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STATS: Michael Carrick Has Been Ridiculously Good

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 – 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.

Average passing completion: 90.35%

Further Carrick stats from Doron Salomon:

- most interceptions (49)
- averages more interceptions per game than any other United player (3.06)
- makes an interception more frequently than any other United player (every 27.8 minutes)
- made more clearances than any other United player (35) – excludes defenders*
- averages more clearances per game than any other United player (2.18) – excludes defenders*
- makes a clearance more frequently than any other United player (every 39 minutes) – excludes defenders*
- only Jonny Evans has made more blocks than Carrick (19 for Evans, 10 for Carrick)
- only Jonny Evans makes more interceptions per game than Carrick (1.1 for Evans, 0.63 for Carrick)
- only Jonny Evans makes a block more frequently than Carrick (every 76 minutes for Evans, every 136.5 minutes for Carrick)
- Carrick averages more passes per game than any other United player (61.9 per game)

*having played CB impacts that

Pride of all Europe – Is Carrick United’s best player this season?

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. CedarsDevil says:

    To me the only current United player that can get into the City side is Rooney, the rest are way below average.

  2. Giggs12Gerrard0 says:

    Carrick is class I’m glad I can take the morale high ground for continued support in K

    Wow wow wow its Carrick ya know
    You’d never believe its not scholes
    It’s Carrick ya know…

  3. smartalex says:

    The Reserves’ starting XI in full is as follows: Johnstone, Vermijl, De Laet, Brown, M Keane, Fryers, Cole, Pogba, W Keane, Petrucci, Lingard.

    Subs yet to be announced.

  4. WillieRedNut says:

    Pussy Malanga > Carrick

  5. Take me to Old-Trafford says:

    So happy that people are now appreciating MC’s effort.

  6. MG says:


    He’s not bad in Fifa 12 either ;)


  7. MG says:

    Scaramanga > Carrick


  8. MG says:

    Cedars is still sleep talking above unless another body has indulged his namesake :lol:

  9. MG says:

    It’s nice to be back ;)


  10. CedarsDevil says:


    Great to have you back my good friend…. James, Willie and my self are just having a laugh and an indirect dig at the Carrick haters and WUMs

  11. WillieRedNut says:

    Redrum > Carrick

  12. CedarsDevil says:

    My neighbor’s cat > Carrick

  13. James21 says:

    Just using phrases and and comments that have been posted on here when the team was riddled with injuries and shitty were 3 MASSIVE points clear. We love Carrick and have fought his, amongst other players corners all the way.

    Red Rum = legend. I saw him at a local agricultural show just after he retired from racing, must have been the late 70′s.

  14. CedarsDevil says:


    ‘Our season is over’ springs to mind!

  15. smartalex says:

    Big Pussy > Small Pussy

    Malanga or otherwise.

  16. WillieRedNut says:

    West Tip > Carrick

  17. denton davey says:

    AndroidSummer @ 16:45: “Carrick has been fairly solid this season.”

    Your criticism of the “statistics” about passing attempts/completions is, I think sensible BUT, on the other hand, you mis-understand what Michael Carrick’s job is. He’s not an attacking midfielder, he’s a “defensive shield” and, in that role, his job is to break up opposing ball-control and to protect the back four. Ironically, it was when he did NOT do that job that he fouled the opposition (Suarez?) player in midfield, which led to the Charlie Adam free kick and their only goal. BUT that was his only mistake in the game.

    Overall, Michael Carrick has been excellent this season – NOT “fairly solid”. What worries me about the next round of matches, into the squeaky-bum time of April/May, is that SAF is going to play Michael Carrick alongside TheGingerNinja. I don’t think that this is Michael Carrick’s best partnership; I’d like to see what he can do with either YoungTom or MrJones because when Carrick is paired with Scholes there is both a lack of mobility and a lack of adventure from our midfield.

    If SAF is going to persist with the Carrick/Scholes partnership then I think that Michael Carrick should be advised to play more aggressively – box-to-box – although that goes against his pre-eminent ability to shield the defence and break up their possession in front of the back four. It’s a bit of a conundrum when Carrick partners TheGingerNinja since they are often in the same place, at the same time.

    I suppose that the real solution to this conundrum would be to have the first-choice, front four (Nani, TheWayneBoy, DannyTheLad and Antonio Valencia) and the two full-backs (Rafael and CaptainEvra) firing on all cylinders then the formation would be more like a 3-1-5-1 (whatever that means !)

  18. WillieRedNut says:

    I didn’t know Carrick’s alter ego was Vic Mackey? The Shield?

  19. MG says:

    Cedars – cheers mate :)

    I got that

    Tis why I joined in

    My neighbours dog or should I say bitch – Daisy > Carrick


  20. MG says:


    Carrick as Vic Mackey :lol:

    Priceless ;)

  21. King Eric says:

    Music to my ears. Been standing by this lad for time as regulars will know. Just a shame those slagging him for years won’t admit they were wrong. He doesn’t just pass sideways or back Android mate. Watch him. Always playing balls up to rooney or danny to feet. What i like best though he is so naturally both footed. Rare in today’s game. A top drawer player who without him teams could drive a bus through us at times. Top lad too. Now where the fuck is CarBangPrick ? Fucking mug. His silence and absence speak volumes.

  22. Busby88 says:

    @denton davey

    I couldn’t disagree more about partnering Scholes and Carrick toegther, to me that is our best MF partnership. Carrick as some people have pointed out does the defensive work admirably which frees Scholes up to make those killer passes. That said, I think there are certain games where Giggs is a must in CM..

    I agree either is particularly fast but i think it’s unfair to label Carrick as immobile, he is usually up their with Rooney for distance covered.. Besides, Man Utd haven’t relied on traditionally fast CM players in my memory. It’s just not our style. We usually play down the wings and open up space by utilising the pace of Valencia, Young, Nani etc.

    Carrick did have a very poor last season by his previous high standards. But he has been impressive this year. And for those who say he only passes backwards, just watch highlights of the Liverpool game. More often than not he distributes to Rooney or the wings, which as I said, is our usual route of attack.

  23. AndroidSummer says:

    @denton davey Thanks for your reply. I agree with all of what you say. Although, I would just defend myself to say I don’t misunderstand Carrick’s role. I do recognize that he has been shaped primarily into a defensive specialist. Though, that being said I made that comment before Doron provided his defensive stats, which by the way @Doron are very much appreciated. If those aren’t bollocksed than I have to agree Carrick has done a very good job this at his role this season and deserves all the praise. Furthermore, I also agree with you about playing with Scholes is not our best CM selection. Because both when under pressure tend to get pushed too deep into a defensive shape. I don’t want to be taken wrong. I love and adore, Scholes and Carrick both. I think they are excellent players. I also agree Carrick has been mostly underrated his whole career. Though I’d like to know how many missed defensive assignments have results in goals against as well. Because from what I’ve watched which is every game over the past 10 seasons. In the time Carrick’s been here from what I’ve seen, he has missed quite a few defensive assignments costing us. For a primarily defensive midfield shield that’s not good. But, that’s just my own biases speaking I’d like to see raw figures before I make further judgement.

    I do think Carrick has a role to play stil in our future and I’d like to see him and Clevs play together too. I think the two could be great together. Clevs pushes the play forward, which is what you need in a partner for Carrick and Carrick does have good vision on the ball.

    Though I still think we need to look into signing a proper box-to-box midfielder. Capable of finess and skill. I say this because I feel that is where we have been lacking the most this season. What I mean to say is we seem incapable of breaking well organized defence’s down. For all our possession and play around the 18 yard box it means nothing if we can’t put the ball in the net. You need that creative bit of masterclass offensively that can play a good one/two with Rooney, Welbz, Berba or Hernandez to break down defensive assignments to get a striker free in the box for a shot. Who that player is at this point is anybody’s guess. I personally am certain that it is not Modric or Sneijder though.
    That’s my thoughts anyhow.

  24. King Eric says:

    Android. Alright pal. I can’t actually think of THAT many mistakes he has made in his defensive role. Fa cup semi against the bitters although edwin and Vida were also partly to blame and the Olic goal are the only two that instantly spring to mind. Of course there will be more but when he doesn’t play we are left FAR too open.

  25. Sparkz says:

    @Busby88 – Tbh, I’d personally agree more with Denton. In the big high tempo games, the Carrick & Scholesy combo can at times get overrun. Its happened a fair bit over the last 3 years (Chelsea, Liverpool, City in the FA Cup), generally in the second half of games where Scholes’ legs tended to go a bit.

    Liverpool beat us at Anfield 3 years in a row because they pressed that pairing in midfield. The last 2 games we’ve played against them though…..they’ve tended to sit back (maybe coz they’re afraid Welbeck would eat them alive with his pace if they pressed too high up the pitch?)….and that’s given Scholesy and Carrick all the time in the world, in which case they dominate better than any other pairing in the league.

    I love Scholesy to bits, my all time favourite….but once Cleverley and Jones are back, I’d like to see one of them partner Carrick for the big games (Spurs away in a few weeks for example). Teams aren’t always gonna sit back like Liverpool did. Scholesy’s then someone you bring on for the last half an hour.

  26. Sparkz says:

    @Android – I think the player you’re looking for there is Cleverley mate! Maybe he’s not a box to box a la Keano (or what Jones/Tunni could be)….but in terms of breaking down well organised defences, he’ll be a godsend. Him and Scholesy are our best midfielders for breaking teams down.

    One, two touch passing….clever movement, exactly what you need. Scholesy showed this at the weekend….Liverpool were well organised and got plenty of men behind the ball, but he made sure we created chances.

    Another example…Nani’s goal against City in the Community Shield. Exactly the sort of thing you need to break down packed teams, and Cleverley was instrumental in creating that goal.

  27. AndroidSummer says:

    I agree Sparkz. Really great point too about Liverpool playing deeper. My problem with Carrick is against weaker opposition he get’s us by quite formidably. Against stronger opposition he’s not able to boss the midfield. In all honesty, He and Scholes didn’t have very much to contend with against Liverpool. Gerard sat back all game. Against better CM’s and we’ve seen that this year in CL. Carrick has shown he can’t handle it, which does worry me. Teams are starting to realize that they can take advantage of United. They’re not sitting back against us like they used to. Everton last year, Wolves last year, Chelsea at times last year. I’m sure there are other games too that just aren’t coming to mind.
    That kind of alludes to my point about possession stats not telling the whole story. They’re good, certainly. But definitely not something to hinge your entire decisions about the midfield on.

    @Sparks in terms of buying a CM. I am just thinking long term as Carrick won’t be around forever. I also prefer Jones at right back to be honest. I don’t think shaping him into a CM is the right call. I think he could be our Next Gary Neville pampering up the right and driving crosses into the box overlapping with Valencia would make a great right side which is something United has always been proud of having. Moreover, his CB instincts might make him a really good asset at RB. I think Smalling and Evans would make the ideal CB pairing of the future.

    We’ll see though.

    @King Eric. Fair enough. I can count two missed assignments in the Chelsea game alone that cost us. They occurred off the ball due to Carrick not marking well enough for someone supposedly being a defensive specialist is a bit of a let off for me. And plenty more throughout the last few seasons. In all honesty, I’ve had this discussion before too. I don’t think Carrick’s specialty is defensive holding Mid. He’s been asked to play that role and again against weaker opposition he does alright there. Believe it or not. Carrick would be better suited sitting behind our striker feeding the ball out wide or to rooney/berba/chicha/welbz whomever. Holding Mid used to be better suited to Fletcher. And Fletcher in 08 was a key to us winning the league and CL that year. Fletcher is a much better man to man marker when it comes to defensive tactics. Unfortunately, we don’t have Fletcher from 08 anymore. At least not right now.

    Regardless though I stand behind my players. And I think Carrick has done better this season he definitely deserves credit and praise and I give him full dues for his good performances.

  28. Jack says:

    High time to play well now when there is so many injuries……

  29. smartalex says:


    Did you know that a coward attacks only if he will be safe?
    Did you know that admitting your mistakes will be respected?

    It’s the right thing to do.

    When you are completely wrong, as you were, it is extremely weak to then be snide.
    Man up, or shut up.

  30. Sparkz says:

    Disagree that Carrick doesn’t do it in the big games. He was brilliant in the last few months of last season. And this season, I’m struggling to think of a big game he hasn’t performed in.

    Particularly the last 6 weeks….City in the FA Cup, Liverpool twice, Arsenal away and Chelsea away….put in top performances in all those games.

  31. Fourth Umpire says:

    I really want to buy into this, but I’d love for someone to look at how many of the passes Carrick plays put the receiver in a tight spot. I can’t shake the feeling that he either wants too much time on the ball and ends up finding himself under pressure, or he just hands it off to the nearest body, even if that body is surrounded and under pressure.

    I think he’d be truly world-class if he played in Spain, for example.

    Two caveats:

    1. He clearly plays some astonishingly good balls as well – I’m not suggesting that he is all bad, just that I’m not sure he’s been as brilliant as some are making out.

    2. I really have no qualifications to pass judgement on footballers, so really my opinion is worthless (but then most of our opinions are I suppose)

  32. RMJ says:


    “Holding Mid used to be better suited to Fletcher. And Fletcher in 08 was a key to us winning the league and CL that year. Fletcher is a much better man to man marker when it comes to defensive tactics.”

    First off we won the CL in the 07-08 season and he played just 13 games in all competitions that year. Come on mate fact is Carrick was extremely vital for our success that year but people make it out like that its either due to Hargreaves (who too barely played that year and when he did, it was at right back) or Fletcher as you said above and facts don’t match what yo have stated. It was 08-09 that due to Hargreaves injuries that Fletcher began to show.

    Carrick is a very intelligent player and i think his two best qualities is his defensive reading of the game and tempo setting which is why he makes all those much abhorred anti-English short passes ahead of the Hollywood ball. He does make his fair share of mistakes but he is vital to our defensive discipline and has no equal at our club currently. Fletcher at his prime was nothing more than a defensive runner who hacked and slashed his way through midfield. He is a vital squad member is tactical away games or big fixtures and we are always reminded of the crap invincible time period when Fletcher not only inhibited opposition teams from playing football but us as well. Carrick does make his fair share of mistakes but those are felt because of the impact he plays in our team. I keep hearing he doesn’t show up against top opposition. The only game he hasn’t shown up are against city in the FA cup(and of course Berbatov missed a complete sitter there) and against Barca couple of years back(but who did show up that year?). He plays very well Europe all the time and can list a bucket load of names where he has shown his mettle there and of course in the league he was great last year against Chelsea, arsenal and spurs.
    Statistically there isn’t too much of difference in his numbers over the seasons he has been with us but his game has shined when he wasn’t forced to play with Fletcher or even Darren Gibson.

  33. Carrick is ok but c'mon says:

    No don’t get me wrong I think Carrick is a good player but the stats above are outdated. As clearly shown in terms of passing whether it be creatively or just to keep the game ticking Carrick is not one of the best players in the premiership so to suggest hes one of your best players makes me question how good United are

  34. Scott says:

    Carrick is ok but c’mon – you realise this article is over a year old, right?


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