Old Trafford side indebted to veteran’s performances of late.
Solid if not spectacular is perhaps the best way of summing up the attributes that Michael Carrick possesses but his return to full fitness, and form, has played a key part in the swift turnaround in Man United’s fortunes of late.
Louis van Gaal invested £150m in the squad he inherited from David Moyes but still found the going tough and wasn’t helped by an alarming run of injuries as well as poor displays from some of his senior players in the early portion of the season.
Indeed such was the sedate start to the campaign that a week did not pass without comparisons between van Gaal’s first few months in the job being lined up alongside David Moyes’s efforts, and within a matter of weeks the experienced manager’s future at Old Trafford was already being called into question.
Enter Michael Carrick.
The veteran midfielder has been much derided during the course of his hugely successful career with many doubting the England man’s ability to make an impact, or others perhaps not understanding the importance of the Man United man’s understated role.
His return to the side has had the effect akin to having a calm head around whilst all around had been losing theirs, far too often.
His assured displays, both in the centre of the midfield or at centre-back when needed, have been near flawless and have had a knock on effect on those around him.
Marouane Fellaini was beginning to find his feet and once Carrick had arrived on the scene the Belgian looked even more at home.
In many ways the stats speak for themselves.
Prior to Carrick’s return Man United had won three of their opening ten Premier League fixtures and were sat in mid-table.
Michael Carrick has made six Premier League starts since his return in early November and Man United have won each and ever fixture.
Coincidence? Of course not.