Should Michael Carrick be worried about his Manchester United future under Louis van Gaal?
A number of names in the Manchester United have come under intense scrutiny this season following a disastrous campaign under David Moyes. The Scotsman was sacked by the club in April and just recently theyappointed his replacement at Man Utd in Louis van Gaal.
The Dutchman will come in and assess any dead wood and most likely overhaul the squad with a number of players leaving the club. One of those unlikely to leave, despite a disappointing campaign, is Michael Carrick.
Carrick’s miserable campaign resulted in him not being called up to the England squad for the World Cup, despite his fantastic season in Sir Alex Ferguson’s last hurrah. So has Carrick’s season really been a failure and, if so, what went wrong for the former Tottenham man under David Moyes?
First and foremost, Carrick’s Squawka Performance Score took a severe drop since last season, albeit having played seven games fewer. Carrick’s Score this season was 938, almost half than what it was in Ferguson’s final campaign – 1812. His all-round game seems to have been affected and his confidence is severely lacking.
His role in the side is crucial. He is what keeps Manchester United ticking and on his day his ability to pick out a man in the same coloured shirt is second to none. However, it did not go the way Carrick would have hoped this campaign and that is evident.
While his pass completion (88%) is exactly the same as it was last season, he seems to have lost his robust edge. He was never one for sticking in a boot, but Carrick shielded the defence well and he was Manchester United’s answer to a smoother Roy Keane. He made more blocks (19) last season than this campaign (10), perhaps evidence of his mind being elsewhere.
He seemed more eager to get forward last season and that was replicated in the fact he created 37 chances, whereas under David Moyes he managed 28 – 9 less than the previous campaign.
Carrick was a colossal composer and while he distributed the ball so elegantly during Ferguson’s last year, he seems to have lost his confidence in possession. While that may have been due to personal reasons or the tactics he attempted to employ under David Moyes, it most certainly affected him.
He played just 1477 passes forwards this season compared to 2040 last term, clear signals that he was not himself, amidst concerns that perhaps he feared any backlash if he gave the ball away. Despite his range of passing taking a hit, with Carrick going for the more simple ball, his possession score was still affected.
It dropped severely from 1112 last season compared to 410 under Moyes. The former England international was clearly struggling and that also led to him becoming less of a threat going forward. He was never renowned for his attacking prowess, but his ability to thread the ball through an eye of a needle always meant he could offer the Red Devils a different threat. He managed to assist four goals for Ferguson’s outfit in 2012/13, but a lack of desire coupled with no attacking intent meant he had a tally of zero on that front.
Carrick’s decline is evident and while his name has not been mentioned as much as one of those who could be out the door, Louis van Gaal, who made Bastian Schweinsteiger the midfield anchor he is today, could look to replace him as soon as possible.