What Manchester United fans can expect from Michael Carrick


Michael Carrick will lead Manchester United for his first ever match as coach this week when the club face Villarreal in the Champions League group stage.

Carrick has been appointed caretaker, following the dismissal of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this weekend, and will be in charge until the club has decided on either a temporary manager until the end of the season or can land one of his favorite goals earlier.

90min has already revealed that Mauricio Pochettino and Brendan Rodgers are United’s two leading candidates to become Solskjaer’s permanent successor, and both are willing to switch to Old Trafford immediately if a suspension is made.

Carrick has been part of United’s coaching staff since the summer of 2018 when he was invited to join Jose Mourinho’s backroom team.

The midfielder, who made 464 appearances for United following his transfer from Tottenham in 2006, won five Premier League titles, an FA Cup, two League Cups, the Champions League, the Europa League and the FIFA Club World Cup during his illustrious career.

He was part of the PFA Premier League Team of the Year 2012/13, United’s last title-winning season, and was even named the club’s player of the year by his teammates by his teammates as the campaign ahead of Golden Boot winner Robin van Persie.

Carrick was named captain in the summer of 2017 after Wayne Rooney’s departure, although treatment for an irregular heartbeat limited him to just five appearances throughout that season, which was his last as a player.

Michael Carrick won 11 major trophies as a Man Utd player / Catherine Ivill – AMA / GettyImages

The offer to join the coaching staff was extended by Mourinho in January 2018, while Carrick was still officially registered as a player. He stayed at the club after the Portuguese was fired in December 2018 and continued to work in a similar role under Solskjaer.

Within Solskjaer’s set-up, Carrick shared tasks with fellow team coach Kieran McKenna, preparing players for matches by leading the pre-match meeting and passing on specific information and instructions.

Carrick has built up experience under several of the world’s best managers, played under Sir Alex Ferguson, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho, and worked as a coach with the latter.

The 40-year-old is a calm presence on the sidelines, never waving his arms or jumping around when he has entered the technical field in his coaching career so far – which makes him more of a Gareth Southgate as opposed to an Antonio Conte or Jurgen Klopp.

In a blog post for the FA’s Boot Room 2020, Carrick explained the importance of understanding how to handle individuals. Part of that is not just taking into account what he himself would have done as a player 10 or more years ago, because of the changes in the game and different characters.

“As the generations go by, the players’ characteristics change a bit and personalities change a little bit because the world does it – socially it’s just the way it is. So I think you really have to understand it and be able to handle it,” he said.

“I would not say that there is a way to train. I think coaching is to find out the individual and try to get within a distance where there is still a barrier, but close enough to have their trust and respect. The will to learn for players is the key.

“As a coach, you need to be able to press the right buttons at the right time.”

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