During a 12-year career with Manchester United, Michael Carrick achieved almost everything there is to achieve in football.
He won both the Champions League and Europa League, as well as four Premier League titles. He also won the FA Cup on one occasion, and the Club World Cup.
Carrick made over 300 appearances in a United shirt, playing the vast majority of those games in a holding midfield role.
He was never particularly blessed with pace or an inherent goalscoring ability, with Carrick instead renowned for his vision, reading of the game and overall passing ability.
The former Spurs man never quite established himself as an England regular – although many argued his case throughout his career – in a time where more all-round midfielders such as Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard were generally preferred.
Regardless, Carrick is fondly remembered within the football world for his achievements at club level.
And in an interview with the Boot Room, Carrick has explained the art of being a central midfielder. It is a fascinating watch.
Carrick discusses the technique of a central midfielder
March 29, 2021
March 29, 2021
In the clips, Carrick explains how his first priority as a midfielder was to figure out where he wanted his pass to go, which would then shape what position he put his body into.
He said that preparing his body position or angle would give him the best chance.
Carrick also discussed the differences between being marked by an opponent and having more space to play with.
He said: “Sometimes you use your actual marker as a guide, as a reference point.
“Sometimes if you’re marked, in some ways I found it better because it would force you into getting into a good position to play the next pass.
“Sometimes you can get lazy if you’re not marked.
“All of a sudden, you sometimes do something a little bit slower, a little bit sloppy with it, because you think ‘I’ve got loads of time.'”
Later in the footage, he explained the impact that dropping into the backline can have.
“It just calms everything down if you can drop into the middle,” he said.
“If it’s two v two and the centre-halves are having a hard time because they can’t pass it between them, because there’s pressure… and you drop in and all of sudden, you take that touch and it’s almost, take a deep breath.
“And everyone in the game kind of takes that deep breath.”
Fans were certainly impressed with Carrick’s analysis.
Carrick is now a first-team coach at United, a role he took upon retiring from professional football in 2018.
He has worked under both Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford.
Featured Image Credit: Getty