Key Man Carrick Needs To Keep Manchester United Ticking Against Liverpool


When Manchester United announced that vice-captain Michael Carrick had agreed to sign a new one year extension, you could almost hear a sigh of relief come out of Old Trafford.

The midfielder bridges a gap between the successful Sir Alex Ferguson days to this new transitional era. His experience within the squad is vital.

Carrick’s playing style is also extremely valuable to the United side.

The whole squad gets a boost if the thirty-three year old takes his place just in front of the back four. When he’s missing the team seems to panic and that nervy play generally leads to costly mistakes.

In the twelve league games that Carrick has played eighty minutes or more this season, Man Utd ‘have won eight times and only lost once. That run includes wins over Arsenal, Southampton and Tottenham. It also includes the 3-0 victory over tomorrow’s opponents and derby rivals Liverpool.

That shows you how important the midfielder is for this Manchester United side.

His playing style is composed, he keeps the ball and is always looking for it too. These attributes help steady the ship at Old Trafford and instil calm amongst his teammates.

Michael’s intelligence also helps provide United with a defensive strength. He has a great ability to spot danger and intercept threatening passes that could breach his defence.

Against Liverpool, the veteran English internationalist will have to make sure he’s on the top of his game.

With the likes of Adam Lallana, Raheem Sterling, Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge running at him, Carrick needs to be at his composed best to sniff out potential risky situations.

Liverpool come into the fixture in red-hot form with a squad that’s buzzing and charging towards a ‘Top Four’ finish.

If Man United are going to stop this strong Liverpool side then Carrick along with Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini need to win the midfield battle and stop the Merseyside side from overtaking them in league (a United defeat would see them drop out of Top Four).

The ‘Red Devils’ also have a world-class goalkeeper in David de Gea who they can rely on and have a big say in what happens tomorrow. Like Carrick, the Spanish goalie gives the rest of his teammates confidence that they can build on. It might seem funny but he was pivotal in United’s 3-0 win over Liverpool in the reverse fixture earlier in the league campaign and is a big reason why they currently sit inside the ‘Top Four’.

Man United boss Louis van Gaal has also played Wayne Rooney up front recently and been rewarded with inspirational displays from his captain, that has seen Rooney score five times in his last six matches.

Another big plus has been Fellaini’s form as of late. The big, Belgian middleman can help turn games when he bombs forward or gets on the end of high balls in the opposition’s box. His strong, direct game unnerves defensive opponents.

So far during Van Gaal’s tenure at Old Trafford, his Manchester United team have been performing a Jekyll and Hyde act.

But looking at the difference Michael Carrick makes when he’s in the heart of the pitch dictating play in his own quiet style, you have to feel he’s the key to help keep the monster that is inconsistency and sloppy mistakes at bay!

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