Time has finally come for Man United star to seize the moment

Football FanCast columnist Rob Facey looks ahead to England's friendly with Germany
and wonders whether Michael Carrick will ever be considered first choice with
the likes of Gerrard and Lampard around. Can the United star take advantage of
their absence tonight?

Michael Carrick
will be expected to start tonight as Fabio Capello's depleted England squad
face Germany in Berlin.

For Carrick, it
will be just his 15th cap since his international debut three years
ago.

For a player of
such quality he will be disappointed with this stat, but the bigger issue at
hand is whether or not an assured performance could ever dislodge the Gerrard/ Lampard
partnership that Capello perseveres, with despite criticism from all sectors.

"I'm desperate to play," said Carrick, as reported in The Daily Telegraph.

"To play for your country is a massive honour.
It's not a meaningless friendly. Germany versus England at any level is a huge
game. We're taking an awful lot of fans across there and we're not taking it
lightly."

Since Carrick
moved to Old Trafford from Spurs he has failed to establish himself as a first
choice regular in the England set up, despite increasingly influential games
for United.

"We've got some world-class players in midfield
but it's a great challenge,"
he continued.

"Hopefully the competition for places will bring
everybody's game on. Everyone is playing well in the domestic league. It's a
nice problem for the manager to have."

He was won two
Premier League medals at United, the same as Lampard at Chelsea, and has won
one European Cup, the same as Gerrard at Liverpool, so what must he do to
convince Don Fabio he is a worthy contender for a place in the starting line
up?

Gareth Barry and Owen Hargreaves are arguably ahead of him
in the pecking order as things stand but tonight's friendly in Berlin be the
perfect opportunity for Capello to try something new.

With injuries ruling out Gerrard and Lampard, rightly or
wrongly the first choice pairing for the last three England managers; will
Michael Carrick seize this opportunity to show Fabio Capello that he is the
right man for the job?