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Champions League Quarter Final

Carrick hits back at snipers

Michael Carrick claims the reaction that followed what he thought was the winner on Sunday proves Man United's players care about their plight.

Last Updated: 11/02/14 at 07:03 Post Comment   

Michael Carrick: Saw delight turn to despair

Michael Carrick: Saw delight turn to despair

Instead of three precious points and a platform from which to mount a concerted charge towards a top four place, Carrick's goal merely ended up being the prelude to more misery as Darren Bent's injury-time leveller sent the hosts spinning to what even David Moyes admitted was their lowest point yet.

After all that has gone before, dropping two points at home to a team adrift at the bottom of the table, coached by the man who was part of Sir Alex Ferguson's backroom team for six years, looks set to cause more worry for United fans.

At the very least, the £20million they would expect to pocket from the Champions League looks like being lost, given United are now nine points behind fourth-placed Liverpool.

Players' future - that go far beyond skipper Nemanja Vidic, who has already announced his intention to quit in the summer - are on the line, whilst Moyes himself is suddenly under extreme scrutiny as the chronic form continues.

The sight of Carrick being swamped by ecstatic team-mates following his 80th-minute goal, and Wayne Rooney on his knees in triumph emphasised the depth of feeling amongst the United squad though.

"Of course the players care," said Carrick.

"It is the pride we have in ourselves and each other.

"No-one wants to go through a spell when people are questioning you and things are going wrong.

"We have had enough success over the years that we retain a belief in ourselves even when things are not going so well.

"We keep trying to do the right things, and in the end, you think it will pay off for you.

"We thought it had but it wasn't to be.

"It isn't for the want of trying. It is not a case of not caring. We care just as much, if not more, than anybody else."

The fear for Moyes must be that frustration will eventually boil over.

Javier Hernandez's cryptic Instagram posting: "The time to speak about so many things will come..." does not hint at a positive development given the Mexican has been relegated to the fringes this season.

Rio Ferdinand, meanwhile, has started just one game in two months, and stated recently he was fully fit, so his private thoughts would be interesting.

Even the good bits are causing problems.

The club record £37.1million arrival of Juan Mata from Chelsea was hailed as a master-stroke.

Yet fitting Mata into a team shape that also includes Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie seems to have stifled all three men to some extent.

Adnan Januzaj - United's player of the season - has been sparingly used of late and all those crosses, an incredible 81 against Fulham, rather than an indication of a team's strength, actually shows up a chronic weakness given a club of that standing should be capable of playing through even the most congested of defences, to create an element of confusion at the very least.

The muddled approach highlights the obvious flaws.

United's defence, so often the cornerstone of success, is now creaking badly, their midfield lacks bite no matter who is deployed there.

Seeing currently injured Marouane Fellaini being escorted through Old Trafford to carry out a corporate demand indicates Moyes' approach to the transfer market has not worked either.

The result just heaps even more pressure on Moyes, who has been consistently backed by the United hierarchy.

"We thought it was going to turn," said Carrick.

"We have thought that all season. We still believe it will but it seems like setback after setback at the moment.

"We have had success over the years. You have to deal with the down times as well.

"It has been a tough season and we are not in a very good position in the league.

"We will pick ourselves up. That is what we do. That is the business we are in."

A Robson or Keane are once in a generation, finding players like that is no easy task. I contest that Carrick can't tackle, in 2010/11 and 2012/13 he played some complete football, tackling, tracking back and being positive and creative in his passing, I've always thought Carrick was being compared unfairly with the greats that preceded his time at United. This season however, along with most of the team, carrick has been phoning in performances and not just trying enough to get praise for his efforts. Rooney and Van Persie carry the current team, Mata in the last few games has played his part but others have let the team down.
- shea666

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

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ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

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s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

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