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Nobody Complains About Carrick’s Transfer Fee Now

When Manchester United signed Michael Carrick I was disappointed. Not because I didn’t think he was a good player but because I didn’t think he was good enough. It had been three years since we had won the title and I felt like we needed someone with a bit more umph that Carrick. The fact that we were forced to shell out a massive £18.6 million for him didn’t please me too much either. He seemed to have flop written all over him.

Since signing, he has never shown himself as the player I thought we needed. I wanted another Roy Keane, someone who could boss the midfield with force and passion, but their shirt number seems to be the most striking similarity between the two players! Carrick doesn’t make many crunching tackles and he’s rarely seen shouting at his team mates to urge them on. Instead, he quietly goes about his business.

By the end of his first season, whilst there was still some questions over his transfer fee, mainly from outside Old Trafford, people were impressed with what they had seen. He was the only outfield signing that season and we were transformed in to the second best team by eight points, to a team eight points clear on the day the title was won. Of course that’s not all down to Carrick’s input but it certainly is no coincidence that our barren period finished when he joined the club.

His performance and goal in the quarter-final against Roma was a turning point for a lot of reds, where his quality shone through. There’s no drama with Carrick, no searching for the limelight, just honest graft and great ability.

In his second season, in which he played 49 games, United won the league and European Cup double. Again, this does not lie entirely at his feet, but he played a vital role in our team. Lovely passes forward, splitting open defences, always eager to take the ball forward.

Now that we are coming to the end of his third season, where his form has again improved, the £18.6 million we paid for him is starting to look like a bargain. Tonight’s performance summed up his contribution, assisting our equalising goal before finishing beautifully for the winner.

The people who used to grumble about him around Old Trafford have slowly died out and Carrick seems to prove more and more, with every passing month, how worthy he is of a starting place in our team.

Well done Michael Carrick!

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. costas says:

    Well done indeed.

  2. Devilton says:

    Sad truth is that every midfielder we get who is from the British Isles and plays in the midfield as a holder will get compared to Keano, and sadly there will probably never be another like him. Having said that Carrick has began to make that position his. I still think he’s more of a finesse player and there are times when he needs to be more assertive. But on his day the lad is worldclass and I love that he never grumbles about anything. His attitude on and off the pitch is something i wish some of our bigger stars would look at and emulate.

    Well done Carrick! There is no reason not to expect him to get even better as he and the team matures.

  3. denton davey says:

    It’s hard to argue with three championships in three seasons. Michael Carrick does his job, quietly and with efficiency. He would be more prominent if he ran forwards more frequently – runners from midfield is what this team is lacking nowadays; too often, we see three separate units rather than interlocking and interchanging which has always been a trademark of UTD’s exciting style of play.

  4. alpha_rs says:

    Well done Michael Carrick. Couldn’t agree with you more Scott.

    Carlos Tevez deserves some praise too.

    Yet again when questions have been asked he has answered then on the pitch.

  5. mark says:

    did anyone see carrick’s puffy eyes?

  6. Mad Dog Manc says:

    Worth every penny and more in my book

  7. whiteknight03 says:

    Well said Scott. It does put things into perspective, because every time we sign a player large groups of fans and outsiders alike expect him to become the greatest player ever…especially during a transition. Carrick isn’t the best player on our team, but he is a valuable valuable member.

    Compare that signing and period in our history with the noise coming out of the Emirates these days about Wenger losing it, and _________isn’t the next Viera…you can’t recreate history. We’ve not found the next Roy Keane and yet we’ve won everything under the sun.

    Well done Carrick…and long may it continue.

  8. keanesmagichat says:

    thats why we are champ11ons! have been really impressed with carrick for the 3 seasons.. he had a dip for a couple of months this season but he is back to his best.. jonny evans was really feeling his hammer id say.. had no mobility whatsoever… CHAMP11ONS

  9. alpha_rs says:

    Probably from having Rooneys crotch round his face!

  10. Aziz in Nairobi says:

    What a wonderful taken goal by him,its 1am in nairobi bt am still thinking of the goal,!

  11. 9jmac says:

    Personally, when we first signed him, i knew he’d be a success. The work he does for us is exactly how i foresaw, not necessarily harrasing players and making crunching tackles like Keane to win possession, but to read the game and make vital interceptions and hes also very good at keeping the ball. I couldnt understand why so many people were disappointed when we signed him tbh.

  12. keanesmagichat says:

    scott are you gonna get the goals up mate?

  13. keanesmagichat says:

    is costas alive or dead lads

  14. costas says:

    Look at the first comment Keano!I just came back from the dead to be honest.

  15. mkn says:

    This is the first good article i have read on this site.

    Carrick has the same composure and attitute has Giggs, and carricks passing is giggs dribbling.

    We need more footballers like these two…

    and Scholes

    so these three!!

  16. penfold83 says:

    Was I watching a different match than everyone else? I thought Carrick was absolutely shite, apart from his goal obviously. He misplaced a ridiculous amount of passes and seemed to end up on the ground more often than not when he had the ball. He fucked up for Wigan’s chance in the second minute as well. I thought he was terrible.

  17. REDHArry4Life says:

    I hold my hands up I was a mad as fuck when we signed him as Keano’s replacement. Scott totally agree I thought we needed more UMMPH in the middle, someone to make Stevie “yellow submarine” me shit his pants.

    What really got me was not that he was a good player, but that he wasn’t a great player yet we had to pay £19.5 million for him (worth every penny now), when we had the opportunjity to get him for £2.5 when he left west ham and we didn’t. Bit the same as Hargreaves before the world cup, we could have got him for a few million, but no we had to wait and fork out another £18 million.

    Carrick has proved week in week out to be such a good player for us passing, intercepting. At least 1 great tackle tonight

  18. clj7 says:

    I laugh every time I see Rooney fall off his shoulders :P

  19. KVN says:

    Well done Carrick.the first half I thought we laboured a lot and didn’t put our two clear chances away. Wigan deserved to be 1-0 up. But second half we showed character and composure. Especially when Tevez came on I thought he created space for himself and others. So well done to Tevez!!!!

  20. SteRDLK says:

    Carrick is one of them players who you rarely notice him having a great game, but you notice when he has an off game (we normally dont win these games)

    He isnt the next Keano, hes the first Michael Carrick.

  21. davetian says:

    I must admit to being very underwhelmed when we signed him, although i did think he was a good player. Still dont think he’s incredible, and he sometimes takes far too long with the ball. Still, from next season i can see him and Hargreaves forming a solid platform to allow The Fantastic Four (are we calling them that now?) to flourish.

    Just a note on Tevez…. i’ve never been his biggest fan, but when he, Berba, Rooney, and Ronaldo have been on the pitch together recently they’ve been awesome. If he is to stay, i hope it’s so all four can play together on a much more regular basis. People may see it as too attacking, but Rooney gets through more work than anyone when he’s out wide and is awesome when coming forward with the ball. Ronaldo has always played wide , so it’s not attacking to the point of being suicidal. If Tevez stays, lets hope we see more of what we saw in the second half.

  22. Don Pablo says:

    I totally concur with you pentfold83..Apart from the goal and assist, Carrick had a stinker today. That aside he’s been worth every penny over the last 3 seasons. Here’s to hoping Berba comes around too. And Aziz, its 0238hrs in Nairobi now and I also can’t get over the fact that we’ve truly ‘knocked Liverpool off their fuckin perch!’

  23. chris kirk says:

    and look how shit spurs have been since they sold him… a dodgy lasagne away from the champions league and mid-table the next

  24. Carrick's Fucking Magic says:



    I’ll put it this way Carrick has become so vital to this United team that when he doesnt play well we dont play well! If you look at our blip in March in all of those games you felt Carrick looked tired and as a result we never looked good, now that hes found some form again we have upped our gear and look unstoppable once again.

    The guy is a credit to the shirt and i am glad we got him – the £18.6m WAS far to much for him at the time we brought him but now i think that figure was a steal

  26. Neli G says:

    is it me or did carrick look like he’d got beaten up?

  27. Drew Vader says:

    It will be some fight for the second CM spot next season…. I think Carrick has the first spot locked down and is a guarantee, but then it’ll be between Fletch (my personal choice), Hargo, and Anderson for that second spot

  28. AJ says:

    Or we’ll just keep rotationg like this season..

  29. ellioman says:

    haha, I love this picture!

  30. hendy hendarto says:

    nice goal, Carrick!!! bring MU to be the champion!

  31. jcolas says:

    I agree with Scott when he said he was at first disapointed with signing Carrick. I had watched him at spurs and while I thought he was a good player I didn’t think he was a UTD player. I’m glad that both of our assumptions were incorrect because he is f-ing brilliant. He doesn’t play like keano, but we’re also a different team now and I think he fits this team quite well. Also, his transfer fee does seem to be a bargain now… in SAF we trust!

  32. wazza says:

    Carrick is a quality mf more in the mold of Pirlo.he definitely needs to do more of the forward runs & he has scored a few this season.his shooting is quite good.

  33. Farhan Borst says:

    Is it me or does Rooney always celebrates more than the goal scorer. Love it

  34. saad says:

    Rooney lucky not to get hurt….. Carrick almost dropped him there ;-)

  35. dre says:

    carrick has bailed united out in various situations where he sprints back and makes last gasp tackles.. last night he did it again.. excellent reading of the game.

  36. Muggaz says:

    should Carlito stay, and Owen get fit, I think we can see more of the fantastic 4 up front next season… SAF propbably purchased Berbs with the intent that Hargreaves would play this season, so he could have his pick from owen, carrick, fletch, anderson and scholes in the mid, and interchange between rooney and giggs playing wide, with Ronny doing what he does, and Berb and Tevez playing up front.

    Is it just me, or did anyone notice Berb’s playing so deep for Tottenham, or has he just started to do that for us? If we are lacking anything, it is that out and out striker a la Ruud…

  37. Kingpin says:

    Carrick to me is by far our most important midfielder. He provides balance to our team, with a calming effect when things get abit too fast paced on the field, and his creativity and composure is something we miss when he is not playing.
    I think carrick is best utilised when he has people doing the hard work for him, ie fletcher and anderson, and with those 3 in the middle of the park (eg against arsenal) is probably the most balanced midfield we could have, especialy in terms of european tactics. The loss of fletcher in the CL final is more crucial than most realise, as with ando and fletcher hassling and hurrying the likes of iniesta and xavi, it gives carrick the oppotunity to dictate the pace of the midfield battle and create space and oppotunitys from deep, which is what he does best. We may be able to call on the likes of giggs and scholes to fill in, but those 2 naturaly play very similar roles to carrick, and asking any one of them to adapt their style of play would most certainly take something out of their game, and negatively affect the balance of the midfield against one of the most balanced midfields in world football (its between them and unfortunately the dippers)

  38. olired says:

    Carrick is as Carrick does.

  39. ROJO RED ROT ROUGE says:

    Michael Carrick is a consummate professional and a credit to Manchester United. He will only get better and have a long career ahead because, like Teddy Sherringham he has a very quick football brain. Bargain.

  40. penfold83 says:

    THIS_IS_MANCHESTER – I have to disagree with your comment that when Carrick doesn’t play well, United don’t play well. Whilst I agree that this is true, I would declare it in a different way, Carrick only plays well, when United are playing well.

    I don’t think that he is the reason that United play poorly when he is having a bad personal day, but I also don’t think he is the reason that United play well when he is playing well. My opinion is that he only comes out of his shell and starts playing properly when the rest of the team are clicking and the match is going all United’s way.

    I don’t think he has the influence to exact any sort of influence on a match, be it for better or worse. I’d also go so far as to say he only plays well against lesser teams. The only ‘big game’ I can remember him stamping any sort of authority on was the 7-1 Roma match.

  41. TK99 says:

    I think Carrick is one of the most important players,we have. I mean look at UTD sice he arrived,he’s been superb throughout the three years.I just hope we dont miss Hargo in the final,coz he’s such an important inforcer ,My united best MD.

  42. Shreyas says:

    Can we please have a chant for Carrick?

  43. Macheda is GOD says:

    he can pass
    micheal carrick is a red
    gerrard,lampard,fabregas…your not fit to wipe his ass!

  44. Jake says:

    I agree- we need a chant, not sure about yours macheda

  45. corea says:

    Good player. Honest and modest player with great passing ability and potentially very good shot. I’m not sure you can call his off goal shot before the first goal an assist but second was really good taken.
    But if you talk about defensive midfielder we have the better player in Hargo. The first choice for me anyday
    But we are a team that has many different players and rotate the starting 11. And we are fortunate to have a player like Carrick in the team.

  46. Kings says:

    I was actually pleased when we signed Carrick because I thought he would give us some movement in midfield with his range of quality passing. But I also felt we needed another midfielder to give us some strength, something which Fergie addressed the following summer. He is looking better as each season passes and long may it continue. Quality player, and definitely money well spent. Nice one Fergie!

  47. Trevor says:

    He has improved his game quite a bit this year, i also think he plays better without scholes! Some may argue but i feel he is a little star struck and plays a differnt game letting scholes pull the strings!

    Just my Opinion!!

    I look forward to seeing more of FLetch and carrick next season or possibly hargreaves behind carrick!

    Little anderson i think just needs a goal! Its all confidence with him!


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