Date: 21st January 2012 at 11:29am
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Michael Carrick’s importance to the team has been highlighted in recent months with his solid displays in the middle of the pitch.

Much maligned, Carrick’s performances have improved to the extent that those who previously cursed his place in team now laud his selection.

Carrick has benefitted from having the energetic Phil Jones beside him, the younger Jones has allowed for him to really pull the strings for United and he has even managed to get two goals this season!

Carrick will always be compared to the United greats that preceded him and sadly that is one of the things that has been held against him, for some he simply will never match up. But what better endorsement is there than one of these players coming out and fighting your corner?

Paul Scholes is a lasting reminder of United’s strength in midfield and even at 37 he ranks amongst the better midfielders in the league so his words of praise and encouragement for Carrick should be an eye opener for those that are yet to recognise the improvement he has made this term as well as his general ability.

Speaking in United Review, the club’s official matchday programme, Scholes enthused:

“From playing with him, from Ryan Giggs playing with him, from Wayne Rooney playing with him, we all recognise how important he is to the team and at the end of the day that’s the important thing: that your team-mates know what you’re doing in the team. As long as they and the manager are happy, that’s all that matters.”

“Michael is a different breed to the likes of Nicky (Butt) and Roy (Keane),” he admits. “They were brilliant and so is Michael, in a different way. He brings a calmness to the game and he parades around the pitch like a Rolls Royce. He’s a great athlete and he has quality too, which helps.”