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Friday, August 12, 2022

Manchester United’s Michael Carrick is a ‘Rolls-Royce’ of a player, says Paul Scholes

Paul Scholes believes that his midfield partner Michael Carrick is being overlooked by fans, who continue to urge Sir Alex Ferguson to invest in a new playmaker.

Scholes, who has come out of retirement to play again for United, has answered Sir Alex’s prayers as the manager deals with the absences of Anderson, Tom Cleverley and Darren Fletcher.

Phil Jones has been forced to take on an unfamiliar midfield role as United contend with the injuries, but Scholes feels that Carrick is not getting the praise he deserves, describing him as a “Rolls-Royce player”.

“Over the last six years at the club he’s been terrific, one of the most underrated players that the Premier League has had,” said Scholes.

“Since he’s come we’ve won the league in all but one season – that says it all. You need players such as Michael to be successful. He’s a total team player, which players around him really appreciate.

“I’ve always found him very easy to play with. He’s capable of doing anything. He can create goals, score goals, he’s a great passer of the ball and is a big strong lad with a lot of presence who can run all day long.”

Scholes is well-place to judge the effectiveness of central midfielders for United, having racked up over 460 appearances for the Red Devils himself. And he reckons Carrick has all the ingredients of a United player.

“To be a central midfielder at this club you have to take responsibility – take the ball all the time, defend at times and be prepared to drive the team on to score goals and win games,” he said.

“Michael does all those things. There’s no better player at just keeping the ball and keeping it simple.

“Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney, we all recognise how important he is to the team and at the end of the day that’s the important thing, that your team-mates know what you’re doing in the team.

“As long as they do and the manager is happy, that’s all that matters.”

Having taken Roy Keane’s legendary shirt when he joined the club, a burden has been fixed to the 30-year-old midfielder, and Scholes feels this could be a factor behind the fans’ views on him.

“Michael is a different breed to the likes of Roy and Nicky Butt,” said Scholes. “They were brilliant, but so is Michael in a different way. He brings calmness to the game and parades around the pitch like a Rolls-Royce.”

Carrick’s influence on the side cannot be underestimated. In fact, he has missed four of United’s five losses this season against Manchester City, Basle, Crystal Palace and Blackburn.

Despite becoming a key member for the squad, as Scholes and his manager suggest, Carrick feels that individual plaudits mean nothing when compared with team success.

“When the boss says good things about you then it is pleasing. But it is a team thing and we want to be winning as a team,” he said.

“I’m happy with the way I’ve played, but that doesn’t count for much. We win as a team and lose a team. It’s as simple as that.”

Carrick comes up against Arsenal this weekend hoping to keep up United’s impressive recent form, and is adamant that they will be a different team from the one that lost 8-2 at Old Trafford earlier this season.

“Maybe Arsenal will want revenge, but a lot of football has been played since then. They didn’t start too well, but in the last couple of months they have done well and they are still there or thereabouts.

“We appreciate and respect what Robin van Persie has done over the last year, but Arsenal have other threats as well.”

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