Michael Carrick key to Manchester United's style

Stats show the 33-year-old midfielder is a vital part of Louis Van Gaal's side.

If there’s one thing Manchester United need to do, it’s protect Michael Carrick at all costs.

The 33-year-old returned from injury on Sunday and played a starring role in his teams 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur, the club former manager Sir Alex Ferguson signed him from.

Carrick managed to set up Marouane Fellaini for United’s first with a simple slide rule pass, while he also got on the score sheet himself with a pinpoint header for the second of the day.

Now statistics show just how important he is to his team at present, and how important he will be to manager Louis Van Gaal in the future.

In the games Manchester United have played with Carrick in the side this season, 15 in total, Van Gaal’s side have picked up 10 victories, drawing three and losing just two. In those games they have conceded just eight, and scored 24.

On the other hand, in the 14 games they’ve played without him in the side, they’ve managed to win just six games, drawing five and losing three.

In those games they’ve managed to score two more goals than with him, 26, but conceded a huge 10 more in the process, 28.

In terms of points, the statistics are startling. On those figures, it means United have taken 30 points from the 13 games in which Carrick has started this season, an average of 2.3 per game, while they have taken 26 from 16 in the ones he hasn’t, an average of 1.62 per game.

On that evidence alone then, it is clear that Crrick is hugely important to United in the long run. In the goals conceded column alone, and from the display against Spurs, it shows the midfielder provides the perfect counterbalance to United’s more attacking threats, and remains a key player whether he gets the plaudits or not

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