Often in football, there are players who don’t come in limelight like others and who may not be the first name on their respective team’s teamsheet but they act as the backbone, the anchor of a successful team. Michael Carrick certainly comes into that category who was an integral part of Manchester United for 12 years. He played a key role during United’s success during the last 7 years of Sir Alex’s helm and after that, he anchored the team in their transition period when he retired in 2013.
Carrick played under four different managers at United and successfully suited into the gameplan of all of them. It shows the importance of players like Michael Carrick to their respective teams. Michael Carrick was born on this day back in 1981. As we celebrate his birthday, let’s take a look back at his wonderful journey through this beautiful game.
Born on 28th of July, 1981 in Wallsend a small English town under the county Tyne & Wear, he started his playing career at Wallsend Boys Club at the age of 5 and after 11 years with his boyhood club, he joined West Ham United academy in 1997. He won the FA Youth Cup and UEFA Intertoto cup with the East London outfit in 1999.
Michael Carrick started his senior club career at West Ham United in 1999 but enjoyed two short term loan spells at Swindon Town and Birmingham City before returning permanently to the London side. He played 159 games for the Hammers in for 5 years with them and scored 6 times in that spell. In 2004 he joined another London outfit Tottenham Hotspur where he played for 2 years and finally in 2006 he moved north and joined Manchester United in 2006.
When Michael Carrick joined United, they were experiencing their longest ever league drought in the Premier League era and Sir Alex was in dire need of a defensive midfielder to cope up with Jose Mourinho’s unstoppable Chelsea side who won back to back titles. He became an instant hit with the red devils after providing much-needed stability in their midfield and even scoring some important goals for them during their retaining of Premier League title from the hands of Jose’s Chelsea and also in their UEFA Champions League run where they reached the semi-final of the competition for the first time after 1999.
He played the key role in their three-peat league success for the second time under Sir Alex from 2006 to 2009 and also during their UEFA Champions League triumph in 2008. Carrick made 464 appearances in all competitions and netted 64 times for the red devils during his 12 years stay at the club.
He won the Premier League 5 times, UEFA Champions League 1 time, FA cup 1 time, English league cup thrice, FIFA Club World cup once, UEFA Europa League once an English Community Shield 6 times in his envious trophy cabinet. And for personal accolades, he was included in PFA Team of the Year in 2012-13 and won Manchester United Players’ Player of the year trophy in the same season.
Michael Carrick made his international debut back in 2001 at the age of 20 and played until 2015 making 34 appearances for the Three Lions. But he had been regularly overlooked by various England managers when it came to the central roles, with Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard generally being preferred. Despite that, he was named in Fabio Capello’s final 23 man squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup but was an unused squad member for England during that tournament.
Having not appeared since 2013, Carrick was named in the squad for the November 2014 matches with Slovenia and Scotland. However, on 12 November, he pulled out of the squad after sustaining a groin injury.
On 27 March 2015, Carrick made his first appearance for the Three Lions in 17 months, starting the 4–0 UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying defeat of Lithuania at the Wembley Stadium.
On 31 March 2015, Carrick made his 33rd appearance for the national team as a substitute for his Manchester United teammate and defender Chris Smalling, performing impressively to help England earn a draw against Italy in an international friendly match. On 14 November 2015, during his last appearance for his country Carrick suffered an ankle injury during a match against Spain and left the pitch on a stretcher. England went on to lose the game 2–0.
Carrick married his school life girlfriend Lisa Roughead, in Wymondham, Leicestershire on 16 June 2007 and has a daughter Louise and a son named Jacey.
In October 2018, Carrick announced that he had suffered from depression for two years following the defeat in the 2009 UEFA Champions League Final and wrote a heartfelt letter of how it affected his mental health and that he still couldn’t accept the defeat.
Carrick has one younger brother, Graeme, who was also at West Ham United but suffered several injuries, and has completed an MSc in Sports Coaching is currently an FA Regional Coach Mentor (North East & Yorkshire) after 7 years as an FA Skills Coach and a spell Coaching at Team Northumbria F.C. after previously working at the Newcastle United Academy coaching the under-10s and under-16s.
Life After Football
After his retirement from professional football, Carrick didn’t think twice when then Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho offered him the role of assistant manager. He assisted Mourinho for 24 games and after Mourinho’s departure, he remained with the club and paired with ex-teammate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer when he took over the club in December, 2018.
He assisted the Norwegian for 87 games and helped his team finish 3rd in 2019-20 Premier League season and return to the UEFA Champions League after the Red Devils’ one-year exclusion from Europe’s elite competition. We wish him a happy birthday and best of luck for his future endeavors with Manchester United and also for his personal life as well.
What’s your opinion about Michael Carrick as a player ? ? Let us know in the comment section below.