Carrick has nothing but praise for captain Rooney

by Richard Laverty

Michael Carrick has praised Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney after speaking about his own personal pleasure of being named vice-captain late last year.

Carrick replaced Darren Fletcher in the role after the Scot struggled to get regular games under Louis van Gaal and Carrick returned in November as good as ever, coinciding with a six match winning run in November and December.

The 33-year-old has found himself playing closer to Rooney than usual since Christmas, with Van Gaal preferring his captain to play a deeper midfield role with Angel di Maria up front.

The move hasn’t gone down too well with supporters despite Rooney’s good form in that position, more so as it hinders the qualities of their club record signing, but Carrick says Rooney is more than good enough to play in the midfield role alongside him.

“Wayne has just got quality about him, he’s just a good footballer with his passing, knowledge of the game, his creation of chances and scoring goals,” Carrick said.

“He’s an all-round good player, better than good obviously, he’s got a lot of skills that most players don’t have.

“You can compare them in a way but it’s such an easy thing to say. Both players are their own players in their own right and have their own qualities. Scholesy was such a fantastic goalscoring midfielder. With Wayne being the natural goalscorer he is and playing in midfield there is a similarity, but I don’t think you can compare them as they’re so different.”

Against QPR on Saturday, both Rooney and Di Maria were completely ineffective until United reverted to a diamond with the former Real Madrid man playing in the no.10 position.

It’s also puzzling given Van Gaal has good options in midfield with the returns of Marouane Fellaini, Ander Herrera and Daley Blind with supporters believing Rooney was only playing in that position over Christmas due to injuries.

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