Michael Carrick has been discussing his role at Manchester United, noting that every midfielder in the first team offers something vitally different.
The 36-year-old, who signed a new deal with Man United over the summer following a superb 2016/17 campaign, was made captain by Jose Mourinho ahead of what is likely to be his final season at the club.
He hasn’t featured at all under the Portuguese over the past six games but was included on the bench for Man United’s 3-0 win over FC Basel.
And Carrick, speaking to the club’s official website, was quick to enthuse about the diversity currently existing at the core of Mourinho’s side.
“Ander does all my running for me, he’s got so much energy – it’s fantastic!” he noted.
“We’re lucky that we’ve got some terrific players, and I think the beauty of it at the moment is that everyone brings something different.
“I can’t do a lot of the things Ander can do, because he’s a lot younger and more energetic, so I try to use my brain and experience a little bit more.
“You look at Paul [Pogba] and [Marouane] Felli and what they can bring, and then you’ve got the likes of Jesse [Lingard] or Micki or Juan [Mata] coming in, I think everyone offers something different. It’s crucial – you don’t want players that are pretty much doing the same thing.
“But I do think we all understand the game the same, we all think the game should be played the same way, and that’s important too. It helps an awful lot.”
There is no position that needs to evolve and constantly recreate itself more than central midfield. If the core of your side becomes predictable and flat, everything else falls down.
And Mourinho has a truly eclectic nucleus at his disposal: innovation, tenacity, legs, power, experience, superb vision – and depth. United’s midfield has always been a conundrum since Paul Scholes started to fade but the Portuguese, you sense, has assembled a group of players capable of weathering a nine month marathon at the very top.