Michael Carrick: the most valuable player in the Premier League's best team
Manchester United blogger David Hammons nominates Michael Carrick as his choice for English player of the season.
After a couple of years of being ridiculed for being consistent, Manchester United’s Michael Carrick is now being praised for the exact same thing - finally.
Fans, as well as the several England managers, have continuously overlooked the Reds midfielder in favour of much lesser players, but that never stopped him from carrying on.
The key factors that saved Carrick’s career after being foolishly blamed for one or two Champions League final defeats has been his own personal belief and confidence in his ability. It also doesn’t hurt that the most successful manager that English football has ever seen trusts him.
If you are looking for a model of consistency for the player of the season, look no further than Carrick.
"Carrick is one of the best players to break up an opposing attack with his positioning or timing."
Often overlooked for his lack of offensive statistics - or overshadowed by his much more attention-grabbing teammates - Carrick has shown the football world how vital he is, as United reclaimed Premier League glory. Being a no-frills, non-goal scoring midfielder, he has defied common thought and the expectations about what a holding midfielder should be. Despite never putting in bone-crunching tackles or screaming in another player’s face, Carrick is one of the best players to break up an opposing attack with his positioning or timing.
If you ask any of his teammates - or any former player for that matter - they will sing Carrick's praises. Why? Simple – he effortlessly does the intangibles that often go unnoticed.
On top of being one of best passers in Europe, with the uncanny vision to match, Carrick is always seen constantly moving and making himself an outlet for his colleagues. What really sets Carrick apart from every other player in England is that he is always thinking one play ahead, which makes up for his so-called inferior but, seriously underrated, athletic ability.
People will say, 'If you don't score goals, you won't win', but players can't score goals without finesse ball winners and pristine distribution - like Carrick provides. He may not be the one putting the ball over the line, but he is the one behind the scenes creating and battling and then celebrating the goal afterward. Why? He is a team-first player, which is a rare breed these days.
It is noticeable how contrasting United's performances are when Carrick is at his consistent best compared to when he's not involved. Being a central midfielder, actively involved in the trenches, you cannot hide your performances.
Michael Carrick deserves to be player of the season, for no other reason than he is the most valuable player on the best Premier League team. But not receiving this honour wouldn’t bother him in the least, as he already got his reward – his fifth Premier League winners’ medal.
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