Michael Carrick, Manchester United’s Mr. Nice Guy, Gets A Testimonial

Posted: March 4, 2017 in European Football, Football, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League
Tags: , ,

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As football matches go, testimonials are slightly more important than a school playground kick-about. Usually a way of shovelling further riches on a footballer who’s only contribution has been hanging around a club for ten years or more, either because he hasn’t wanted to go anywhere else or because nobody else has wanted him. They are another example of a profession further rewarding it’s already over rewarded employees.

Testimonials were originally intended to provide for a player in his retirement. So, for example, quite a few players used the money to buy a pub so they could spend their dotage in the same place as they spent most of their career. Nowadays the top players could buy a pub every week so the testimonial is nothing more than a circus. It’s a circus which raises money for charity, but it is a circus all the same.

There are millions of people around the world who have “been loyal” to their employers for far longer than the longest serving footballers have been loyal to theirs. They are with them through thick and thin, they do a thankless, low paid job and it is usually the inability to get another job that causes their imprisonment to be misinterpreted as loyalty.

The traditional reward is a watch after 25 years of faithful service. They can only ever dream of the wealth that is handed over to top players, just for being good at kicking a ball. Then, on top of all that, they get to play in a testimonial game which will raise even more money for them.

As we said before and in fairness to the players, a lot of them now have so much money that they donate the proceeds of their testimonial to charity, so at least some good causes do benefit from these backslapping, self-promoting occasions.

Michael Carrick is an exception to the general idea of what a modern-day professional football player is like. He doesn’t come across as a greedy person. He is rarely in the headlines and never for anything detrimental. He is also a Geordie, so he can’t be all that bad!

He has been one of the most consistent players for Manchester United over the last ten years. He rarely gets booked and has only been sent off once in his Manchester United career. Throughout the post Ferguson years, Carrick has been one of the players to whom all three of the recent managers have turned on a regular basis.

In his relatively few interviews he comes across as a thinker, a trait which is also evident in his displays on the pitch.

There is nothing not to like about him. A loyal servant, admittedly because he was also one of those players who, having arrived at United, didn’t want to go anywhere else, he has given his best every time he has been called upon to wear the red and white shirt.

He has taken squad rotation in his stride, openly backing the need for it in today’s game. Not one to complain when left out, the feeling is that he has been rewarded with the vice-captaincy more for his seniority than for any leadership qualities, yet he is capable of displaying one or two if needed.

He will probably be further rewarded with a one year extension to his contract for next season, although this may be determined by any midfield purchases made during the Summer. If not then the probability is that, according to the Guardian, he will retire.

Whether or not he stays at United for another season his appearances in the first team are likely to diminish. He will turn 36 in July and can only expect to play a bit part in the next campaign. In fairness though, this has been the rhetoric for the past three or four seasons and he has always come through the speculation, smiling graciously to the media whilst laughing all the way to the bank.

Whatever the future holds for Michael Carrick, we wish him all the best and good luck to him wherever he is playing his football. He is one of the few who deserves to be honoured just for doing his job the way he does.

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