Sir Alex Ferguson did not often visit Michael Carrick at Manchester United until the weather changed and it was raining in the autumn.
“Michael was always a slow beginner when he first came along,” Ferguson recalled. “The rain started in September and October and he recovered.”
Well, the dark clouds have certainly been gathering over Old Trafford and Carrick is the unlikely figure United have flipped into following the firing of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Michael Carrick (center) will make the decisions as Manchester United’s interim boss for now
Carrick has taken the reins following the dismissal of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Sunday
If the club sticks to its plan, Carrick is the manager who will be replaced by an interim manager who will be replaced by a permanent boss at the start of next season. Keep up.
It doesn’t sound like the most auspicious of beginnings, but Solskjaer’s story tells us that almost anything is possible if the results go your way.
From Vicarage Road to Villarreal, it has been 48 hours for the former England midfielder who landed here in Spain on Monday night after being brought into the spotlight following Solskjaer’s last battle against Watford.
Carrick’s first game in charge will be a major Champions League tie against Villarreal at the Estadio de la Cerámica on Tuesday night that could have a major impact on United’s hopes of qualifying from Group F.
He made a point of paying tribute to Solskjaer at the beginning of his first press conference, describing the emotional scenes around Carrington on Sunday when Executive Vice President Ed Woodward relieved the manager of his duties before asking Carrick to intervene. It is a responsibility that he was willing to accept.
Carrick’s first loan is a complicated Champions League clash at Villarreal in Group F
“This club has been my life for a long time,” Carrick said. ‘It’s the sacrifice and dedication you have to give, and I’m prepared to do it for as long as it takes.
‘Whether it’s a game or two games, if it’s a little bit longer than that, I’m not really sure at the moment.
‘I’ll do my best and whatever results we get, hopefully we’ll get good ones, and we should get good ones, I really think so, we’ll wait and see what happens after that.
‘It’s a limited time, yes, of course it is, but it’s a challenge that I’m enjoying right now. Sitting here is a huge responsibility, I can’t wait for the game to arrive. ”
Like Solskjaer, Carrick is a former United player who played a key role in a Champions League triumph, despite the fact that his penalty shoot-out against Chelsea in Moscow in 2008 did not compare to the famous goal. from Norwegian in 1999.
United have a talented group, but it must be galvanized to be the sum of its parts.
Speaking on Monday, the former United midfielder said he will do his ‘best’ in the interim role.
It was one of eight great honors he won as a player at United after inheriting the number 16 jersey from Roy Keane, who first bared his teeth as a television commentator criticizing Carrick’s lack of emotion in a post-match interview. match after a loss to Olympiacos seven. years ago.
Carrick retired at the end of the 2018 season to join José Mourinho’s backroom staff shortly after he was diagnosed with an irregular heart rhythm that required minor surgery, ending a career that spanned 706 appearances and 34 caps for England. His farewell was against Watford, curiously.
As underrated as a person as he was sometimes underrated as a player, the 40-year-old is not the most obvious candidate for the United States bench.
Mike Phelan has the experience of working alongside Ferguson, and Kieran McKenna was a more vocal figure alongside Solskjaer. Until now, you were more likely to see goalkeeping coach Richard Hartis in the technical area than Carrick, such is the relatively low profile he has kept.
All that will change now. Take control of a group of very talented players who have been chronically underperforming under Solskjaer this season. A team currently without Paul Pogba and Raphael Varane due to injury, and with others like Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw lacking confidence. One that has cut and traded between 4-2-3-1 and 3-4-1-2 with little success.
Carrick likes to keep a low profile in the dugout, but will now be the center of attention
Mood at Old Trafford is low and David de Gea and company desperately need wins
Carrick will have to be his own man; to galvanize the team into the sum of its parts. However, on Monday he addressed a potential problem by admitting that his style is very similar to Solskjaer’s.
“Obviously, I have worked closely with Ole for a long time and we have very similar beliefs,” he added.
“We did it as players and we certainly do it as coaches and managers, so yes of course I have my own personality with Ole, but it’s very similar.
So we will have to wait and see. I am not revealing too much what my plans are, but I have very clear in my mind what we want to do and how we want to play. ”
Some players and staff members are known to feel that Solskjaer was not the only one who should have paid the price of failure. After all, he had a great back room team. Carrick is said to be largely blameless, but he wasn’t looking to dodge it on Monday.
Having worked closely with Solskjaer, the 40-year-old admits he shares the same principles.
“ I think it’s important for everyone to look at themselves, what can be done better, ” added Carrick, who once recalled being so proud of his job cleaning boots as an apprentice at West Ham that the first team did. pursued. players.
‘It’s easy to look elsewhere. As a player I was exactly the same. Take a look at yourself first and see if you can improve. ”
He then headed to catch the United flight to Spain, leaving behind a clear blue sky over Manchester. There is not a drop of rain in sight, but it is time for Carrick to recover again.