Michael Carrick has had an outstanding season at Manchester United. It seems that with his nomination for the PFA Player of the Year, Carrick is finally being recognised for the fine abilities and qualities he possesses on the ball.
With five Premier League medals and a Champions League title to his name it seems odd, almost bizarre that he has never held a first team berth in the England set-up.
However it is of my opinion that not only at the ripe old age of 31 should he be a first team regular but that he can enhance England’s fortunes with Jack Wilshere at his side.
Carrick has been captain of the ship that has steered Manchester United to yet another Premier League trophy. With his inventive distribution of the ball and intelligent defensive covering, United have been able to attack with confidence knowing that Carrick has the vision to launch a devastating pass but also that he will get back deep to defend if the ball is lost.
Just ask Robert van Persie who has had a magnificent season. Much of his season has been enriched by the creativity of Michael Carrick in the central midfield role.
So how could Carrick be utilised in the England set-up? Well, firstly a huge characteristic of Carrick’s play is that he is able to dictate a game from a deep lying midfield role.
With his great vision and calmness on the ball he can be used to retain possession and launch attacks. England struggled through much of the 2012 European Championships due to England’s inability to keep hold off the ball. Carrick holds a solution to this. Added to this he has a great wealth of experience which can be used to enhance the vitality and creativity of the England side.
In addition to this the strikers would get more time on the ball due to the range of Carrick’s passing meaning the likes of Rooney and Defoe will receive much more shooting opportunities.
Who would play alongside Carrick? Jack Wilshere is the perfect candidate. Again another solution to England’s problem, he is a player with the ability to retain possession but also pick out a pass.
The beauty of Michael Carrick being deployed alongside him is that he could be utilised a little further up the field whilst Carrick ensures that England are defensively covered in midfield.
With his neat combination play and creativity he could evolve himself into a player that can play further forward where he can use his excellent technique in more dangerous areas.
So it's of my opinion that Michael Carrick and Jack Wilshere should be at the heart of the national team. Critics may say that Carrick is too old and lacks ability on the International Front which is ignorant due to his excellent ability each week for Manchester United.
The only problem I can see is that Wilshere would need to adopt more of an attacking role than he plays at Arsenal and would have to create and score more goals. However he is young and learning the game and I believe this partnership is one that is made in heaven.
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