All entries for Monday 31 July 2006

July 31, 2006

Carrick: The £18.6m peg for a Roy Keane shaped hole?

So has Fergie finally lost it? He spends months moaning about a lack of cash and then blows the best part of £20m on a player who has virtually no track record. Okay, so maybe that is a bit harsh. Carrick is a very good player. He was a consistent performer for Tottenham last season, however for £20m surely you want more than 'very good'? Before last season Carrick had hardly been a star performer. Indeed two years ago Tottenham were the only side willing to risk £2.75m on him.

Obviously he has improved immeasurably since joining Spurs, however it has to be said that nobody really seems to know what sort of player he is. Fergie has seemingly bought Carrick to fill the void left by Roy Keane and as such must surely view him as a defensive midfielder. However I've seen him described as a playermaker, a midfield anchor, an attacking midfielder, a sitter and more besides. And the reason for this is relatively simple – he does all these things, which is why he is a good player. But does he do anyone of these roles well enough to help United?

Fergie is constantly harping on about a lack of midfield balance in his side. After all Park and Giggs (as he used on some occasions last season) is hardly ideal an ideal centre mid combo. However with Carrick he may have bought himself a £20m headache. How will he play him?

In my opinion to get the best out of their investment United will have to buy another defensive midfielder (like Davids at Spurs) to play alongside Carrick and encourage him to be generally more offensive. Certainly not the most direct way to replace the great Irishman, but then Fergie is the man who built the legendary Beckham/Keane/Scholes/Giggs midfield of the late 1990s so he, of anyone, should know what he is doing.

I hope it works out, I'm just not too sure it will.


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