Villas-Boas’ men won at Old Trafford for the first time in 23 years on Saturday.
While some blame the centre back partnership of Ferdinand and Evans, Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville pointed the finger at the full backs who didn’t get back into position quick enough. Others have claimed Fergie needs a defensive midfielder to protect his defence.
I’ve never been a fan of Michael Carrick. While I think he has improved, I still regard him as a passenger. You might say he keeps things ticking along by taking the ball from the defence and moving it along, but is this enough? Couldn’t anyone do this?
I feel Carrick does not merit his place in the starting line up and his simple passing game just doesn’t offer enough.
If we compare Carrick to Sandro who is a defensive midfielder, we can see Carrick only made 2 successful tackles while Sandro made 6 successful tackles.
Not only did he make 3 times more tackles, he made them in front of his centre backs showing the protection he offers rather than Carrick who made his in the middle of the park (one of those tackles were made on the wing too).
Man Utd dominated most of the possession on Saturday so it’s hard to compare passing stats (Carrick – 93/110, Sandro 19/22), we can see Sandro made most of his passes just in front of the centre backs; the very place where Carrick makes most of his.
Although Scholes plays deeper these days, he doesn’t have the pace, stamina or tackling ability to be a defensive midfielder that also dictates play. If Fergie is keen on playing Scholes in the centre of the park, he needs someone to do the running and defensive work for him.
Someone dogged like Cheik Titote is what United need. However, I don’t think they need to sign someone necessarily. The return of Darren Fletcher could be just the man to fill the gap. Constantly getting back into position and chasing down players, he’s a decent player overall and in my opinion, performs many of the same tasks as Carrick does; except he can tackle.
Is there a place for Michael Carrick? Can Darren Fletcher be the defensive midfielder United need? Tell us in the comments section below.