Paul Robinson says that Carrick’s sale to Manchester United was a ‘step back’ for Tottenham – and it’s a position that has its merits (and certainly when Carrick says that he’s moved to a ‘massive’ club that just adds to the fun).
I think we football fans get too close to the day-to-day action and sometimes forget to see the bigger picture. As a business decision, Carrick’s sale was excellent – more than 14 mil, which left enough to help them buy a left-winger whose addition would greatly help Tottenham’s cause for being a regular top-6 club. Tottenham fans will also say that Carrick was not as critical to Tottenham’s success as he is sometimes made to be – possibly, but with players like Carrick you only miss them when they are gone.
Zokora is a good buy and hopefully he’ll do well in the Premiership but you only have to look at Tottenham’s first three performances to see what they are missing. Robbie Keane’s virtuoso performance on Wednesday aside, Tottenham lack creativity. Carrick gave them that edge with his passing, and they seem to lack that now.
Tottenham are still a good attacking side, but will they be able to control games for long periods of time? Carrick and Zokora playing together could have helped them do that (throw Jenas in the mix and you would have thought that Tottenham were good for a top 6 finish), but will that work now?
Manchester United fans for the most part are still reserving judgement. Signing a creative midfielder when we needed a direct replacement for Keano (and spending 14 mil in the process) is not a decision easily accepted, even if Carrick’s appearances in the last two matches have been encouraging.
The bottom line for me is – will Carrick’s purchase help Manchester United win the Premiership?
At the very least, it brings us closer to it (and gives us another option apart from Fletcher). And to be realistic, his passing game fits in perfectly with the style of play of our front four (Saha, Rooney, Giggs, Ronaldo).
The acid test for Carrick (assuming that he comes back unharmed from the Euro 2008 qualifiers) will be the three Manchester United games between the 9th and the 16th – two home games against Tottenham and Arsenal sandwiching a Champions League group game. If he excels, as he is expected to, then his transfer fee will be readily accepted.