Posts Tagged ‘Michael Carrick’
Posted by hakanrylander on November 22, 2009
1. Normally I’m on the edge of my seat worrying that the game will take a turn for the worse even when United are dominant. Not so in this game. I felt that United were totally in control throughout. This probably stemmed mostly from central midfield. Darren Fletcher (now generally known as “football genius“) had a great game, but so did Michael Carrick. Carrick’s brilliance is sometimes understated as it’s often “just” about positional sense and hitting the simple passes right. You tend to notice Carrick’s importance most when he’s not on top of his game as the United engine then tends to stutter.
2. Antonio Valencia gets better and better. He has the rare quality that every time he gets the the ball I feel he will make something happen. The only other United players that give me this feeling are Rooney and Evra. Valencia even smiled after scoring.
3. We will probably have to get used to a mixed bag of performances from Ryan Giggs this season. Sometimes he makes brilliant use of his vision and experience, while at other times he drifts out of games. Pehaps not surprisingly at his age. This was not one of his better days.
4. If we can sign Jack Rodwell for £20m he will be worth every penny. Nothing very remarkable in this game, but he looks total class.
Posted in Match Reports | Tagged: Antonio Valencia, Darren Fletcher, Everton, Jack Rodwell, Manchester United, Michael Carrick, Ryan Giggs | 2 Comments »
Posted by hakanrylander on November 12, 2009
Who Ate All the Pies picks it’s Premier League Flops Team of the Season, including five(!) United players.
The Evening News lists our six major transfer targets (and overrates our chances of signing them).
Red Rants puts Nani’s latest brilliant career move into a bit of perspective.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: Ben Foster, David Silva, David Villa, Franck Ribery, Igor Akinfeev, Manuel Neuer, Michael Carrick, Nani, Paul Scholes, Rio Ferdinand | Leave a Comment »
Posted by hakanrylander on November 9, 2009
There are reasons, of course, to feel depressed after a defeat that left us five point adrift in the league. But I’m actually more positive about our prospects this season after this game than I was at kick-off.
Best of all was the shape of the team. On paper it looked like 4-5-1 designed mainly to contain Chelsea’s strong diamond by crowding the midfield. In reality it was often more like my favourite formation 4-2-3-1 with Carrick and Fletcher sitting deep and Anderson given licence to move forward between Valencia and Giggs and behind Rooney. This allowed us to control the midfield while maintaing flexibility to attack in numbers, and Rooney rarely looked as isolated as I feared he would be.
We’ve practiced this system from time to time in the past. Most successfully for a spell of perhaps a couple of months (I can’t remember during which season) when Louis Saha wasn’t injured. Saha up front with Ronaldo, Rooney and Giggs formed a very impressive unit. I hope we’ll see more of it in the future.
A solid performance also from the back four including third and fourth choice central defenders Jonny Evans and Wes Brown. The fears that they would be ripped apart by Drogba and Anelka were certainly not realised. In my opinion this too stemmed to some extent from excellent work by our midfield in cutting off the supply lines. So a little less need to worry about the fitness and form of Ferdinand and Vidic.
I suppose I might soon get tired of myself praising Antonio Valencia at every opportunity. He was involved in many of our best moves and also found time to keep Ashley Cole very quiet.
I fully understand why Ferguson preferred Giggs for this game, but next time please let us see more than just a few minutes of Gabriel Obertan. Another good cameo from him.
All in all a very promising game. Pity about the three points.
Posted in Match Reports | Tagged: Antonio Valencia, Chelsea, Darren Fletcher, Gabriel Obertan, Jonny Evans, Manchester United, Michael Carrick, Wayne Rooney, Wes Brown | 1 Comment »
Posted by hakanrylander on October 1, 2009
Six points from two games is a very satisfying start to the group stage of the CL, but most of all this game was an excellent example of what Dimitar Berbatov brings to the team. Before he came on after 19 minutes we didn’t create very much, but he immediatley started to trouble the Wolfsburg defence with his passes, flicks and back-heels. He set up clear scoring opportunities for Valencia and Carrick and played an important part in the build-up to Carrick’s winner. Hopefully he won over some of his remaining doubters. My MotM.
I was also pleased to see, for the first time this season, an impressive performance from Michael Carrick. Let’s hope he keeps it up because his passing is crucial to the smooth running of our engine room. Another of my favourites, Antonio Valencia, still looks promising but maybe needs more confidence to use his pace to full advantage.
On a more cautious note I was a bit concerned by the way Dzeko and Grafite troubled our back four. The Wolfburg strikers are perhaps not very well-known outside Germany, but probably form one of the strongest striking partnerships in Europe. Vidic was lucky not to be sent off.
Posted in Match Reports | Tagged: Antonio Valencia, Champions League, Dimitar Berbatov, Manchester United, Michael Carrick, Wolfsburg | 2 Comments »
Posted by hakanrylander on February 25, 2009
My Italian is, not to put too fine a point on it, far from perfect. Or perhaps closer to non-existent. But even I can understand the gist of this eminent article in the newspaper la Repubblica. Please enjoy!
Posted in Player Analysis | Tagged: Champions League, Football, Inter, Manchester United, Michael Carrick | 2 Comments »
Posted by hakanrylander on February 9, 2009
On the face of it the game against West Ham yesterday was decided by a piece of individual brilliance by Ryan Giggs, while at the other end Carlton Cole failed to take a couple of chances. But as I was curious to find some underlying factor that made the difference between the teams I crunched the numbers in The Guardian’s excellent chalkboards. For what it’s worth, this is what I came up with:
In general there was very little, if anything, too chose between the sides except for one area; the completion rate of passes. United’s six midfielders and attackers hit 270 passes and missed 13,3% of them, while the West Ham front six hit 261 passes and missed 15,7%. Maybe not a big difference, but even more interesting was that three players stood out. Carrick missed only 3 passes out of 49, Scholes missed only 2 out of 58 and Tevez didn’t mishit a single of his 28 passes. The other United players, as well as all WH players were significantly more wasteful. I was surprised because I thought Scholes had a good game but that both Carrick and Tevez were below par.
So does this numbercrunching has any relevance as an explanation for the outcome of the game? Remember the build-up to the goal. WH loose the ball in midfield to Scholes who finds Giggs in space with a long cross-field pass. A coincidence?
Posted in Match Reports | Tagged: Carlos Tevez, Football, Manchester United, Michael Carrick, Paul Scholes, Premier League, West Ham | 3 Comments »
Posted by hakanrylander on February 2, 2009
The Times got it right this morning:
…but as good as the United goalkeeper and the back four in front of him have been, it is impossible to overemphasise the importance of the contribution Michael Carrick has made to the success of that rearguard action.
It is widely accepted that Carrick is a wonderful passer of the ball, but it is his ability to break up the play with the minimum of fuss and, in turn, screen the defence so serenely that often goes unnoticed because of the manner of its execution.
Players such as Roy Keane and Paul Ince, who occupied Carrick’s position previously for United, were famed for launching into tackles and throwing their weight around, but Carrick prefers to nick the ball away from opponents with perfectly timed interceptions. He did just that in the 88th minute when Steven Pienaar, the Everton midfield player, hit on the counter-attack, while his block to deny Mikel Arteta moments earlier was equally impressive.
And then there is Carrick’s ability to make penetrating runs from deep, as he did to win United the penalty from which Cristiano Ronaldo scored the game’s only goal and again at the start of the second half, when he should have been awarded a second penalty after being barged over by Joleon Lescott. Carrick must surely be figuring prominently in Fabio Capello’s thoughts as the England manager prepares to name this weekend his squad to face Spain in a friendly in Seville on Wednesday week.
“Sir Alex must have Michael down as the first name on the team-sheet in midfield,” Bryan Robson, the former United and England midfield player, said. “He reads the game so intelligently. He brings a lovely sort of balance to more attacking players like [Wayne] Rooney and Ronaldo.”
Couldn’t agree more.
Posted in Player Analysis | Tagged: Fabio Capello, Football, Manchester United, Michael Carrick, Premier League | 2 Comments »
Posted by hakanrylander on January 28, 2009
Plenty of reasons to be delighted these days. Top of the league and looking very impressive despite a long injury list. Eleven consecutive clean sheets in the PL. Tevez resembling something like himself again. Ferdinand back in action. Ronaldo scoring and, perhaps even more importantly, at last looking like he enjoys himself and wants to be part of the team.
But the single aspect of United’s recent run that pleases me the most is the emerging partnership between Carrick and Berbatov. Against Spurs Berbatov scored from a brilliant through-ball from Carrick. Last night against WBA a one-two between the same players led to Berbatovs goal and another sweeping Carrick pass was converted by Berbatov but (correctly) ruled out for offfside. Both players also have the rare ability to make it look easy. I hope to see a lot more of this. Another reason why I so enjoy the Carrick-Berbatov cooperation can be found on this page.
Posted in Match Reports, Player Analysis | Tagged: Cristiano Ronaldo, Dimitar Berbatov, Football, Manchester United, Michael Carrick, Tottenham Hotspur, West Bromwich Albion | Leave a Comment »
Posted by hakanrylander on November 20, 2008
Last night Michael Carrick finally took centre stage at international level when England defeated Germany in Berlin. I missed the game, but the match reports were a delight to read.
Guardian: “8. Strode around central midfield oozing such class as to suggest he has been a regular on this stage for years. There was vision, assurance in the pass, time on the ball and invention to his game.”
The Times: “8. This was Carrick’s debut under Fabio Capello and his first international appearance since the 2-1 defeat by Germany last year, a record that does not do justice to his talent. Carrick makes it look easy.”
Independent: “Michael Carrick and Gareth Barry in central midfield looked every bit as effective as Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.”
Telegraph: “Michael Carrick excelled in central midfield. “
And some more recent praise from The Stretty Rant.
Posted in Player Analysis | Tagged: Football, Manchester United, Michael Carrick | 4 Comments »
Posted by hakanrylander on November 17, 2008
Lots of positives in this game. Most of all the exciting debut of Danny Welbeck who scored a stunning goal and confirmed his immense potential, even though he played for less than half-an-hour and in the unfamiliar postion of right midfield. I’m already looking forward to the next opportunity to watch him. I might be wrong but I can’t remember that Ferguson has given a PL-debut to a 17-year-old since – Ryan Giggs.
United were in total control for most of the game, but I confess that I was a little bit worried towards the end of the first half when I felt that they were too relaxed. But Carrick settled my nerves with a difficult strike that he made look very easy. Ronaldo scored twice, but I’m not as enthusiastic about his overall contribution as some commentators. I still feel that his heart isn’t really in it. Hopefully I’m wrong.
Posted in Match Reports | Tagged: Cristiano Ronaldo, Danny Welbeck, Football, Manchester United, Michael Carrick, Premier League, Stoke | Leave a Comment »