Jose Mourinho has heaped praise on Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick stating that “he is a fantastic player” and wished he had of managed the player years ago. Carrick, who is closing in on the top twenty most appearances for the club (Gary Pallister is currently in 20th position with ten more appearances), is now in his tenth season at the club having signed from Tottenham in the summer of 2006 and has been pivotal to the success of United over the years. Many fans have been calling for the inclusion of Carrick in recent weeks and he has offered much needed balance in the centre of the park.
Mourinho recently stated that Carrick offered stability in front of the backline, which frees up Paul Pogba to roam forward. The inclusion of the United veteran in the midfield coincides with an improvement in the form of Pogba – who has been excellent in the past three fixtures. Mourinho knows Carrick needs to look after his body, considering his age, but feels he can be part of the United squad for another season:
“Michael is 35 years old. With such an intense game he was having some cramps in the last period, which is normal. It is very sad to know that time flies for every one of us. He is such a fantastic player and it is a pity. I always loved him but instead of being his manager when he was 24 I am his manager when he is 35.
We have a good understanding. We know when he can play. We know when he is ready and when he needs a rest. I am still having Michael Carrick and probably for one more season.”