Manchester United: Carrick captaincy a temporary solution

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 26: Michael Carrick of Manchester United celebrates victory after the EFL Cup Final match between Manchester United and Southampton at Wembley Stadium on February 26, 2017 in London, England. Manchester United beat Southampton 3-2. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 26: Michael Carrick of Manchester United celebrates victory after the EFL Cup Final match between Manchester United and Southampton at Wembley Stadium on February 26, 2017 in London, England. Manchester United beat Southampton 3-2. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images) /
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After Wayne Rooney left the club, Manchester United were in need of a new captain. Jose Mourinho decided to go for his most senior player in Michael Carrick. Was this the right choice?

Pros-

Manchester United veteran Michael Carrick
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 01: Michael Carrick of Manchester United (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images) /

Manchester United’s Michael Carrick is the only player left from the 2008 Champions League winning XI. He’s also the most experienced player in the current squad and knows the club inside out by now. A testimonial is testament to his importance to the Red Devils and how deserving he is of the famous red shirt.

The Englishman is a serial winner and is one of the last few remaining players who was part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s relentless squads. It’s also obvious that he’s one of the most composed players of Mourinho’s team who are all itching to prove themselves to the world.

Carrick, Valencia and Young make up the most senior players at the squad list and Carrick is perhaps the one who has consistently been the most important to Manchester United. Young started great then decline, Valencia was a pacy winger who declined but saved his career by becoming a formidable full-back but it was Carrick who was almost always in the first eleven.

Cons-

As much as Carrick is loved around Old Trafford, it’s no secret that he really is in the last stage of his career. He only made 18 starts last season and didn’t provide the same type of influential, secure performances as he did in previous years. In truth, many were surprised his contract got extended for one more season.

The likelihood is that he will hardly get any more game time than last year. With rumours of one of Mourinho’s two targets being a midfielder, there will be more competition in that area of the pitch than last year. With the addition of another player there as well as Andreas Pereira becoming involved with the first team squad, Carrick’s game time will be even more limited.

With a lack of game time, it doesn’t make sense to give a player who might be in his last season, the captaincy. Last year was proof that it doesn’t really work. Rooney hardly played and the captaincy was passed around too often. This was Mourinho’s chance to change that but he opted for Carrick, either because of his respect for the Englishman or to honour him one last time. Who knows?

Conclusion-

As always, there are cons and pros and there have certainly been less deserving captains around the world than Michael Carrick but it seems that the cons edge out the pros just a little bit. Maybe Mourinho wanted to see if how his team would shape up for one more season before deciding on giving the captaincy to someone else who can grow into the role.

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Perhaps he wanted to see who would step up in a very telling upcoming season before throwing that player in the deep-end of responsibility and pressure. The more realistic options were either De Gea, Pogba, Valencia or Herrera and despite Mourinho’s admiration and respect for them all, may be he didn’t feel he saw enough from them to really pick them to captain the biggest club in the world.