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Underrated Michael Carrick and the end of an era

Underrated Michael Carrick and the end of an era

March 12, 2018 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
The last among Manchester United's 2008 Champions League winning squad has announced that he’ll retire at the end of this season.

He may not be the fastest, neither is he the most skillful nor silkiest but his presence makes things click, tick and function as if under a deific influence. It is his eagle-eye vision, ability to dictate the tempo of the game, anticipate for the ball in defense and attack, and make key decisions as to where to put the next pass that often puts him in a league of his own.

Sadly, even though these are more than enough to earn him a spot on the elite list of midfielders, his prowess is barely recognized by latter-day football fans. The subject in question goes by the name Michael Carrick, and he will be missing from the active football scene, come 2018/2019 season.

Having been a sine qua non in the success story of Manchester United for over a decade, the former Tottenham Hotspur man has officially announced that he will hang his boot at the end of the season. What this means is that, the last golden leaf in Sir. Alex Ferguson’s 2008 Champions League winning squad will fall off in May. 

For many who have followed the silent maturity of the Englishman, claiming that he’s merely one of the best midfielders to have played for Manchester United will be a gross understatement. His horizon simply stretches beyond the oval cauldron of Old Trafford. Football in contemporary times is such that players who fail to bang in goals week in and out fall to the curb and get overlooked very quickly when efforts are to be applauded.

But for Michael Carrick, the role he assumed in his early development days put him directly on the path to be marginalized. Having been dubbed as the direct replacement for the veteran Roy Keane and claiming his predecessor’s legendary No. 16, the expedition that was to be embarked on by him wasn’t a simple stroll in the park. 

However, despite numerous shortcomings, the unperturbed defensive midfielder alongside Paul Scholes, Darren Fletcher and co, provided the backbone to spur Manchester United to a host of titles between 2006 and 2013 – the year Sir Alex retired. The succeeding years have come with their own limitations and, despite inconsistent performances mostly attributed to the fact that he’s aging, Michael Carrick has never shied away from his duties whenever called upon. 

With five Premier League titles, one FA Cup, three Football League Cups, a Champions League and a Europa League title, one FIFA Club World Cup, six Community Shields, and one FA Youth Cup, it's been, without doubt, a fulfilling career and one worth celebrating for the current Manchester United skipper.

On the personal level, Carrick featured in the Football League’s First Division PFA Team of the Year in 2004, won the Manchester United Players' Player of the Year for the 2012/2013 season, and also featured in the Premier League’s PFA Team of the Year for the starring role he played in helping Manchester United to clinching its 20th EPL title in the 2012/2013 season. Again, underrated and undervalued! 

 

 


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Group A
Jun 14 11:00amMoscow
Russia 5 - 0 Saudi Arabia
Jun 15 8:00amYekaterinburg
Egypt 0 - 1 Uruguay
Jun 19 2:00pmSaint Petersburg
Russia 3 - 1 Egypt
Jun 20 11:00amRostov-on-Don
Uruguay 1 - 0 Saudi Arabia
Jun 25 10:00amVolgograd
Saudi Arabia vs Egypt
Jun 25 10:00amSamara
Uruguay vs Russia
Group B
Jun 15 11:00amSaint Petersburg
Morocco 0 - 1 Iran
Jun 15 2:00pmSochi
Portugal 3 - 3 Spain
Jun 20 8:00amMoscow
Portugal 1 - 0 Morocco
Jun 20 2:00pmKazan
Iran 0 - 1 Spain
Jun 25 2:00pmSaransk
Iran vs Portugal
Jun 25 2:00pmKaliningrad
Spain vs Morocco
Group C
Jun 16 6:00amKazan
France 2 - 1 Australia
Jun 16 12:00pmSaransk
Peru 0 - 1 Denmark
Jun 21 8:00amSamara
Denmark 1 - 1 Australia
Jun 21 11:00amYekaterinburg
France 1 - 0 Peru
Jun 26 10:00amSochi
Australia vs Peru
Jun 26 10:00amMoscow
Denmark vs France
Group D
Jun 16 9:00amMoscow
Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland
Jun 16 3:00pmKaliningrad
Croatia 2 - 0 Nigeria
Jun 21 2:00pmNizhny Novgorod
Argentina 0 - 3 Croatia
Jun 22 11:00amVolgograd
Nigeria 2 - 0 Iceland
Jun 26 2:00pmRostov-on-Don
Iceland vs Croatia
Jun 26 2:00pmSaint Petersburg
Nigeria vs Argentina
Group E
Jun 17 8:00amSamara
Costa Rica 0 - 1 Serbia
Jun 17 2:00pmRostov-on-Don
Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland
Jun 22 8:00amSaint Petersburg
Brazil 2 - 0 Costa Rica
Jun 22 2:00pmKaliningrad
Serbia 1 - 2 Switzerland
Jun 27 2:00pmMoscow
Serbia vs Brazil
Jun 27 2:00pmNizhny Novgorod
Switzerland vs Costa Rica
Group F
Jun 17 11:00amMoscow
Germany 0 - 1 Mexico
Jun 18 8:00amNizhny Novgorod
Sweden 1 - 0 Korea Republic
Jun 23 11:00amRostov-on-Don
Korea Republic 1 - 2 Mexico
Jun 23 2:00pmSochi
Germany 2 - 1 Sweden
Jun 27 10:00amKazan
Korea Republic vs Germany
Jun 27 10:00amYekaterinburg
Mexico vs Sweden
Group G
Jun 18 11:00amSochi
Belgium 3 - 0 Panama
Jun 18 2:00pmVolgograd
Tunisia 1 - 2 England
Jun 23 8:00amMoscow
Belgium 5 - 2 Tunisia
Jun 24 8:00amNizhny Novgorod
England 6 - 1 Panama
Jun 28 2:00pmKaliningrad
England vs Belgium
Jun 28 2:00pmSaransk
Panama vs Tunisia
Group H
Jun 19 8:00amSaransk
Colombia 1 - 2 Japan
Jun 19 11:00amMoscow
Poland 1 - 2 Senegal
Jun 24 11:00amYekaterinburg
Japan 2 - 2 Senegal
Jun 24 2:00pmKazan
Poland 0 - 3 Colombia
Jun 28 10:00amVolgograd
Japan vs Poland
Jun 28 10:00amSamara
Senegal vs Colombia
Knockout Stage

Round of 16
Jun 30 10:00amKazan
[1C] vs [2D]
Jun 30 2:00pmSochi
[1A] vs [2B]
Jul 1 10:00amMoscow
[1B] vs [2A]
Jul 1 2:00pmNizhny Novgorod
[1D] vs [2C]
Round of 16
Jul 2 10:00amSamara
[1E] vs [2F]
Jul 2 2:00pmRostov-on-Don
[1G] vs [2H]
Jul 3 10:00amSaint Petersburg
[1F] vs [2E]
Jul 3 2:00pmMoscow
[1H] vs [2G]
Quarter Final
Jul 6 10:00amNizhny Novgorod
[W49] vs [W50]
Jul 6 2:00pmKazan
[W53] vs [W54]
Jul 7 10:00amSamara
[W55] vs [W56]
Jul 7 2:00pmSochi
[W51] vs [W52]
Semi-final
Jul 10 2:00pmSaint Petersburg
[W57] vs [W58]
Jul 11 2:00pmMoscow
[W59] vs [W60]
Third place match
Jul 14 10:00amSaint Petersburg
[L61] vs [L62]
Final
Jul 15 11:00amMoscow
Final: FIFA World Cup 2018