. We certainly were a knackered team but had an 11 point lead in March. I also remember John Curtis been the great white hope and he really fell off the radar. Keane was a huge loss and the loss of Keane was instrumental.

    Rafael, I think it’s still an enigma. He is potentially really good but the positioning sense has still not sorted itself out.

  59. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    squigs said:
    Re: 98 we threw a league away,

    1 Casillas was exceptionally young, De Gea is an exceptional talent who will be between the sticks for a decade, but I do feel the mistakes he has made (West Brom) would have been punished much more in a tougher league. Mistakes against the likes of Basel were punished and we were out of Europe early.

    2 We see Michael Carrick play a game without Scholes and we get beaten by Wigan.

    3 Welbeck not good enough, Evans not good enough, Hernandez really struggled this season, Rafael and Fabio haven’t pushed on at all. Phil Jones still learning his trade and positionally very poor. Btw, I really rate Smalling. Most teams would not be challenging for a league title with so many mediocre/transition players.

    4 Performance wise; Nani has been hot and cold, Evra has been ordinary. Young has been injured for a long period as has Valencia. In other years United would have been blown away, 2008 been a prime example.

    5 I think Rooney will be off as well, if we could reinvest the money well, I would take the cash.

    Don’t know why you’re complaining about Evans… he looked the business, and then lost some confidence, and suffered for a couple years… but I think he’s had an outstanding season… he’s still got plenty to learn but he’s young, and I think him, Smalling, and De Gea are going to be looking after our defense for years.

    And Rooney… you talk about selling him and reinvesting the money as if that could be reasonably expected… come on Mate… that wouldn’t happen and you know it… there are a few key areas that need new/class talent… if we sold Rooney, there is no way we would replace him with anything like similar quality.

  60. Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Don’t know why you’re complaining about Evans… he looked the business, and then lost some confidence, and suffered for a couple years… but I think he’s had an outstanding season… he’s still got plenty to learn but he’s young, and I think him, Smalling, and De Gea are going to be looking after our defense for years.

    And Rooney… you talk about selling him and reinvesting the money as if that could be reasonably expected… come on Mate… that wouldn’t happen and you know it… there are a few key areas that need new/class talent… if we sold Rooney, there is no way we would replace him with anything like similar quality.

    Well will see on Evans, he has been good the 2nd half of the season and you think he is the future of the club, this time last year most people were hoping he wouldn’t play for United again.

    It won’t be a choice thing, I think Rooney will want out eventually.

  61. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    squigs said:
    Well will see on Evans, he has been good the 2nd half of the season and you think he is the future of the club, this time last year most people were hoping he wouldn’t play for United again.
    It won’t be a choice thing, I think Rooney will want out eventually.

    No, you’re right about Evans last year… but he’s been the one and only consistent centre back this year… we would have been in real trouble without him… of course it’s possible that he could turn to shit next year… but you can say that about any player…
    And I honestly think Rooney had a brain cramp, along with some shit stirring advice from his agent… it obviously caught everyone by surprise, even Fergie was shocked… that’s why I don’t think it was something he gave a lot of thought about… and Rooney seemed genuinely shocked by the trouble it created… I don’t think he’ll do that again… and being as he’s a local lad, with a settled family… I can’t see him leaving.
    Besides… he got what he wanted… a big fat pay rise.

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

  62. Alfonso Bedoya said:
    No, you’re right about Evans last year… but he’s been the one and only consistent centre back this year… we would have been in real trouble without him… of course it’s possible that he could turn to shit next year… but you can say that about any player…
    And I honestly think Rooney had a brain cramp, along with some shit stirring advice from his agent… it obviously caught everyone by surprise, even Fergie was shocked… that’s why I don’t think it was something he gave a lot of thought about… and Rooney seemed genuinely shocked by the trouble it created… I don’t think he’ll do that again… and being as he’s a local lad, with a settled family… I can’t see him leaving.
    Besides… he got what he wanted… a big fat pay rise.

    He’ll go. Ronaldo went after a year he requested for a transfer, Rooney will eventually go. It depends on the market too, Real were in for Ronaldo, will they shell out for Rooney? I think they will. Kaka’s been shite, Di Maria’s crap and Rooney’s a ‘celebrity’ player – the kind of player that attract Real.

    Sir Ryan Giggs? No no no. Sir Paul Scholes say.

  63. di maria been crap???????????? i dont think so

  64. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    dozer said:
    He’ll go. Ronaldo went after a year he requested for a transfer, Rooney will eventually go. It depends on the market too, Real were in for Ronaldo, will they shell out for Rooney? I think they will. Kaka’s been shite, Di Maria’s crap and Rooney’s a ‘celebrity’ player – the kind of player that attract Real.

    Rooney will do nothing without his missus permission…

  65. Surely, Cal, you would accept that united have looked like a different team this season with scholes back in the side? It would be churlish to suggest otherwise. Yes, Carrick has also been great this season but I don’t see how anyone can deny the impact Scholes has had.

  66. sheesh said:
    Surely, Cal, you would accept that united have looked like a different team this season with scholes back in the side? It would be churlish to suggest otherwise. Yes, Carrick has also been great this season but I don’t see how anyone can deny the impact Scholes has had.

    I honestly do not see it. I don’t. His passing has never been an issue. has he made us a better unit? I do not think so. Will he be found out in bigger matches? Yes. Frankly, a lot hot air has been made of his matches this season.

Speak Your Mind

*