Michael Carrick has been persecuted in the past for having a tendency to pass sideways and backwards, but not forwards.
However, those accusations certainly haven’t reared their head this season now that Carrick has cemented his place as one of United’s and the Premier League’s finest players this year.
Carrick has not only brought a more forward thinking approach this season, he has done it with some serious style. Not even Iniesta, Xavi or Pirlo have played more forward passes this season than Carrick – a fantastic achievement.
He is finally getting the recognition all United fans know he deserves with a nomination for PFA Player of the Year. We all know he won’t win the award but that is because the majority of what he does goes unnoticed and that is the beauty of it.
Gary Neville’s analysis is spot on. None of what Carrick does is really ground-breaking but it is necessary and United need him there.
I’d argue this has been his best season at United, even better than his fantastic double winning 2007/8 season, and if it wasn’t for him this year I am sure United would not be where they are in the table.
Long live Carrick, Europe’s best midfielder.