There is no doubt that Manchester United has missed Michael Carrick over the last two weeks. Two successive draws to Cardiff City and Tottenham have again put a once surging United team nine points behind League leaders Arsenal.
Over the last couple of seasons, United fans have clamored for someone to work beside Carrick and help take control of a midfield that needs a strong presents. Someone like a Frank Lampard or a Steven Gerrard who could dominated matches by their sheer will. Granted that both Lampard and Gerrard find themselves in more of a holding role these days, they still are the ruler that attacking midfielders will be measured by these days.
The names of Wesley Sneijder and Cesc Fabregas were once rumored to be the men that could fill that role but nothing ever came from it and United still have the same issue and the same hole that Paul Scholes left vacant twice.
United did very little in the Summer transfer market except to bring in Marouane Fellaini as a last ditch effort to appease the fans before the market closed. Fellaini was touted as the one who could fill the shoes of the retired Scholes but so far he has spent more time on the bench then on the pitch.
The last two weeks have showed how vulnerable United’s middle is without Carrick. Fellaini and Tom Cleverly don’t seem to be the answer and Shinji Kagawa is designed more to play in behind Robin Van Persie or Wayne Rooney. United will have to address this issue sooner than later or they run the risk of being nothing more than a fading glimpse in the Arsenal rear view mirror.