All of them were dwarfed, however, by the contribution of Carrick.
He was a constant source of creativity in a team performance that was contained only by the famously dogged instincts of David Moyes' tireless Everton. But then he also fulfiled the pivotal necessity to do a bit of scrambling.
Whenever he did, which was frequently, Everton hurt. Occasionally the prize goes to a middle linebacker for his visionary defence. Mark down, then, another plus for Carrick, who was invariably around at the heart of danger to make a tackle or a block.
Let's be honest. Eighteen million pounds seemed somewhat on the high side for the gifted but perhaps a little too diffident midfield operator.
Unusually tall for a natural dynamo, Carrick at one point might have been shaping up as a Ferguson folly. Now he is being increasingly acknowledged as a master-stroke.
As Giggs and Paul Scholes fight the years, Carrick's only adversary is the fact that he is coming to his prime, and a superb cutting edge, at a relatively late age — at 27. Still, there is time enough to enter the roomy pantheon of great United — and English — midfielders.
Moyes was certainly in no doubt, saying, "Carrick was immense. He's a really good player, he's an excellent passer and he made a lot of good runs tonight. He got in the box and the penalty came from one of those runs and he made one or two prior to that. He's a good all-round player, and frankly all the United players are capable of doing so much. The way they have got it, there is so much strength in depth. If you come here as a player and sign for United you are going to find yourself out of the team for periods. Because you've got so many games, you have always to be at your best when you play for them. You think of those players, Evra, Rooney, Hargreaves, Scholes, Rafael etc, out for long periods. You might miss them, but they're not out for ever and in the meantime you see what depth United have." Taken From The Independant
Carrick was man of the match by a country mile yesterday and long may it continue. I have always been a big fan of his and would get annoyed when people bad mouth Carrick. He has a great work rate and he spreads passes all around the pitch. He has probably the best vision of the game of any United player right now.....Back To Home Page...