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Carrick: Believe Me, We’re More Determined Than Ever

United fans might be forgiven for believing their team aren’t too bothered about retaining their titles as Champions of England and Europe, given their recent performances.

Carrick insists this isn’t the case though, claiming they are even more determined this season than they were last.

“We’re English and European champions and we don’t want to let either trophy go — we’re probably even more determined than we were last year to stay on top,” said Carrick. “It’s great to be playing Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday, Wednesday — you can’t wait for the big games to come and you just want to get out there and get the right result. This is the stage when you need to go out and get the job done and we’re determined to do that.”

Let’s see that on the field then, eh Michael?

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Rollins says:

    He’s talking the talk, let’s hope he starts walking the walk.

  2. Mic says:

    To be fair, Carrick hasn’t dropped in performance, he just plays his normal game every game, the players around him need to pull out their fingers, they clearly are tired, no other reason for it, Evra looks a yard of the pace, I hope the rest has done him good, the midfield need to help the defense more!

  3. costas says:

    Well if things go right for us,then there will be plenty of Wednesday-Saturday fixtures until the end of the season.Here’s hoping that Carrick enjoys them and finishes this season as strongly as he did the last one.

  4. Don Pablo says:

    He’s precisely the reason we’re so porous at the back! No cover for the defense whatsoever, no tackling..he’s too soft. Anyone noticed how porto players were sprinting with the ball through the middle with no one challenging them? Same for the pool game where he was pulled out of position, with Torres and Gerrard exploiting that space infront of the defence devastatingly. THE BUCK STOPS WITH YOU MICHAEL!! Step Up!

  5. costas says:

    @Don Pablo:Against Barcelona it was Carrick with Scholes who contained them in both games. And i don’t think Scholesy covered the defence as good as Carrick did.For me,he can be a cover to the defence.He just needs to find some better form and needs the others around him to do the same.

  6. wazza says:

    Don Pablo: stop criticising Michael.u forget so soon about the clean sheet record with the same players we had then.its to do more with the mid-fielders & defenders not closing down opposition players quickly recently.they have to step up their work rate

  7. Don Pablo says:

    Wazza, the clean sheet record was down to teams parking the bus and not attempting to attack us. I don’t have the statistics but the number of shots on goal during the clean sheet record was so minimal. As soon as we’ve started to be attacked, he’s been found out. And mine is not negative criticism, just pointing out observations.

  8. Don Pablo says:

    Precisely costas, he was awesome last season but he’s been poor lately. We need such inspired perfomances from him if we are to stand a chance at the Dragao on Wednesday.

  9. Narek says:

    Carrick and Scholes should never play together. Both of them try to defend and they create problems one for the other.

    I cannot see a place for Scholes at the moment in the team, sorry guys.

    Here is what I would play!


    Ronaldo … Anderson …. Gibson

    Rooney … Tevez

  10. costas says:

    We need everyone to be better.And for me Carrick when he is on form is a key cog to this United team.The clean sheet was also against attacking teams.West Ham away was a tough game in that sense.I will tell you what i said in another topic:In this United side where Hargo is out injured you need two players at the central midfield who can become like a second zone in front of the defense.That’s why Carrick and Fletch are perfect together.We haven’t seen them play together with Rio,Vida and VDS behind them for a while.With those 5 all in the team,our defensive structure is very good and we can count on Ronaldo,Tev and Rooney to come up with the goods on the other end.One thing guys.Does anyone think that SAF migth opt for a 4-4-1-1 with Giggs roaming behind Rooney ala the San Siro?

  11. Don Pablo says:

    Personally, i’d have Ando and Nani in the line-up. They have the expirience of playing in Portugal and I think they have something to prove to their critics. I’d go with 4-3-3 VDS, O’SHEA, RIO, VIDIC, EVRA, FLETCH, CARRICK, ANDERSON, ROONEY, RONALDO and TEVEZ. They have a mobile midfield that needs to be checked. And if the front 3 can interchange as swiftly as last season, i see nothing stopping us. What team would you guys go with? Scott?

  12. costas says:

    Don Pablo i would go with your line up but put Park instead of Anderson.I believe we have to go with 4-4-2.

  13. gingerprince says:

    Anybody knows when rafael or brown are coming back ….just can’t see O’shea at RB(or LB) anymore especially during these crucial fixtures.

  14. costas says:

    gingerprince i suspect that Rafa might be included in the FA cup semi. I also feel that we might see Brown as a sub either against Portsmouth or Tottenham.

  15. Don Pablo says:

    Costas, Park has been terrible lately. He can’t cross ffs. I’d have NANI in my line up over Park at the moment

  16. wazza says:

    Don Pablo: i agree with the 4-3-3 but Giggsy surely starts in place of Anderson.Ando or Park might well start the game given Tevez is looking tired.i would not like to see Rooney starting from the wings & CR7 upfront.

  17. costas says:

    Yes i know Don Pablo but we will have to do a lot of defending as well.That’s why i opted for Park.I am an Anderson fan but he hasn’t started a game since the LIverpool defeat and even then he seemed rusty from the previous injury.LIke Wazza says,Giggsy is very possible to play.It could be 4-4-1-1 as i said above.Berba should be saved for the FA cup semi.I feel that he will make a big impact on that one.

  18. wazza says:

    costas any news when is the team leaving for porto ? just waiting to hear the names of the travelling squad.i hope Berba makes it along with Rio & may be Rafael

  19. costas says:

    I haven’t heard Wazza.Will they leave today or tomorrow morning?I wouldn’t worry about Rio and Berba.They will definitely be in the squad.The impression i got on Friday is that Rio had started running so his groin is ok.Until Wednesday he has time on his side.Berba must have bandaged his foot for precaution.He was rushed back anyway.Rafael?I see him featuring against Everton.

  20. Don Pablo says:

    Attack is the best form of defense..with fast wingers we cn neutralize their wing play. And our attack is better than theirs! Should be a case of ‘you score one, we score two’..simple as. We score early, pull them out n hit them on the counter. Anyway i believe we are going through come what may!

  21. wazza says:

    no idea when the team departs.we will surely get an update on regarding the travelling squad.Fergie will make it more clear about the injured players in tomorrow’s press conference

  22. wazza says:

    would like to see Fletch man mark that hulk or lisandro.

  23. Kings says:

    Time for everyone to step up to the plate. I love Carrick, but even he’s been a bit off by his own high standards recently – noticed that he has been a bit too hesitant with some of his passing. Bit more urgency required cos he’s a superb passer of the ball, an example typified with his glorious pass for Berba’s goal against Spurs in the FA Cup this season – more of that required on Wednesday and the remainder of the season.

  24. King Eric says:

    A bit off topic but watched the Carling cup Winners programme last night and although I appreciate it was not against top 5 or 6 teams some of the football played against the likes of Blackburn, Derby at home and QPR was some of the best attacking football we have seen this season.

    On Wednesday Fletch will definately start with Carrick in the middle with Giggsy somewhere up top, perhaps behind Wayne. Ronnie on one flank and probably Park on other. Park due a good game. But then he may choose Nani. Would like to see Ando play as well and get a bloody good game under his belt. Just really hope he doesn’t start with Wayne on the left again. So many decisions and as ever I just hope Sir Alex gets it spot on.

    See dippers are full of confidence now after the rentboys conceded 3 at home. If anything they will take that as a warning and will be more than prepared.

    Think Costas mentioned this but for all the negativity surrounding our recent performances I thought second half up at the Stadium of Shite we looked pretty good.

  25. costas says:

    That was funny actually King Eric.We should have concede in the first half not the second.I think in the second they had the goal and the one chance with Cisse but nothing else.Vida and Carrick started improving and that was all we needed.In the Carling Cup Ando and Nani played as if they were still in their first season.They seemed more relaxed in those games.Like you,i see Giggs starting behind Rooney tomorrow.And yes,the dippers are believing.That’s great.Let them play Torres and Gerrard tomorrow and wear themselves out.Gerrard is flirting with a groin strain anyway.

  26. costas says:

    Mistake.We play with Porto on Wednesday,not tomorrow.

  27. jon jonson says:

    please, i’m believing in action speaks louder than words

  28. Hasan says:

    Though the recent performances suggest otherwise i sure hope that is the case…they hadn’t been flying all season but the not so sudden dip in form is inexplicable. Banking on Sir Alex to lift them up for the big game. Feel the mid field doesn’t provide enough cover for the defence, nor create enough to trouble the opposition…and carrick at the heart of them both. Lets walk the talk and not just talk.
    Its Fletcher Carrick Giggs and Ronaldo for me… With Berba and Rooney at the top.

  29. smokebreaksteve says:

    Hope he plays Nani at Porto. Very dissapointed with him in general but he certainly can’t be tired and he will know that if he steps up for this one it would be a massive boost for his his own confidence. Back to Carrick he needs to up his game but I wonder what we expect from him defensively. He is more a player to steal a loose ball off an opponent rather than bully the ball off him. We were blessed with Keane and I don’t remember a time since he left that teams attacked us so much. We badly miss Hargreaves for defensive cover but on a good note, this attacking pressure on Utd at the moment won’t last forever. We will kick someone’s arse so badly on the counter that teams will again become wary of us and start parking the bus again. Not as exiting to watch but allows the attacking play to flourish. We are not crumbling, we are just not used to every team we play at the moment attacking us so fervently. I think a good win at Porto with goals on the counter will alter the mindset of teams facing us between now and the end of the season, thus relieving the pressure on the back four and consequently settling the nerves of players like Carrick and Fletcher and allowing decent attacks to be built from deep. I know it sounds quite simplistic but the problem in the last few weeks I don’t believe to be tiredness, more a bad reaction to teams actually trying to rip us apart for 90 minutes rather than parking the bus. Like any other tactic, if you are not used to it, it takes some getting used to. The next couple of weeks will shape the end of our season and I think will also shape our squad for next season. The last few weeks may not have been in vain. Older fringe Players will definately go in the close season with less of an emphasis on utility players and more on players who specialise in one position, albeit only squad players.

  30. John says:

    I personally see our centre midfield as the weakest part of our team, im not sayin there bad but our defence is WORLD CLASS same wit our attack, Now dont slate me but i think Chelski and the scum midfield is better, We need a player like Essien or Alonso

  31. twinnyd says:

    my starting line up would be:


    Rafael/Oshea (sigh) Rio Vidic Evra

    Fletcher Carrick Anderson

    Ronaldo Rooney Giggs

    a 4-3-3 or a 4-4-1-1 with giggsy behind rooney would do fine.a 4-4-2 would not work because we would lack defensive cover and leave our flanks bare,allowing oshea and evra to deal with porto’s fast counter-attacking play which gave us problems the last time.

  32. alpha_rs says:

    John – Hargreaves when fit is up there with Essien.

    I think we need to put a man on Hulk to stop him turning and running. He was the cause of 90% of Uniteds problems last time.

    United need to be clever and keep hold of possession and hen the chance arises go for the kill. None of this gung ho rubbish and concede early in the match.

  33. Drew Vader says:

    Nah John, we could use an Essien or a Mascherano….

  34. Paul the red says:

    we gotta make it through this season… then hopefully we will have a fully fit Owen Hargreaves for next season…… that should make a difference!!!

  35. King George the Switzer says:

    John I think you’re right. We’ve failed to really hit the heights this year (ok, I know we’re top of the league) and I think it’s centre mid that’s been the problem.

    We’ve had no Hargreaves (who is class), Anderson’s been out most the year, Scholes (legend) is clearly past his best, Carrick still hasn’t broken sweat in a United shirt, Giggs has done well but isn’t a centre mid and Fletch….has been our best midfielder surely!

    The kid has come good, but to reach this stage of the season and have the opinion (rightly or wrongly) that SuperFletch has been our best centre mid is surely a sign of the problems


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