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Danny Murphy: Jose Mourinho has to give Michael Carrick more minutes at Man United

by Leo Nieboer

Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy believes Jose Mourinho has to give Michael Carrick more game time at Manchester United.

Carrick has only made six starts this season, with Mourinho explaining that the midfielder – now 35 – doesn’t have the capacity to play every game.

Calls for increased opportunities came after the midfielder produced a sumptuous performance for Mourinho’s men against Swansea City on Sunday.

Murphy, speaking after Man United’s 3-1 win in Wales, claimed Carrick has earned the chance to feature on a more regular basis.

“Jose played a lot of experienced players and a few of them can be really pleased with their performances,” he said.

“One of them in particular, who I’ve always been a fan of, is Michael Carrick.

“I’m so confused why he hasn’t played more minutes. He adds ability and calmness to the team that they haven’t had in recent weeks.

“Yes, he can’t quite do the miles that he once did but he never panics, he gets them out on the attack most times and makes things look simple.

“He’s always looking to play forward and they’ve missed this.

“No-one put any pressure on him – which is always nice for a midfielder – and him being in the side helps players like Paul Pogba.”

United’s record with Carrick in the starting XI this season – six games and six wins – illustrates just how important Carrick is to Mourinho’s side. Not only does Carrick add an important dose of composure at the base of midfield, he adds an overall sense of definition and shape to the side, providing a level of structure that Mourinho has hitherto struggled to discover so far this season.

One can’t help but wonder if Carrick, contrary to what the Portuguese has said on numerous occasions, could play on a more regular basis. He is, after all, the same age as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has featured in 17 out of 18 games this season, and his role demands far less physical exertion.

If you actually watch Carrick – like, only watch Carrick and nobody else – you end up astounded at his sheer footballing intelligence: the Englishman barely moves and still manages to dictate the game to an absolute degree. His importance was once again underlined against Swansea, and United fans will be hope to see Mourinho change his tune with regard to Carrick.

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