Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville says that Manchester United certainly need Michael Carrick back as soon as possible.
The England international has been a major reason behind the form revival seen under Louis van Gaal in 2015. However, two back-to-back defeats – against Chelsea and Everton – have managed to put the club back in the race for the top four. They could have extended their lead over Liverpool to a healthy seven points, but as it is the Reds can reduce it to just four with four games remaining. The defeats has come at a time when Carrick has been absent from the team.
Even though Carrick does not contribute immensely with goals and assists, he is a vital cog in the team according to Neville, who played with the former Tottenham midfielder for several years. Aside from the absence of Carrick, United also missed key players like Blind in the 1-0 defeat against Chelsea. They were expected to recover in Sunday’s match against Everton, but they slipped to a third consecutive defeat against the Merseyside club at Goodison Park. The match finished as a 3-0 thrashing for the Red Devils, who have now been overtaken by their arch rivals Manchester City.
“When Michael Carrick doesn’t play, their record without him shows he is missed.It is not just the control and composure, but it is his forward passes, he just moves the ball forward into good areas quickly.When United won the ball back today they didn’t get the ball forward quick enough.Michael Carrick does that. Even it is only a ten yard pass, he gets the move moving in the right way.They miss him badly, they really do.It is no coincidence they have lost the last two games without him,” said Gary Neville. Carrick has featured in 18 games this season.