United’s very own ‘international man of mystery’

Football FanCast guest columnist George Simpson cannot understand why Michael Carrick has been continually overlooked for England.

Anyone who followed the golden era at West Ham, when the quality youngsters were being churned out in the mid to late 90s will know that Michael Carrick and Rio Ferdinand were simply the class acts of that team. Forget the likes of Joe Cole, Frank Lampard, Carrick was the real deal in that midfield, yet I still find it hard to fathom as to why he doesn't get the recognition internationally.

I read a statistic the other day that Carrick has won more medals than Gerrard, Lampard and Barry all together, yet the aforementioned all seem to get the nod ahead in Capello's team. It defies belief, especially when is he a far better passer of a football than both Lampard and Barry. There is nobody more suited to playing that holding role within the squad, yet amazingly he is overlooked.

I don't know what Capello's take is on him and perhaps it is Carrick's lack of goals that sees him overlooked. Anyone who has watched him over the years will know that has been a real source of frustration that a player who has a great strike of a football doesn't pull the trigger more often, but like United, surely there is enough goals in the rest of the team to compensate for this shortfall in his game. Isn't his eclectic range of passing and his ability to dictate a game of football slightly more important?

Carrick is set to get a rare outing and start today and my only hope is that he seizes the opportunity to show Capello that he may have been wrong to overlook his abilities during his time in the job. For me he is a talent that has been wasted by England for far too long and someone whose abilities deserve greater recognition.

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