Carrick made his England debut when Harry Kane was just 7 years old, yet last night, 14 years later, this was only Carrick’s 32nd cap for his country. But is it time he forgot England and focused exclusively on United? Vote in our poll now.
Writing for ESPN FC, John Brewin suggests that “with Gerrard and Lampard long gone, and Wilshere continuing to be enigmatic, this can be Carrick’s time.”
And the MEN’s James Robson reckons Carrick can be “England’s Pirlo”!
— MEN Sport (@MENSports) March 28, 2015
I’m a big admirer of Carrick. When I was at the parade in Manchester following United’s 19th Premier League title, it was fantastic to hear the relentless chants of “It’s Carrick, you know…” He was finally getting the appreciation he deserved, and this season, everyone agrees United have been at their best when Carrick has been in the team.
On one level, I’d love to see Carrick finally establish himself as a key player for England. The idea of him as the serene linchpin at the centre of the team for Euro 2016 is a nice thought, but as a United fan, I’m far more concerned about what Carrick can continue to contribute to the club in the twilight of his career.
International games deprive players of time to rest, and the long flights plus the intense media pressure take their toll on players. As United fan /u/dugness pointed out on a Reddit discussion about players prolonging their club careers by retiring from international football:
Scholes retired from international football at the tender age of 29, mainly because he wasn’t getting the chance to play in his best position, but United reaped the rewards – he finally retired as a Man Utd player (for the second time) at the age of 38, and he was still bossing games till the end.
Giggs retired from international football at the age of 33, and continued playing for United for another 7 years, making his final appearance as a 40-year-old – a quite incredible achievement playing in midfield at the highest level of the game.
And Bryan Robson retired at 34 – the same age as Carrick now. He went on to play for us another 3 years, before moving to Middlesborough and eventually retiring aged 40.
So, should Carrick follow in the footsteps of these three Manchester United greats, or should he seize his chance to make an impression on the international stage?