It’s the news that every Manchester United fan was dreading. If the last three games proved anything beyond doubt, it was Michael Carrick’s importance to this side.
With him fit and firing they have defensive solidity and the perfect platform from which to attack. Without him, they have been all at sea. And the Manchester United manager confirmed on Friday:
“We tried everything but now we have to think about next season,” Van Gaal told MUTV. “He shall not play anymore this season, it’s better now to focus for him on next season and being fit to start.”
With three tricky looking games to come Manchester United will sorely miss the leadership qualities, composure and passing ability that the Englishman brings to the team. Daley Blind is the only other option in this area of the park and he simply doesn’t command the game in the same way.
Manchester United will surely invest in the summer but first they need two wins out of three to guarantee a top four finish and that task has been made immeasurably harder but the news that Carrick will miss all of them.
With Luke Shaw confirmed as fit again, Blind could form a midfield alliance with Wayne Rooney, which would allow RvP to play up top. But this could also force a change of formation from the 4-3-3 which Manchester United seemed to be settling well into before the recent slump.