Michael Carrick has been through it all in his career at Manchester United: glory, despair, injuries, hope, unfavourable comparisons with current and former players.... but is he really that a good a player? He is now established in the premier league and the unquestionable first choice in Manchester United's midfield. However, with the lack of quality that Manchester United have in the middle of the park this may not be a compliment.
He is widely renowned for his excellent range of passing and the ability to control the game, much like his predecessor Paul Scholes. However, Carrick does not score many goals, and at 32, some would say his days at Manchester United are numbered, particularly with the emergence of players such as Tom Cleverley and Nick Powell.
Carrick has played over 400 games for Manchester United and won 5 premier league titles, but still the vultures circle. He has been criticised for his lack of goals and for the fact that he is not blessed with extreme speed. This has been something that Carrick has to cope with all throughout his Manchester United career. When he first signed for the club back in 2006, he was seen as an inferior replacement to departing legend Roy Keane. Throughout his time at the club, he has often been seen as an inferior to the admittedly brilliant Paul Scholes. Many players were not as good as the indefatigable Scholes, so it seems trite for Carrick to be compared on such a level.
However, Michael Carrick now plays the main role in Manchester United's midfield and is not taking on the role of mentor for younger players, just as Scholes did for him. However, with his pace waning evermore and his stamina gradually decreasing, it seems unclear for how long Carrick will be able to keep it up.