Rio Ferdinand has highlighted Michael Carrick‘s importance to Manchester United following their 2-0 win over West Ham United in the Premier League.
And with West Ham playing 75 minutes with ten men, Carrick comfortably dictated proceedings at the base of midfield.
Ferdinand took to social media after the game to remind supporters of the 35-year-old’s importance to Jose Mourinho‘s side.
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) January 2, 2017
Rio’s stats are indeed spot on: 14 starts, 12 wins, no defeats, 35 goals scored. United aren’t just a better team with Carrick in the side; they’re a completely different team, capable of controlling games and churning out convincing results.
He is United’s quiet composer, calmly orchestrating the tempo of each game. It may not come across as obvious, but every player on the pitch dances to the beat of Carrick’s drum.
And this was emphatically demonstrated against West Ham: down to ten men, clearly jaded after losing to Leicester City 48 hours later, Slaven Bilic’s side ended up playing the role of Carrick’s puppet. They genuinely couldn’t break away from his grasp; every time they surged forward it came back to the 35-year-old, and the process simply repeated itself all afternoon.
United fans, with their side now hitting their groove under Mourinho, will be desperate to see Carrick remain in the side as the season goes on.