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STATS: Carrick’s Ridiculous Good Run Continues

vs Blackburn – attempted and completed more than any other player with 92/100 (92%)
vs Fulham – attempted and completed more than any other player with 96/104 (92%)
vs Wolves – subbed off after 58 minutes to give Paul Pogba a decent run. 49/56 (88%)
vs West Brom – attempted and completed more than any other player with 88/96 (92%)
vs Tottenham – attempted and completed more than any other player with 72/81 (89%)
vs Norwich – attempted and completed more than any other player with 88/101 (87%)
vs Liverpool – attempted and completed more than any other player with 92/98 (94%)
vs Chelsea – attempted and completed more passes than any other player with 66/76 (87%)
vs Stoke – attempted and completed more passes than any other player with 129/139 (93%)
vs Arsenal – completed more passes than any other player with 51/56 (91%). Song attempted 56 and completed 47 (84%).
vs Bolton – attempted and completed more passes than any other player with 59/66 (89%)
vs Newcastle – attempted and completed more passes than any other player with 69/80 (86%)
vs Blackburn – played as a central defender because of injuries. Completed 34/38 passes (90%).
vs Wigan – played as a central defender because of injuries. Completed 39/40 passes (98%).
vs Fulham – attempted and completed more passes than any other player with 67/74 (91%)
vs QPR – one player attempted and completed more passes (Faurlin – 52/71 or 73%). Completed 49/58 (85%).
vs Wolves – attempted and completed more passes than any other player with 66/73 (90%)
vs Villa – attempted and completed more passes than any other player with 55/62 (89%)
vs Newcastle – one player attempted and completed more passes (Giggs – 52/64 or 81%). Completed 45/54 (83%).
vs Swansea – attempted and completed more passes than any other player with 92/96 (96%)
vs Sunderland – subbed on in the 83rd minute. Completed 4/4 passes (100%).
vs Everton – injured. Not in matchday squad.
vs City – injured. Not in matchday squad.
vs Liverpool – Not fully fit. Unused sub.
vs Norwich – Not full fit. Unused sub.
vs Stoke – injured. Not in matchday squad.
vs Chelsea – subbed on in the 63rd minute. Completed 19/21 passes (91%)
vs Bolton – subbed on in the 8th minute. Anderson, Rio and Reo-Coker attempted and completed more passes. Completed 46/51 (90%)
vs Arsenal – injured. Not in matchday squad.
vs Tottenham – Not fully fit. Unused sub.
vs West Brom – Not fully fit. Unused sub.

Michael Carrick has played 23 games this season. He has attempted and completed more passes than any other player on the pitch in 14 of these games (61%). However, if you discount the games when he played as a central defender (2), the games where he did played 90 minutes as he was subbed on or off (4), that means out of the 17 games when he played the entire game in the centre of midfield, he attempted and completed more passes than any player on the pitch in 14 of them (78%).

In 2 of those games, he completed more passes, even though he didn’t attempt as many, meaning he completed more passes than any other player on the pitch in 16 of the 17 games where he played 90 minutes in midfield (89%).

In 1 of those games, only one player completed more passes, which was Faurlin of QPR. This means in 18 of the 18 games where he played 90 minutes in midfield, he attempted and completed more passes than any other United player and in 17 out of the 18 games he completed more passes than any player on the pitch.


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. everydayislikesunday says:

    About 15 minutes into last night’s game, for about 10 minutes, he looked like the best player in the world, EVER. He was like Hoddle, Brady and Valderama rolled into one. Long may it continue. When he plays well, we play well since the moment he turned up in 2006 and started spreading it about. He just has to believe in himself more. I always ask any new United ‘fans’ I bump into about Carrick and if they blow him off then no point having any further conversation, same with Berbatov, if you don’t get these players you don’t get football, difference with Carrick is that he flatters to deceive less and less often, in the running for player of the year, deserves it. THE UNITED FANS WERE IMMENSE LAST NIGHT: ME HEART WAS BURSTING WITH PRIDE ON THE OTEHR SIDE OF THE WORLD

  2. jamilkassam says:

    I like Carrick a lot, he gets a lot of flak but he’s a solid player. Think he looks much better playing alongside Scholes though, like there is less pressure on him.

    What I would ask is of all these completed passes, where are they going and what distance are they travelling – back, sideways, or are they penetrating forward passes? How many assists/goals does he have this season?

    Also, when he does give the ball away, it’s usually a howler, yesterday he passed the ball straight to Yakubu to have a shot at goal. That’s the sort of thing people remember.

  3. The 53 to Brooks Bar says:

    Err yes Carrick HAS really come on BUT how many passes are short backwards or sideways. Remember “there are lies, damn lies and statistics.” He has however been more valuable in breaking up play and he is developing a really good ability to read the game. His off ball play has really improved an it let’s be honest it has taken a loooong time for him to start paying back though still not sure about him in Europe With regards to Berbs I think you are a little stupid saying you won’t talk to anyone who doesn’t agree with you about him? Tell me would that include SAF who is letting him go he’s that indispensable to UTD? Spot on about the boys last night though!

  4. Costas says:

    Yeah, but he’s shit. :lol:

    Anyway, Carrick has been a huge factor in our great run of form. But he’s starting to show the signs of the amount of football he’s played recently. Lets hope he stays fit until the end. We have 3 games next week so it will be a challenge for him. Sadly, we have no substitute for what he has to offer.

  5. Neillo says:

    Great to see their fans are still as delusional as ever! Even when they’re clearly falling apart they cant admit it!

  6. WillieRedNut says:

    Shit squad? :)

    Agree with Costas? He’s looked tired of late, but his form in general has been crucial on this winning run. If you take a game like last nights, Fletch would’ve been perfect. His high energy and work rate is second to none. Back to Carrick. He must be close to player of the season. He timed his return to form at just the right time.

  7. AlphaRS says:

    Carrick’s shite. Only passes the ball backwards and sideways.
    Comments like that annoy me from some on here. Any stats to back that up?
    Or is it a rumour perpetuated by the ABU’s?
    I mean Carrick is only an integral part of a United team that is top of the league.
    Man for man the City team is better than the United team but what does SAF know about anything?
    Sell Carrick buy Sneijder.

  8. AlphaRS says:

    SAF has the ability to build teams generation after generation after generation, his real skill being that whilst going through the transisional periods he still keeps United there or there abouts in the title race. SAF is a Legend.

  9. AntiScouser says:

    What happened to Cleverly?

  10. Jeet says:

    Classic from none other than bobbycharlie on the previous thread – worth repeating :)

    “Actually if I was the owner of City, I’d bring back Garry Cook and convince Mike Bitterbee out of retirement and make him captain. It would destroy the club, but City fans wouldn’t have a clue would they? As long as in their heads they win. Christ what a philosophy. “Yeah, we’ve gone into administration because the Arabs fucked off because they got fed up of not winning and being called Bertie Magoo, but in reality we’ve won 50 titles in the last 50 years and 38 European Cups to boot. United haven’t won anything. Bell won the Ballon d’or 500 times and ended Best’s career, We signed Ronaldinho and Kaka and became famous for our Brazilian style, lots of flair and no substance. We took 500,000 fans to Wigan away.”


  11. Costas says:


    Hi mate. I really don’t know how often he passes backwards or sideways, but it’s not something one can take lightly. His work is kind of like our heartbeat. It’s what determines our tempo. Take it away and our midfield is clueless most of the times. Just look at the Basel, Bilbao and Ajax defeats.

  12. MG says:

    This Carrick

    He hurn to God no to fine the ligh?



    So Aldridge accepts racism but turns on Liverpool when playing shit?




    A billionaire gives them the right to talk to us like that without winning fuck all.


    They’re fucking more stupid than I think then :lol:


  13. benfa says:

    player of the season

  14. mattos says:

    scott, didn’t you know carrick only passes backwards and forwards though? *cough *cough

    good to see he’s put all the fuckwits who were doubting him in their place. same as jonny evans. can’t tell you how many times i argued on their behalf against other reds who claimed they “aren’t united quality”

  15. King Eric says:

    Criminally under rated. The lad is a class act. Controls the pace of a game. Both footed. Reads the game. Is composed. Blocks, intercepts,. Disciplined. Has the lot. To think the media wank over “Scotty ” fucking Parker. He isn’t in the same league as Carrick. He has had one of his best seasons this term.

  16. The 53 to Brooks Bar says:

    @costas Sorry mate but the simple fact is for much of the season Michael has played because we didn’t have any other option. Look how we started the season with TC. Before he was knobled at Bolton. Schooled has been imense

  17. King Eric says:

    Oh for fuck sake. Do some of youe even watch the game? Sideways and backwards? Fucking myth. He constantly whips balls into the strikers feet, spreads play. If a hollywood pass is not on why even make it? Did you see how many times Rooney tried them and they didn’t come off. Or Stevie Me on Sunday? Sorry but this notion he only passes sideways really annoys me. He is a fantastic paser of the ball. Some STILL have to find a stick to beat him with. When he doesn’t play United look ill disciplined and panicky. Top, top player.

  18. The 53 to Brooks Bar says:

    Sorry Fat fingers! Scholes has been awesome since coming back. Yes Carrick has drastically improved this season but he needed to.

  19. King Eric says:

    53 to Brooks Bar – Sorry mate but nonsense. How come Carrick averages about 45 games a season then, every season? He was always gonna be a key player. As Fergie says he grows into the season.

  20. The 53 to Brooks Bar says:

    @king Eric hi ya King. Sorry mate just calling it how I see it. I remember when TC first got injured and Carrick took his place. I don’t know if you made that game but,now I TOTALLY disagree with this but he was getting booed when he was doing. “The Crab” I wonder how he would have faired if we had done better in Europe? What u think?

  21. WillieRedNut says:

    I thought Rooney was selfless last night. He still tries those hollywood passes too much though. ;)

  22. The 53 to Brooks Bar says:

    Anyway what ever peoples views about Carrick the chance of retaining the title at Wastelands is just fantastic!

  23. Costas says:

    Might have been a different story is Fletcher, Anderson and Cleverley stayed fit, but it’s not just about talent. Players have to be reliable. That’s why Evra plays nonstop and the same applies to Carrick.

    Plus, Tom’s effect on the side at the start of the season imo is overrated. He played well, but so did Nani, Anderson, Young, Rooney and Welbeck. The team was on fire in general then. The verdict is still out on what kind of impact Cleverley can have on the team long term. That doesn’t apply to Carrick. Like King Eric said, he’s been here for years. Only Evra has played more games than him since 2006.

  24. MUFCJord says:

    Your on form today Scott! Come on reds!

  25. Sparkz says:

    Our form at the start of the season, with Cleverley etc, was fantastic….going FORWARD. We were leaking a ridiculous amount of chances though, most shots in the League remember? Carrick might not do what Cleverley does in terms of driving forward….but he’s probably the only midfielder in our squad atm who knows how to properly shield the back 4 (Fletch as well). Our goals conceded per game with and without him shows a big difference.

    On top of that – he keeps the damn ball! Why are people obsessing with where and how he passes it? As King Eric said….if a longer pass isn’t on – he keeps it moving. Majority of Xavi’s passes are short as well. Dictates our tempo. When he sees the opportunity to spread it, he does that as well.

    As far as I’m concerned, he’s been our player of the season, for sheer consistency. Just edges out Valencia and Evans. And he’s definitely been the best English central midfielder this season.

  26. wayne says:

    It’s hard to figure out the shit England have in midfield how Carrick hasn’t played in 2 yrs and Scott Parker is captain what a fucking laugh,if Carrick doesn’t go to the Euros something wrong

  27. Giggs12Gerrard0 says:

    This is not a debate people its fact, we win when Carrick plays its that black and white. i genrally dont understand how his ability is questioned.

  28. Giggs12Gerrard0 says:

    Its fair to say Scott the Red is back as well, the forum is back and I fucking love it…………..

    Giggst 12 Gerrard 0 Giggsy 12 Gerrard 0 Giggsy 12 Gerrard 0

  29. The 53 to Brooks Bar says:

    All fair and valid points I’ll try and look with a more open mind Sunday. Mind you got to say johnny Evans has been a bit special this season really doin the biz with Rio

  30. RedAllTheWay says:

    read a few posts, couldn’t be bothered to read the rest. carrick is immense. played more forward passes than iniesta last season. so no, it’s not all sideways or backwards.

  31. Zibbie says:

    A winner, 4of5 PL titles and on course for 5of6 pl titles and the one lost was won by Fuck heads on a bad call.

  32. Zibbie says:

    SAF always picks a shity as payer some 45 games a year and for almost all big matches. So barca beat him in 2 CL title games, they beat every other MF player as well!! Fucking Xavi and Iniesta!!!

  33. Liston says:

    Just the odd back pass to the opposition strikers worry me. Last nite, Yakubu was the benefactor of such generosity, fortunately he wasted the chance.

  34. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Carrick has been highly underrated for years. Particularly from our own supporters. Good thing Fergie never reads this blog…… ;)

    Just like to say that the entire team was amazing yesterday.
    Opta has the overall pass completion at 92% ! That seems unbelievable really.

  35. JC says:

    I love Carrick and how he’s been key for us during this stretch is hard to overstate, if I had 1 minor niggling wish it would be that he’d be just a bit more confident going forward now and then. I think he could really do some damage if he was willing to move forward with the ball at certain times when it seems the opposition is willing to sit back away from him and give him space perhaps knowing that he is more likely to find a pass than penetrate. Still though even without that he’s been stunningly effective for us.

  36. MUFCReidy says:

    He was poor last season, because for the majority of it, he had Berbatov upfront. I’m a huge fan of Berba but he doesn’t make the same runs the Rooney, Hernandez, Welbeck etc do. With Berbatov, there were no runs for Carrick to pick out. The way Carrick has sprayed the ball around this year to Valencia, Young, Nani and Rooney has been sublime

  37. lennyman says:

    Carrick is fine for what is a poor Premier League but he is well below the standards a club like United expect in Europe. The only reason people are saying he’s so great now is simply a reflection of the poor standards in the EPL.
    Before Scholes came back we were struggling to unlock defences. He’s changed all that and you could see the effect his return had on Carrick’s confidence. Sure he’s playing better than he has for three years but this is the same guy who has consistently failed to deliver at the top level. Remember Bayern Munich at OT? How about both the Champs League finals against Barca? He’d be lucky to get 3 out of 10 for any of those matches.
    Regardless of whether we win the league, it’s been a relatively poor season by our standards and only the prospect of beating a distinctly average City to the title is deflecting attention from a woefully understrength centre mid.
    Personally, I hope Fergie keeps him but just for league games where he can cope. If Fergie wants a shot at another Champs League title he needs to address the soft centre. Scholes can still cut it for another year but we need a replacement and a def mid. Without it, we’ll have another mediocre year compared to the likes of Barca, Real, Bayern etc.

  38. kev e says:

    No he’s shit isn’t he!!!? Passes backwards, sideways and FORWARDS…. look at the stats he hardly ever fails to complete a pass in any direction!;) Do any of the fuckwits who write this shit ever ask how many backwards, sideways and forward passes Iniesta, Busquets or Xavi make? It’s called keeping possession… Player of the season in my book because of the sheer number of games he’s played and the results we get when he plays. Closely followed by Tony V, Jonny Boy and our Spanish wonderboy… every one of them slated by the idiots and ignored by the press. These are the players that make United… not the next big things / money grabbers that the glory hunters want to see…

    Soon it could betime for a 2011/12 shirt with ‘Solskjaer 20′ on the back!!!! :)

  39. RedKamer says:

    He’s my favourite English midfielder. The difference is that he doesn’t play in midfield the way English press/fans generally want to see their midfielders do. He doesn’t run about crazily or barge opponents or slide in with tackles that kill. He doesn’t do box-to-box a la Gerrard or Lampard.

    He reads the opposing team’s movement, times his runs to perfection to intercept opposing players’ run and the recuperate the ball. He maintains possession and because he’s good with both feet – he does quick one twos in tight spaces to start our moves and create space for teammates or end opposing attacks.

    It is done with such ease and simplicity that his work goes unnoticed when the machine is working. As such, his occasional blips are easily noticed (like the backpass that wasn’t well weighted against Blackburn), which can happen to any player. For some reason, people find it hard to forgive him his errors as they are quick to do when others falter.

    Have those who constantly ask why he does not surge forward more asked themselves what the manager’s instructions are? After Carrick scored this season (against QPR?), I remember Sir Alex saying jokingly in the post match interview that the coaches were wondering what Carrick was doing up there and they were going to ask him why he was playing so high when his job is to shield the defence. It was said as a joke and in the merry spirit that follows wins. But it revealed what the coaches require from Carrick.

    In a way his role at United, if compared to Barca would be a sort of Busquets one, with additional responsibility to spread out passes, because contrary to Barca’s 3-man midfield with 2 attacking CMs, United regularly play with just 2 CMs.

    It’s a shame England managers have never thought of using him the way Sir Alex does at United. Whatever happens this season, I’ll be thankful to Carrick for a job well, done.

  40. Iniesta says:

    Lets call a spade a spade, it was fucking blackburn that we were playing not fucking barca, pull up yer shorts lads and have a look at where they are in the league, watch the match back how many times did he split the defence with one of his passes??? anyone??? i could do the job he does.. run around the center circle “spraying” passes two yards to the left and right or pointing to rio johnny patrice or rafa if someone looks to pass the ball to me when there’s an opposing player within ten yards of me!! Now all of a sudden hes world class better than this fella or that fella, get a fucking grip lets just say united are playing say city.. city take the lead twenty mins to go united are shaken you say to yourself we need a goal, a bit of magic, someone to take the game by the scruff of the neck, to put in a crunching tackle, some one to try their bollocks off to get the crowd lifted…………………you know and i know carrick would do none of the above. Fucking stats show me the stats of his last two champions league apperances. He cant get on a shite england fucking team enough said…………………………………………………………………

  41. Rob says:

    Only people who have played at a decent level will appreciate carrick, and the refs comments are not worth bothering about

  42. GeorgeBest7 says:

    Carrick is an unsung hero, but i still feel that in the modern day game and with the speed football is played at in the premiership especially, he can hold us back. Carrick is amazing at slowing the game down. Attmpting to spread the ball wide. But more times than others his passes will be aimed at the back 4. I think thats what slows us down in the champions league too. Im the modern day game, u need your central midfielders to be able to turn and run at the other team; not pass the ball to the defenders.

  43. King Eric says:

    Iniesta – Shut up you fucking idiotic cunt. Why would a United fan choose Iniesta as a username. Anothe rone to jump on the Barca love wagon eh? How about when we play Chelsea, or City in the cup. It isn’t just Blackburn he plays well against. Also read my earlier post about this sideways passing myth.

  44. dan says:

    Carrick does have the ability to cut it out in Europe.

    Tackles/game – 3 (Carrick), 2.7 (Alonso), 2.6 (Schweinsteiger)
    Interceptions/game – 3.3 (C), 1.8 (A), 1.4 (S)
    Fouls/game – 0.8 (C), 1.4 (A), 1.6 (S)
    Clearances/game – 1.4 (C), 0.7 (A), 1.1 (S)
    Was dribbled/game – 1.1 (C), 1.9 (A), 0.9 (S)
    Blocked shots/game – 0.7 (C), 0.3 (A), 0.1 (S)
    Goals – 2(C), 3(A), 4(S)
    Assists – 2 (C), 8(A), 5(S)
    Shots/game – 0.6(C), 0.9(A), 1.5 (S)
    Key Passes – 0.8(C), 1.6(A), 1.3(S)
    Dribbles/game – 0.5(C), 0.2(A), 1.1(S)
    Was Fouled/game – 1.1(C), 1(A), 1.7(S)
    Dispossessed/game – 0.6(C), 0.8(A), 1.7(S)
    Average passes/game -77.9(C), 81.2(A), 63.5(S)
    Passing Accuracy – 90.8(C), 88.7(A),87.3(S)
    Crosses/game – 0.1(C), 0.6(A), 0.4(S)
    Long balls/game – 8.5(C), 9.2(A), 7(S)
    Through balls/game – 0.1(C), 0.4(A), 0.3(S)

    “This only passing backwards and sideways guff has been debated to death. I’m going to quote Zonal Marking’s Michael Cox on this as he explains it far better than anyone else.

    The frequent criticism of Carrick is that he only plays the ball sideways, favouring easy square balls rather than more ambitious forward passes. That misunderstands the way United play, though – they lack a central attacking midfielder, a Cesc Fabregas or Rafael van der Vaart type, and their main creative threats are all out wide – Antonio Valencia, Nani and Ryan Giggs. Carrick’s job is essentially to get the ball from a teammate and distribute it from side to side, and he usually performs this task admirably.”


    credited to rossoneri18 from the GUblog

  45. Iniesta says:

    Would have chosen king eric but some wanker beat me to it, i chose iniesta because i admire him, love the way he plays a top top player. So prick face is that a sin??? Chelsea you say as if they are world beaters get a fucking grip they’ve had more managers in the last three years than carrick has assists. Carrick does a job for united but the shite your sprouting makes him sound world class, take off your rose tinted glasses he’s a good player not great not brilliant. Carrick treats the ball like a cooked grenade he recieves the ball and his first thought is rio johnny where are ye quick!! give me the sat where his mistakes lead to a chances on goal, Surley your world class player imposed himself on a champions league group consisting of european lightweights such as basel and benfica and some other crowd i forget the name of. A player these days just cant be confined to one job as you say surley he can break his hole throw in a few crunching tackles break forward score a few goals rather than just pass the ball??????????????? See my point?????

  46. King Eric says:

    Iniesta – Oohh. Prick face. Ha. Aside from Barca who make ANY midfield look average like Alonso who is world class, ironically Carrick’s best performances have been in Europe over the years. He didnt play in some of the group games we got beat so there you go pal. Its hilarious and typical of society today that you choose a Barca player’s name despite being a United fan. I don’t think you are a United fan to be honest. Ask Xabi Alonso actually what he makes of Carrick. Xavi and Iniesta make any midfield look poor. Have you even seen his stats, Carrick’s that is which include forward passes? He keeps us ticking, both footed, slows down the tempo, protects the back four, disciplined, keeps the ball moving, blocks , intercepts, reads the game, calms us down. Not every midfielder breaks forward and scores goals. But oh no you choose just one or two examples of him giving the ball away in a 6 year period. I fucking hate the Barca love in. And its arse lickers like you that add to it. Ain’t even gonna win their domestic title this year pal yet United are on for 5 out of 6! Beat that. Madrid or Munich will win big ears.

  47. King Eric says:

    Oh and he can’t get in a shit Ingerlund side? Ha. No neither could Scholes in his favoured position you mug. Everyman and his dog knows he is better than Parker but Ingerlund love a bulldog. Gareth Barry? Say no more.

  48. King Eric says:

    Sorry but how arrogant are you? “Oh its only Blackburn away”. Ewood has been a tough ground over the years but like a lot of spoilt fans you expect us to go hammer them. This isn’t la liga.

  49. guidedbyunited says:

    This guy was left out of the England squad behind Milner and alternate Jordan Henderson. Haha. Good luck, England.


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