Wayne Rooney: Michael Carrick was the best player on the pitch for England

by Ben Topliss

Wayne Rooney believes Michael Carrick was the best player on the pitch when he came on in England’s 1-1 draw with Italy on Tuesday night.

Manchester United midfielder Carrick replaced clubmate Chris Smalling just before half-time after the defender suffered a head injury.

Phil Jones had struggled in the middle of the pitch up until that point but Carrick brought a calmness back to England’s play following his introduction.

Rooney hailed the 33-year-old’s impact on the game and his affect on England’s second half performance.

Speaking after the game, Rooney said: ”The best player on the pitch by a mile when he came on was Carrick.

“He dictated the game for us. You saw how much control we had. He was the big difference between the teams in the second half.”

It seems as if fans are finally coming round to the idea of seeing Carrick in an England shirt on a regular basis.

Carrick earned just his 33rd cap against Italy, which is not nearly enough for a player of his quality. England have been crying out for an intelligent, ball playing midfielder for years but they’ve had one under their noses for almost a decade now. Hopefully, Roy Hodgson will make Carrick a central figure as England head into Euro 2016.

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