Michael CarrickMichael Carrick has started just 13 games for United in the league this season, despite the lengthy injuries to Paul Scholes and Owen Hargreaves. Following a decent debut season, he has played rather poorly so far this season, the lowest point coming against Birmingham on New Year’s Day. He was truly woeful, resembling something close to Darren Fletcher in the 05-06 season. He couldn’t pass, he ducked out of tackles, he lost the ball in stupid places, and generally everything he touched turned to shit.

However, throughout this period of poor form, it seems as though he is suffering from verbal diarrhoea, talking to any journalist who will listen. It started in the pre-season and has gone on every few weeks since then.

June 28th 2007 – I’ve got a big challenge
“I want to stay here and achieve things here,” Carrick told Inside United. “This is the pinnacle of the game. They say the easy part is getting there and the hardest part’s staying there, so I’ve got a big challenge ahead.”

August 6th 2007 – Great times ahead
Less than three weeks later, “We have a fantastic squad with a lot of options in attacking areas,” said Carrick. “If we can have a solid base and defend really well, we will always create chances and score a lot of goals. Hopefully, great times lie ahead for us.”

September 24th 2007 – Hails the defence
“Five clean sheets on the trot is a great achievement,” said Carrick after the 2-0 victory over Chelsea. “I know we play good football with plenty of flair but a lot of our game is based on how we defend.”

September 27th 2007 – On England and injuries
“It’s typical England really – everything seems to be running smoothly and then something comes up. The quality in the squad is there and the competition is there, so if anyone is unfortunate enough to get injured or suspended, people can step in and do just as good a job.”

November 14th 2007 – Play for my team, Berba
“He’s a very good player. I’ve watched him quite a bit because he’s playing for my old club and I try and watch them whenever I can. We would welcome any world-class players who can strengthen the squad and Berbatov certainly would do that.”

November 29th 2007 – Hard work still to come
“A 100 per cent record is something to be proud of,” he said of United’s Champions League campaign. “We set out to top the group and have managed to achieve that but the hard work really starts in the spring. Obviously, we will now have to wait and see how the draw goes but we realise the biggest tests are still to come and we will need to be at our best when the competition starts again after Christmas.”

December 12th 2007 – Winning is a good habit
“Winning all six matches would be some achievement,” Carrick said, again talking about the Champions League. “It would send out a statement saying we are a very good team with confidence and self belief. Winning is a good habit to be in. The longer we keep our momentum going the better.”

December 14th 2007 – Liverpool clashes mean a lot
“As players, Liverpool is always a special game for us, especially at Anfield,” Carrick said. “The difference this year is that Liverpool are going for the title too, which makes it even bigger. There’s no doubt you can feel the intensity surrounding this fixture. You can feel it around the town. It just seems to get bigger and bigger every time.” ‘Always’ being the one game he’d previously played at Anfield for United? Has it got ‘bigger and bigger’ since the first and last time Carrick had played in this fixture, just nine months before?

December 28th 2007 – Getting better and better
“It feels like we are getting better and better,” said Carrick the day before we lost to West Ham. “We look really strong at the moment and five league wins in a row is good form. Things are going well and we have to keep this momentum going. We are in the position we want to be in at this time of year.”

Today, we have the latest instalment of our bit part player’s opinion, with Carrick claiming he thinks we can stay top of the league for the rest of the season. “Before we played Newcastle we knew Arsenal had drawn and that if we won we would go top,” Carrick said. “It is nice now to be sitting on top of the pile. Hopefully we can stay there, but that’s up to us. That’s the hard part. We managed to do it last season and hopefully we can do it again. I am sure we will if we keep playing like that. We want to get the momentum again and hopefully stay there for the rest of the season.”

I am not by nature a Carrick basher. He’s getting increasing stick from the United faithful this season, mounting on the whispers that were forming last season following his whopping £18.6 million price tag. However, his comments are boring and riddled with cliches, so I can’t help but think Carrick should button it. We’ve heard more from him than any other player, which is pretty rich considering he has contributed less than most to our season so far.

Michael Carrick, the man who says a lot, whilst saying nothing at all!