After finishing off on a 19-year playing career in 2018 across a number of clubs including West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur and of course Manchester United, Michael Carrick immediately stepped into a coaching role at the Old Trafford club.
Carrick’s first coaching experience came under then United manager, Jose Mourinho. A man who himself has been managing since 2000, having won a domestic title in a record four different countries, and two Champions League’s with Porto in 2004 and Inter Milan in 2010.
In May 2018, when asked regarding who his next assistant manager would be, the Portuguese replied (via Goal): “I think it will be Michael Carrick in the future. When he has his badges, when he has his pro-license, when he makes the bridge from player to assistant.”
This was the case, as Carrick went onto step into a similar role previously taken up by Mourinho’s long-standing assistant, Rui Faria.
Just over three years on from Mourinho’s press conference, Carrick finds himself preparing for his third Manchester United game as caretaker manager following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Under Solskjaer, the Englishman continued in his role as assistant manager, even after United parted ways with Jose Mourinho in December 2018. Here, Carrick was more influential, taking first-team training along with fellow assistant, Kieran McKenna.
The pair have been heavily scrutinised in recent months along with ex-manager Solskjaer due to United’s poor start this season.
However, reports emerged last week claiming Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna were keen on adopting a different style of play from the one Ole Gunnar Solskjaer decided to stick to.
Although nobody is to know whether there is any truth in these reports, there’s no denying the Reds have looked a different side in their previous two games to the way they were setup under Solskjaer in recent weeks.
Against Villareal and Chelsea in Carrick’s two games as interim boss, United set out to nullify their opponents, with a clear idea of the fact that United have kept just three clean sheets in all competitions this season. Along with that dreadful stat, the Reds have conceded 29 goals in 19 games, showing their lack of defensive solidarity under the Norwegian.
After Steven Gerrard’s move to Aston Villa from Rangers, Carrick was linked to the job North of the border before Dutchman Giovanni van Bronckhorst was appointed in charge at Ibrox.
When asked in 2018 whether he wants to be a manager in the long-term speaking to The Independent, Carrick said: “Yeah, at this stage, I would say, yeah, but I’m not blasé to think I’m going to be a manager, you know.”
There’s no doubt Carrick has shown small glimpses of himself as a manager in the past week. Even through the former central midfielder’s pre-match and post-match interviews, he has given little-to-nothing away.
It was his post-match interview at Stamford Bridge which led to a rant from Roy Keane in the Sky Sports studio saying: “I disagree with everything he said in that interview.”
Carrick still has an enormously long road ahead of him to establish himself as a manager, but next up for the five-time Premier League winner is Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal at The Theatre of Dreams.
A first outing under the Old Trafford lights for Carrick with the role of interim manager, and possibly the last, as Ralf Rangnick is set to take over the fort come Sunday, when United welcome Crystal Palace.