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Carrick: Not In Defence Again, Please

There were times last season when Manchester United were forced to play Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher in the centre of defence due to our crippling injuries.

Currently, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Jonny Evans, Rafael and John O’Shea are all injured, meaning United are rather thin at the back again.

Whilst prepared to play anywhere, Carrick has revealed he isn’t too keen playing the role of a defender.

“It did get a mention in the changing room,” Carrick said. “I said to Mike Phelan ‘I don’t fancy that again’. It is never nice to get the injuries of course. It is disappointing when you pick up a number in a similar position. But I don’t think we are that desperate yet and hopefully I won’t be called upon.”

STATS: Are Injuries A Valid Excuse?

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. Zi Indefatigable says:

    The squad dubbed him “Carrick-bauer” last season!

  2. pawaka21 says:

    sorry michael, but it is a good chance you will be force to play in that position again. unless jonny could make it to the next game

  3. berbagod says:

    we need him in the centre of midfield.. reckon gibbo will play on saturday.. don’t if scholes will play after a big 90 mins last nite.. anyone got any updates on ando and ji sung?.

    sir alex mentioned jonny evans mite be back on saturday too, hopefully we get vida back too

  4. chuffer says:

    Michael – we feel the same!!

  5. gora says:

    tbh i was actually glad to see oshea go off. i mean what has this guy given fergie. he seems to play yet he is nowhere near rafa both defensively and offensively. he either hoofs e ball upfield or out of play.

  6. utdforever says:

    @ berbagod scholes is suspended for the next 2 games..

  7. Dj says:

    we already have 4 defenders for bolton … fabio at right back brown an smalling at centre and evra at left back but no back up for all if one gets injured then carrick goes back to centre back..
    with scholes suspended an fletcher injured im guessin this will be the line up for sat
    van der saar
    fabio smalling brown evra

    nani/valencia gibbo carrick park/ giggs

    rooney berbatov/hernandez

    with rooney or berba dropping deep

  8. Wesley says:

    Shit Evans is back again…he’s so awful at times…

  9. jeet says:

    I dont see too much of a crisis really, we’ve just got Bolton to live through and I’m trusting Vida to be fit for that. I think SAF disnt play Vida y’day more as a precaution. By the time the break is over we should have O’Shea available, dont you think? Besides Fletch can do a job at RB – i’ve sort of liked his work in that position.

  10. hammons says:

    Hopefully people will take notice to his performance last night, because he did not do much wrong. Completed 93% of his passes – short and long. did his job well. He is not Roy Keane, and never will be. He is Michael Carrick and a Red.

    Red Ratings: Olympique de Marseille

  11. eddiemunro says:

    Elmander and Davies would eat Carrick for breakfast if he was at centre back. It’d be a big mistake. I think his last stint there knocked his confidence just as much as the 2009 CL final. Bolton try to play football, this’ll suit him better if he’s in midfield.

  12. FULLARD says:

    theres no crisis as yet, attack is the best form of defense anyway and we’re more than fine in that department.

  13. apadron87 says:

    @gora o’shea was playing because he could provide some support to smalling with his experience, he’s not the best in the squad but he’s one of the most experienced in the Rb available for the game. Look at what happened when we played with the same back 4 but instead of O’ shea we played Rafael… we ended up losing 1-3. So, Imo o’shea was a good pick for today…. btw Marseille’s goal came after the substitution.

  14. King Eric says:

    gora – What has o’shea given fergie? Er fuck all really. Only 8 or 9 years or so of service playing in every position including goalkeeper, scored winner against Scousers , goal at home against Arsenal in semi final, scored away at Arsenal . O Shea is a great lad to have in the squad and its criminally under rated lads like him that win United trophies. I remember during his lay off last season everyone saying they wished Sheasy was fit to slot in the back 4.

    As for Evans not sure his abscence has ALL been down to an injury. Wonder if Fergie took him out the firing line for a while.

  15. King Eric says:

    Oh and they said on Paddys commentary last night that Vida “could ” have been out for 3 weeks if he risked it last night. He should be fine for Bolton.

  16. Little Red Ant says:

    “I don’t fancy that again” – bet you don’t say that on pay day. If SAF says centre half / right back etc just say yes Boss and pull that shirt on with pride

  17. apadron87 says:

    @king Eric …. Well said “O Shea is a great lad to have in the squad and its criminally under rated lads like him that win United trophies.”

  18. KingOfStretfordEnd says:

    O’Shea is a terrific versatile player. Just because he doesn’t offer much going forwards, many like to slate him. But he does his job when called upon, and I hope he’s back soon. And i’m thinking Vida will be back for Bolton. Probably Sir Alex didn’t want to risk aggravation to his injury and that’s why he didn’t play against Marseille.

  19. bigphil2003 says:

    Of course he doesn’t fancy defence again, can’t pass backwards when you’re already at the back! I jest, I jest – he’s actually stepped up his game a bit recently and didn’t deserve to be singled out for the Liverpool defeat in which the whole team was awful.

  20. Giles Oakley says:

    Well said on John O’Shea, King Eric, summed up perfectly. Now is really not the time to be slagging off our players. The squad is depleted, lots of players are carrying injuries and some have confidence problems. It’s time to get behind the team right through to the end of the season. Please, all match-going Reds, don’t groan when a player makes a mistake, don’t start muttering and moaning , whether it’s Gibbo, O’Shea, Evans, Brown or anyone else, that really won’t help win any trophies. Think of some of the players who used to be dismissed, like Fletcher, Park, who have really come good ( we could really do with Park right now , for his energy and fighting qualities) and don’t write anyone off, at least till the summer.

  21. Costas says:

    Thank fuck O’Shea is at the club. His versatility is crucial to the Boss’ plans. I hope he is ot out for long because quite frankly, I see our injury crisis at the back be an issue until the end of the season.

    Good thing Wes wasn’t sold. ;)

    As for Carrick, it’s a good thing we have an international break now, because the way our defenders are dropping like flies, he was a game away from playing at the back.

  22. berbagod says:

    @ utdforever – ahh yeah i forgot bout his supsension..

    @ hammons – couldn’t agree with you anymore bout carrick. “He is Michael Carrick and a Red.”

    i’ll always love o’shea for that nutmeg on luis figo, now how many player can say that they nutmegged one of the greatest players of his generation?. i’ve never known any player with versatility like jon o shea!

    think wes will be solid as long as he gets a run of games as he is now getting.. any news on when rio is going to be back?.. hopefully after the international break?.

  23. Whiteside Curler says:


    Jeez how many defenders do we need to get through a season without a crisis?

  24. smartalex says:

    Carrick was our best player against Marseilles. That is not just an opinion, it is the truth. Sir Alex is clear in that regard. Obviously, moving your best defensively minded midfielder into the centre of defense is a concern for all at the club. Fortunately, the philosophy of United is such that Carrick, Brown, O’Shea and Fletcher were not thrown away at the first signs of fan’s discontent. They have survived the vitriol and hatred of those who CLAIM to be supporters. Strength of character, fortitude, resilience, adaptability and cheerful sacrifice are hallmarks of our stalwarts.

    Unlike many supporters, who are fickle, selfish and clueless.

  25. YorYor says:

    Sometimes, our own supporters need to read SAF’s “cow in the field” theory and ask themselves why they need to be critical of the club’s players when they’re still pulling on the jersey.
    Seriously, SAF has never kept a player for the sake of keeping him. Just see how the Djemba/Bellion/Miller generation was let go rather unceremoniously.
    As for Carrick, his confidence seems to be back and is getting stuck in. Look at the number of tackles and interceptions he made last night.

  26. denton davey says:

    It’s great to read the comments which support John O’Shea in response to the blind gripes of “gora” @ 10:25. Similarly, it’s good to see that MichaelCarrick – CarrickBauer ? – is getting some respect for the job he does in shielding the defence AND providing cover for the GingerNinja.

    People who regard a real footie team as akin to a “fantasy” one, don’t ever understand that a team is composed of BOTH stars and foot-soldiers. Thankfully, SAF knows this – it’s another part of the UTD tradition: how valuable was Nobby Stiles in the team that “featured” Best, Charlton, and Law ? How valuable was Dunga in Brazil ’94 or Didier Deschamps in France ’98 or Gilberto Silva in the so-called “Invincibles” ?

    Players like John O’Shea, Wesley Brown, and ThreeLungPark are their to answer the manager’s call when the first-choice guys aren’t available. These players are, obviously, second-choice but that doesn’t mean they’re useless or without value. Quite the opposite – look at how TheArse has hit a rocky patch when Fibreglass and AlexSong are out.

    Similarly, UTD seem to win more often when MichaelCarrick is in the first team – is this just a coincidence ? He never scores goals and he passes the ball sideways and backwards a lot so what does he actually do ? Errrr – he does what his job-description demands: he shields the back four and gives the ball to Paul Scholes. That seems to work.

  27. alfie says:

    We need to look into the possibility of recalling De Laet from Portsmouth. Hopefully Evans will be back soon as well, remember there’s an international break after the Bolton game so we’ll just have to struggle through that and then hopefully have 2 or 3 defenders back in time for West Ham away on the 2nd of April

  28. RedDevi1z says:

    …What they said. Oh and I firlmly put the 07′ title firmily on the fact we had O’sheasy and Park.

  29. willierednut says:

    I think Vidic will be back for Bolton. Fergie playing mind games. Rio shouldn’t be too far away, either and Jonny for that matter.


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