After 11 years at Manchester United, Michael Carrick has been given a testimonial at the club in the summer.
After three disappointing seasons with David Moyes and Louis van Gaal, Carrick has spoken to ESPN about the difference with Jose Mourinho.
The general feeling is that we are close and not too far away and the manager is a big part of it because of his approach, his mentality. And he has brought in players with big personalities, quality players.
There is also the fact that some of the others have now been here for two or three years now, so they have grown as well. I wouldn’t say it has come together yet because we haven’t achieved anything, but it seems like it is bubbling and things are going in the right direction.
There were stages under Louis when I thought the base was there to kick on, but we never did it. We would have a good run of results for a few games, then suffer a bad result. We would take a couple of steps back and it was frustrating because we never quite got the run going.
Carrick has been a player who has split opinion among United fans, with some not rating him and others believing he’s vitally important. Carrick has acknowledged that a club like United, you never feel as though you’re good enough.
That’s football, isn’t it? If you look at anyone’s career, there are times when you have hard times. Even the best players have to struggle through things. That definitely happened with me, but maybe it’s a good thing because, at this club, you can never feel settled.
I remember Gary Neville saying that he never felt he had made it, that he was always trying to prove himself and improve himself, but that’s the beauty of being at a place like this. If you get into a comfort zone and are too much at home, then it will come back to bite you, so it works both ways really.