Why Michael Carrick should start at the base of England’s midfield now and at Euro 2016

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Michael Carrick has returned to the England squad for the matches with Lithuania and Italy.

Michael Carrick’s omission from England’s World Cup squad last year raised a few eyebrows but it was a culmination of years of under-appreciation of the Manchester United midfielder.

The 33-year-old has been a cornerstone of United’s success since his arrival in the summer of 2006, winning five Premier League titles, two League Cups and a Champions League title.

However, despite his successful club career, Carrick has just 31 England caps to look back on. It is a complete and utter travesty how few international appearances he has to his name.

Carrick has been overlooked at national level for his whole career but now is his time to shine. With England stalwarts Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard now retired, it is time for the United midfielder to become the senior midfielder on the international stage.

He is the most experienced midfielder that England have, having played at the top level on a regular basis for over a decade and is the only natural holding midfielder that Roy Hodgson has at his disposal.

He has persevered with the currently injured Jack Wilshere in the holding midfield role and there have been calls for a recall for Gareth Barry but neither are on Carrick’s level.

The former Tottenham midfielder is in superb form. As proven in United’s win over Liverpool last week, Carrick is an extremely intelligent footballer who can read the game expertly and has a tremendous range of passing.

He is a prolific interceptor of the ball and has the ability to control the pace of a game but at the same time, he is always looking to play a forward pass. In his earlier career, he was a much safer passer of the ball but in the last few years he has become a much more positive distributor.

England need an experienced conductor in their midfield to compliment the youthful energy the likes of Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph and Wilshere possess.

Carrick is that man and should become the regular holding midfielder now and stay in the team until next years’ European Championship.

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