What Man United can expect from Carrick as interim manager

by 24britishtvNov. 21, 2021, 9 p.m. 21
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Michael Carrick will lead Manchester United over the coming games after the club finally decided to sack Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following defeat to Watford.

The 40-year-old moves into his first senior management role after forming part of Solskjaer's backroom staff where he worked alongside Mike Phelan and Kieran McKenna in assistant positions.

His very appointment once again highlights United's lack of long-term planning with the club having missed the ideal chance to make a change just two weeks ago when they would have had the duration of the international break to get a contingency plan in place.

There is no plan for to lead United on a permanent basis in the near future but the next few games will be crucial in his own coaching journey as he's thrown in at the deep end on an interim basis.

Although it isn't an ideal situation United's woes are at least partly eased by the fact Carrick is familiar to the club and isn't alien to the responsibilities which he will now face as the main man at Old Trafford.

He and fellow coach McKenna were tasked with running the first main meeting with the team before matches over the past couple of years, alternating who leads them, with Carrick heavily involved in all first-team meetings under Solskjaer.

Carrick has previously earned praise for his 'arm around the shoulder' approach at the club and ability to relate to player issues from his own playing experience while he has always been to keen for players to 'express' themselves whenever they get the opportunity on the pitch.

His opinion was highly respected by the Norwegian whenever consulted on club issues while he, like the other coaches, was given licence to go on the touchline during a match whenever they saw fit.

This freedom has played a key role in readying Carrick for his upcoming task though this lack of clarity is also a contributing factor to the mess which saw Solskjaer leave the club after five defeats in the last seven Premier League fixtures.

Anyone who has ever watched him play will remember a cool-headed individual who remains calm under pressure and it will likely be a similar approach from him when he takes to the touchline as the new interim manager.

"I’m not one that jumps about and gets too over excited, but inside I'm obviously desperate to win," he told the FA last year. "As a player, I didn't get so high or down so much, it was trying to keep level. I think that's important as a coach and as a manager to try and do that and to try and help the players be the same."

Despite his own schooling as a defensive manager Carrick insists his coaching approach is on attacking football, something which will be crucial for his side as they search for a resounding response to address their poor run of form.

He added: "Spaces to attack is really my main focus when watching the games. Whether that’s looking at how to attack when the goalkeeper has got the ball, where the space is and how we can build-up through the pitch.

"It’s also about having an idea of how we can hurt the opposition from all areas of the pitch. That’s my first thought really, my instinct takes me to that. Within that there is observing the general game: how the opposition set up and what their strengths are."

Having played under Sir Alex Ferguson and Louis van Gaal and coached for Jose Mourinho and Solskjaer the new interim manager certainly has plenty of inspiration for his own Old Trafford tenure.

United's long-term remains for a new appointment to be made as soon as is practical but for now Carrick is very much at the wheel.

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