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"It's Carrick, you know. Hard to believe it's not Scholes."
It is quite possibly the biggest compliment United fans can give to Michael Carrick—a song comparing the player's influence to the mastery of a modern legend.
Carrick's importance to United is never more highlighted than when he is not available.
When Van Persie is injured, United has Rooney. If Rooney is injured, then there is Chicharito. When Vidic and Ferdinand are sidelined, there is a combination of Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling to carry the flag.
However, when Carrick is injured, there is no one with his skill set and quality at United.
Carrick's transformation into United's maestro has been years in the making, but his form for the past few years has been excellent.
He held United together during the title run of last season and it was plain to see how Moyes' team struggled this season as Carrick carried his injury through matches, eventually leading to a number of weeks out.
As good as Van Persie was last season and Rooney is this season, Carrick is the glue that holds the team together. United are half a team without him.
When Arsene Wenger was asked last season who his footballer of the year was, he told The Guardian's David Hytner that he would have given Carrick the nod:
I would choose Carrick. He is a quality passer. He could play for Barcelona, he would be perfectly suited to their game. He has a good vision and is an intelligent player, and it is for what he has achieved in his whole career as well.
The appreciation of Carrick's quality runs deeper than just in Manchester.
If Moyes can be lucky enough to have the England international at his disposal for the whole of 2014, there is every chance that United can drive forward and make a late charge towards retaining their Premier League title.