Is it a coincidence that Man Utd put together a winning streak and climbed up the table AFTER Carrick's return to the team?
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/footba ... eturn.html
Manchester United are the best passers in the league after Michael Carrick's return
Michael Carrick returned to the Manchester United fold last month
His inclusion has coincided with five straight victories
Louis van Gaal's side are now the best passing team in the league
Michael Carrick is someone who refuses to waste, declines any sort of 50/50 and, ultimately, is the man to make Manchester United tick.
A midfielder whose influence has been overlooked time and again has proven since his return what Louis van Gaal had been missing. It is no coincidence that United have won all five of their Premier League games since the 33-year-old regained his fitness and place in the starting XI.
Because, when you look at the difficulties they previously endured, this is a season which threatened to peter out before it had even begun.
Player Carrick, Michael
Games Played 5
Minutes Played 450
Passing Accuracy 90.4
Passes, Successful Opp Half 168
Passing Accuracy in Opp Half 87.05
Gone are the sights of United surrendering possession in the middle of the park, incapable of building any sort of momentum and failing to provide Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie with any sort of consistent service.
And while nowhere near their best at Southampton on Monday night, the Red Devils are a side reborn with Carrick beating the drum.
Since his first game of the season on November 5, United are on average:
The team to have completed the most passes per game – 580
The team to have retained possession the most – 60.5 per cent
The team to have completed the most accurate passes – 86.7 per cent
The influence of Carrick cannot be understated and is finally yielding the recognition it deserves.
‘It might look like a really simple thing but Michael Carrick is a very good passer of the ball forwards,’ Gary Neville said on Monday Night Football.
‘People probably didn’t like it a few weeks ago when I was a little critical of Daley Blind but United have missed this – the passes around the corner and the difference this makes in setting up an attack is incredible.’