Michael Carrick speaks out about captaining Manchester United this season

by Leo Nieboer

Michael Carrick has been discussing his new role as Manchester United captain this season, noting that he will have to change the way he sees the game over the next nine months.

Wayne Rooney‘s departure in July meant that the 35-year-old was now Man United’s longest serving player, with Antonio Valencia second.

He wore the armband on a number of occasions last season, with Rooney unable to breach the starting XI, and has been handed the official title ahead of the 2017/18 campaign.

And Carrick, reflecting on receiving the captaincy, noted that leading United out was a special honour.

“It’s a big honour for me, it’s very special to be in the position I am,” he said.

“It probably comes with me being here for quite some time now and being the oldest in the squad. It doesn’t really change an awful lot from day-to-day.

“It’s nice to be in the position. There’s obviously more responsibility but I think that’s a natural thing. You’ve got to try to lead in certain ways but I’m just trying to be myself.

“You can’t suddenly change because you’re put in a different role. You just got to be yourself and respect all the lads like I do.

“It’s a tremendous feeling (to lead the team out). It’s hard to explain that feeling. It’s a tough one to explain but it’s a very nice feeling to have.”

You imagine that this will be Carrick’s last season in a United shirt and handing him the captaincy felt like a no-brainer.

He will not feature much at all this season, you sense, especially with Nemanja Matic already looking like the sturdy midfield lynchpin Mourinho so desperately needs to compete for the top spots in the Premier League.

His role promises to be more of a titular one, occasionally featuring in cup games and when regular midfield starters need a rest in league games, but this won’t hamper his ability to serve as a reliable skipper.

The Englishman understands the badge and what it means, alongside having a keen eye for coaching and player development. There aren’t many more experienced and grounded individuals at this level. He is, in many ways, a true club captain, and supporters will hope to see him lift some silverware in May.

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