Michael Carrick treated Manchester United fans to a truly sensational midfield performance during their side’s 3-1 win over Swansea City in the Premier League.
The Englishman, making his first Premier League start under Jose Mourinho, dictated proceedings from start to finish at the base of midfield and hardly put a foot wrong all afternoon.
His numbers from the game shed light on what was an emphatic midfield display.
Carrick's game by numbers vs Swansea:
95% pass accuracy
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) November 6, 2016
Man United’s record this season with Carrick in the side tells you everything about the 35-year-old’s importance to Mourinho and Co: six starts, six wins.
This is, of course, absolutely no coincidence. The Englishman brings far more than just composure and reliability to United’s midfield: above anything, he lets the entire side breathe. With Carrick at the axis, everything feels far more balanced, more controlled, as if this particular squad was built in accordance with precise design, with the 35-year-old’s presence adding definition to United’s entire shape.
Mourinho’s United have been a largely unpredictable, occasionally chaotic outfit this season. This is a squad replete with world-class talent, only to be held back by a discernible lack of direction. The firepower and motivation is there, but how do you apply and consolidate it?
United fans, after seeing their side stroll past Swansea, will know that Carrick plays a major role in this process.