Manchester United man Michael Carrick key to England, says Redknapp

The former Liverpool midfielder believes that England manager Roy Hodgson should build his midfield around the 33-year-old.

England should build their midfield around Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick, according to Jamie Redknapp in the Daily Mail.

The 33-year-old played an important role in the 4-0 European qualifying win over Lithuania last Friday, before his introduction at half-time against Italy on Tuesday arguably helped England get back into the game.

His performances for Manchester United and England have come in for praise from all corners this season, sparking debate about why he has been left out of the national side in the past. As far as Redknapp is concerned, England need to build around him for the future, regardless of his age.

“Even though he’s [Carrick] 33 now, it’s still not too late to start building the midfield around him,” said Redknapp.

“I’ve said it before but Carrick has a nasty habit of passing to his own players. It might not look flash but he makes the game look easy. That’s why so many of his team-mates love playing alongside him.”

The former Liverpool midfielder also believes that Carrick could work in the same way that Italy use veteran midfielder Andrea Pirlo, stating that the best sides of recent years ‘have been passers, not pit bulls’.

It is that passing that England need to use to their advantage, with Redknapp saying that Carrick’s ability allows the more attacking players, such as Wayne Rooney, Raheem Sterling and Danny Welbeck, to get into dangerous positions where they can hurt opponents.

“The best deep-lying midfielders of recent years have been passers, not pit bulls,” added Redknapp.

“When he gets possession, Carrick quickly gets the ball out of his feet and tries to slide passes forward. He has fantastic vision, which means his teammates can get into dangerous positions. They know that if anyone can pick out a pass, it’s Carrick.”

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