Manchester United head into their fourth Champions League game against Real Sociedad without their most important player: Michael Carrick. The England midfielder is one of the most underrated and dominant players in the Premier League, his contributions to Manchester United are decisive to the team’s success.
Unfortunately for United, Carrick is nursing an Achilles injury and has not even traveled with the rest of the team to face a spirited Sociedad team. His contributions will be sadly missed but it also gives first year coach, David Moyes, the chance to try something new. The man who will probably be trusted with covering the void left by Carrick is another newcomer by the name of Marouane Fellaini. The towering Belgian is having a terrible campaign but could silence his doubters with a solid performance in Spain.
I believe Carrick is instrumental to United and is the only midfielder that the team can’t do without. He is not flashy or particularly fun to watch but he keeps things ticking in the middle of the park and keeps his back line protected. It is my humble opinion that Carrick is the best holding midfielder in England above the flashier duo of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard.
Carrick usually has a better injury record and with a crunch title bout against Arsenal at the weekend it is no surprise he will not be playing at Sociedad. He is probably injured because he is being overplayed by Moyes because let’s face it; he has no other viable options. Anderson is mediocre to say the least and Tom Cleverley is too erratic and tends to give the ball away easily, the midfield duo I would field is Fellaini as the holding midfielder and Shinji Kagawa as the creator.
Moyes has a very difficult task in trying to replace Carrick for the Sociedad game and in true Moyes style I believe he will only try to fill the middle of the field even if that means that his team will continue to play poorly.