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Part of the young west ham outfit whose names are now familier to all england fans such as Lampard, j Cole and Defoe - products of west hams superb youth system.
Michael Carrick has recently joined Spurs for an undisclosed fee but had his debut delayed by injury and other things. with new manager Martin Jol arriving Carricks fortunes seemed to turn around.
Carrick seems to have a natural ability to be a sitting midfielder, a seemingly important part of the modern game. His ability to break-up opponents attacking moves and delievering classy through balls to release attacking play. Carricks young age and ability bodes well for him internationally, with englands inability to get the best out of Gerard and Lampard a sitting midfielder has often been called for, with Carrick and Hargreves the likeliest candidates.
Carricks future looks rosey, his ability means he is sure to become an integral part of tottenhams promising team, however the big players of the premiership seem determined to catch carrick with a number of the big four offering reportedly £10million bids.
Michael Carrick is now a Tottenham Hotspur player and he is slowly becoming a vital part of an ever improving side. The 23 year old joined Spurs from London rivals West Ham for an undisclosed fee in the summer transfer window. Injury delayed his debut for the first team and when he was fit, he found himself frozen out by former boss Jacques Santini. He could only manage the odd substitutes appearance and must have been frustrated. The first game after that Santini left, Martin Jol threw him on when Spurs were 3-0 down at home to Charlton. Carrick turned the game on its head, running the midfield and Spurs reduced the deficit to 3-2 but couldn't find an equaliser. That led Martin Jol to start him for the next game and Carrick hasn't looked back.
The player that Tottenham have lacked in recent years is a playmaker, somebody to supply the front men with goal scoring opportunities. There isn't much point in having two quality strikers in your team if they have to drop deep and get the ball as a result of players not supplying them effectively.
Michael Carrick has the ability to spot openings and anticipate the movements of the centre forwards. It is a natural talent that just allows him to the read game well. This means that he can provided incisive passes to the set forwards away on goal. He plays delicate through balls between defenders and an effective chip over the defence into the path of the onrushing Keane, Defoe and Kanoute. The passes may be a little under or over hit at times, but the idea was there which is the main thing.
The range of passing that Michael Carrick possesses, must be in the same bracket as Frank Lampard but not quite up there with Steven Gerrard and Paul Scholes. He fires balls to all parts of the pitch, finding his team-mates with great accuracy. His short game is very good as well, his footwork helps him to give and go, perhaps receiving the ball back again. The weight that Carrick puts on his passes is the only thing that lets him down sometimes, they may just be a little too well hit and run out of play. In general, he is a very good passer of the football.
*On the Ball*
The sight of Michael Carrick on the ball is wonderful for somebody who appreciates good football. He has incredibly good feet, giving him an advantage in those 50/50 situations and enabling to take the ball away from the opposition. His ability to hold the ball up is also something that is becoming apparent as his confidence continues to build. He does comfortable in possession, happy to hold the ball until he is presented with a passing option.
Carrick does sit in the centre of Tottenham's midfield and therefore has to do his fair share of tackling. He does put his foot in and try to win the ball back, but sometimes he is a little tentative about really going for a tackle. However, in recent games there has been a more positive approach to his intercepting of the ball. Michael and Ledley King tend to be the two players that win the ball back most frequently and Nourredine Naybet makes a number of vital blocks and clearances. I do think that tackling will improve with his confidence and he will become more assured in time.
If Michael continues to step up the standard of his performances and can do it week and week out in the Premiership, he is going to become a top player. He should also become an essential component in Tottenham's midfield four, for many years to come. I am not going to say that he has a future in the England side just yet, because there are two or three who are well ahead of him. Carrick just needs to keep his down and continue to work hard and his reward will come if he deserves it.
With a name as familiar as Michael Carrick's, it still surprises me that he's only just celebrated his 20th birthday. His presence on the pitch, his composure, his timing, his attitude, should, by right, belong to older players. A tall, very pleasant and well mannered young man, he fits right in with Joe Cole's image of the bright future of West Ham and England. With both fulfilling midfield roles, although with distinctly different talents, Carrick is to strength what Cole is to style. Nicknamed 'Slider', (his long legs being the reason for the slightly obvious moniker) Michael is growing in confidence with his ability to use this talent to our best advantage. Well timed challenges, whilst not as crunchingly effective as your Vieras or your Keanes, is becoming a regular hallmark in his play. In fact, in our recent 5-0 drubbing away to the Toffees, Carrick was one of the few players who never stopped running, tracking back, tackling and generally committing himself to every inch of the pitch. Not that the result reflected that mind, but then he is only one bloke in a TEAM of 11 (sorry, I'm starting to rant here. The wound is still raw..<deep breath and exhales slowly>) and couldn't contain the Everton squad on his own. If Slider is going to have a pop at goal, then it'll be from long range. Alongside Frank Lumpard (sorry, old gripes are still surfacing)..Lampard.. Michael was the most effective at getting these shots on target. Considering that he only broke into the West Ham side just over 12 months ago, and has since earned a stable place in the U21 squad, this is an impressive rise to prominence. Harry Redknapp was impressed by his eye-catching loan spell at Swindon Town, and towards the end of that season he was promoted to the full squad for a smattering of games. He's not looked over his Geordie shoulder since. His biggest assests are his ability to b
e unselfish when performing a holding midfield role and his excellent vision with his range of passes. Obviously there aren't always perfect games, but at a very young 20, he has time on his side to learn from the experience of playing premiership quality players on a regular basis. Sven-Goran's evident liking for the unassuming lad can't do his confidence any harm either. And once again he showed his maturity by accepting the move back down to the U21's from the full squad, with good grace and understanding. A manager's dream. There's starting to be a family feel to his time at the club, as West Ham have also taken on his 15 year old brother, Graham. They look similar enough to be twins, and we're waiting with baited breath to see whether he's as talented as his older sibling. (I've stood near him at matches, and the blokes like a giraffe as well <rubs hands with barely supressed glee>). Despite whatever rumours there are ciruclating about his future at the club, he showed his allegiance by signing an extended contract with West Ham. Claiming that his life is dahn sarf as opposed to ooop nawth, he shows no interest in playing for teams in the North East, nor any other compass point come to that. The Boleyn Ground might not be in one of the most visually pleasant parts of East London, but he's obviously very happy with it. And long may you feel that way, Slider.
Midfielder, 6'0'', born 28th July 1981 in Wallsend. Was persuaded to join West Ham as a youth player after earlier connections with Newcastle United. A member of the all-conquering youth teams of the 98/99 season. Started out as a striker, then an attacking midfielder, but seems to have found his best position as a sitting midfielder played in front of the defence. His key attributes are breaking up opposition attacks with his mobility and long legs, vision and passing, and a very promising long shot.