Michael Carrick‘s relationship with the England national team hasn’t exactly been a bed of roses over the years.
Carrick received his first call up to England in 2001 but it wasn’t until 2005 that he made his full debut. Following that, he was taken to the 2006 FIFA World Cup where he only played in England’s round of 16 victory against Ecuador before being dropped back to the bench.
He made one friendly appearance in 2008 and appeared in only one of England’s 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers before travelling to South Africa to play a grand total of zero minutes of football.
In 2012, Carrick told Roy Hodgson he didn’t want to be a bit part player and declined the opportunity to go to the Euros leading to many claiming his international career was over but he came back with a flourish after a stunning year with United in the Premier League.
Yet, despite playing a central role in England’s 2014 World Cup qualifiers, Hodgson chose to leave him out of both the Moldova and Ukraine games and instead chose to play Lampard and Gerrard, a midfield pairing that still doesn’t work after years of trying.
Dietmar Hamann isn’t someone I usually agree with but he was spot on when talking about Carrick’s situation with England.
Carrick deserves far better treatment than England has ever given him. Despite consistently being one of the most dependable midfielders in the Premier League for years, his name has constantly been overlooked when the big occasion looms.
Against Ukraine, England didn’t seem to know what possession football was – something that is Carrick’s bread and butter. The 32-year-old could have given England some much needed calm on a tough away night but Hodgson instead used Lampard and Gerrard from the start even though they simply cannot play alongside each other well.
It is only a matter of time before Carrick retires from England and the sooner it happens the better. He doesn’t deserve the humiliation of being benched time and time again despite being one of the best midfielders in the squad. From a United point of view, it would certainly benefit the longevity of his career at Old Trafford too.
United fans appreciate just how good Carrick is. His inclusion in the 2013 PFA Player of the Year showed that everyone in England did, yet Hodgson decided against using him when England needed him the most.
Time to hang your boots up and save your energy for United, Michael. England doesn’t deserve you.