This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
As quoted by The Evening Standard, former Manchester United star Michael Carrick has suggested the club’s promising youngsters should learn from the side’s history.
After revealing at the end of the previous campaign that he could envisage some of the side’s talented academy prospects get their “chances next year“, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has handed the likes of Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams some opportunities this season.
The duo have been arguably the highlights of those who have made the step-up from academy level, playing 13 and seven games respectively for the senior side. And now, Carrick has given his advice to those players looking to make a significant break-through into the first-team.
He said: “It’s part of the history and traditions of this club. It lives on. It’s kind of the perfect position at the moment for the group that we’ve got. It’s to understand what it takes, the ups and downs that life, not just football, can bring that you’ve got to overcome. To be able to get to the top and stay at the top are different things. The sacrifices you’ve got to make.
“There is a responsibility that comes with playing for this club that probably doesn’t come with other clubs. It’s got that special nature about it. I was fully aware of it and I’m sure the boys now are. Keep playing like that with a smile on your faces and that represents the club the best way you can.”
When Carrick gives you a piece of advice, you’d do well to sit up and take notice. Whilst the likes of Greenwood and Williams must be on cloud nine after forcing their way into the first-team set-up, they have by no means made it.
Footballing history is littered with extremely talented young players who have simply fallen by the wayside because of numerous reasons that may not even necessarily be to do with what they do on the pitch. Think Ravel Morrison for example – a man who Rio Ferdinand revealed Sir Alex Ferguson had described as the “best kid you’ll ever see“, but has now turned into a bit of a journeyman, playing for nine different senior sides.
If United’s prospects can simply knuckle down and try to make the most of the opportunities they are given by Solskjaer over the coming weeks and months, then they stand a much better chance of consolidating their long-term futures at Old Trafford.