The Scot announced his retirement in May 2013, ending a career of unprecedented success by lifting his 13th – and Man United’s 20th – league title, before handing over the reigns to David Moyes – who lasted less than a year.
Carrick, who has enjoyed an excellent season so far under Jose Mourinho, is one of the nine United players in the current first team squad that remain from the Fergie era.
Speaking to Sky Sports earlier this week, the 35-year-old discussed the difficulties of life after Fergie, whilst also claiming that United, under Mourinho, were heading in the right direction.
“It was never going to happen overnight, I don’t think we were ever going to suddenly move on so quickly – he [Ferguson] had been here so long,” he said.
“But there are certain signs that we are getting there, I can say that. I know we are well away in the league but there are signs that we can feel something is coming. But only time will tell that.
“All the games have been pretty similar. Even when we haven’t had the results, we feel we should have won all the games that we have drawn, which is hard to take.
“At the same time, it is hard to get too down because the performances have not just deserved to win the games but to win them quite well.
“With our performances and the feeling within the game, it doesn’t feel like we have had such a bad start. You are judged on results, that is what the business is, but at the same time you get a feeling and you gauge it on performances as well.”
United, following Sir Alex’s Ferguson’s departure, were doomed by default. The entire footballing world – United fans, pundits, opposition fans and other clubs – would judge United in comparison to how they were under the great Scot and inevitably end up labelling them as substandard, as an abject failure.
But to think that United could somehow replicate the bravado of the Fergie era without the man himself is, to put it lightly, simply absurd. All that this side can do now is forge a new identity, reinventing themselves as something less threatening but still very much potent. And with Mourinho at the helm, United fans will hope to see their side do exactly that.