Michael Carrick insists it’s unacceptable for Manchester United players to aim for a top four finish as it’s a Premier League title or nothing.
It’s been four years since the club last won the trophy, but it’s clear United’s new captain is not looking for anything less than first place this season.
Man United have finished in the top four only once in the past four seasons and were 24 points behind Chelsea last season, but it’s the right mentality to have.
Speaking about the club, Carrick claims only winning matters.
“It’s all about winning things,” he said. “In some ways, it’s winning the league or nothing. It’s another one gone by if you haven’t won it. That’s the way I see it. I can’t get my head around that – to say top four is acceptable. I know we’ve had changes and adjusted as players have come in and out and you can’t expect to win the league every year, but you’ve got to set out to do that.
“As I said, it’s pretty much win the league or nothing for me. I was obviously fortunate enough to win the league straight away and, having that run we did in my first three years, gives you that taste of ‘Right, it’s all or nothing now’, so maybe I was spoiled in my early years. But it’s greed in a way – that drive to win more and more, that’s not something that you lose.”
Mourinho recognised his presence in the team, and had no hesitation in handing him the captaincy even though he will turn 36 a week from now when Wayne Rooney left for Everton.
Carrick has what it takes to motivate the players around him, even if he won’t play in every fixture and it’s only a matter of time before the club get back to winning ways.