World Cup 2010: Don't Blame Fabio Capello, Wayne Rooney. Blame Michael Carrick
Sure, he may be the finest passer of the ball we have ever produced but don't allow yourself to think that Carrick is doing all he can for England in this world cup.
The others are out there on the pitch, trying their best to battle to a victory for England, but what is he doing? Moaning about the world cup ball? Playing his usual quiet game in training? Practising his vuvuzela?
Take a look at this : vital viewing in understanding.
Carrick needs to demand to be in the team. Capello, like the majority of the general public appears oblivious to impact that Carrick has on football matches at the highest level. He's not just another midfielder that you can swap in or swap out of the centre pair of a 4-4-2. Carrick dictates football matches.
He is calm under pressure. The guy has won the premier league 3 times in 4 years, the champions league, fa cup twice, the Carling cup, the world club cup.
His passing is fast, imaginative, precise, effective, varied, comfortable with either foot. Put Carrick in the team and the rest of the team suddenly start to look better.
His first touch is exceptional. He rarely gives the ball away. He can get his team out of danger, and or into an attack with one touch.
His movement is not penetrative, but considered. Unlike the rest of this England team his thought is not to strike through the opposition, but to stand off them, and not play into their hands. He moves into space so he is always available and can influence what will happen next. He will dictate the possession until there is a chance for one of the more penetrative players to be released. Because he does this at a distance, the opposition are forced to come out of their trenches which creates spaces in the opponent's half that the more dangerous players can then capitalize on.
Carrick is a quality defensive midfielder. His anticipation, vision, reading of what individual players are going to do, reading of how opposition attacks are forming is excellent. He's quick when he needs to be, his tackles are clean, he never resorts to going to ground. He's never caught out of position, and stays in a position that makes it difficult for the opposition to get an attack going in front of goal.
Carrick doesn't fit the image you or Capello may have in mind for england's pivotal midfielder, we imagine a lion in human form, fast, muscular, aggressive. But sometimes you have to consider that the outstanding option may not be what we were expecting. Alex Ferguson has chosen, from all the available players in the world to build his team around Carrick, with Scholes nearing retirement - why then, is it so hard for Capello, and so much of the footballing public to find similar faith?
But, its up to Carrick, to somehow convince Capello to show faith in him. We're all, whether we realize it or not depending on him.
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