Michael Carrick has reflected on the time leading up to him leaving Spurs for Manchester United in the summer of 2006. We had only won the League Cup that season, nothing the year before, and had gone since 2003 since winning the Premiership title, but this didn’t sway Carrick’s desperation in joining.
“I went to the World Cup with England and information was filtering through that clubs were in contact,” said Carrick. “Tottenham told me what was happening, but it seemed to drag on and on. I was desperate to come. It was a no brainer for me as soon as I found out United were interested. The first time I spoke to the manager was on the phone when the move was all sorted. I’ve never been so nervous about getting a phone call in my life. I’d heard the rumours about him and I was scared stiff. That phone call will stay with me for the rest of my life.”
After signing for United, Carrick has gone on to win three consecutive league titles, two League Cups, the World Club Cup and scored in the penalty shoot out against Chelsea to help us win the European Cup.
Carrick has explained the difference between his life at Manchester United compared with Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham in the past.
“It’s unbelievable here,” he continued. “No disrespect to the teams I played for in the past, but we’d go away and a draw would be a good result. You don’t get that here. You’ve got to go and win. Believing you can win anywhere was a feeling I’d never had before. I remember my first start was in a 2-1 win at Watford and after the game the manager gave the team a right going over. I wasn’t used to that. I was buzzing after a win. I learned there’s a way of doing things at this club. I became accustomed to it. To come to a team like this is incredible. It is the stuff of my dreams. Not just playing with them, but training with them and seeing how they live their lives. That attitude all comes down from the manager and it certainly rubs off on every player who walks through these doors. It’s a daunting thing to do at first. Before I came I spoke to Rio Ferdinand about it, he was the same on his first day of training – and he was a proven international. Nothing prepares you for walking through these doors. You’ve got to justify being here and show you’re worth it – but you quickly fall into the routine.”