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World Cup could be United tonic for Carrick
Published : 28 May 2010 09:25:42
Michael Carrick is hoping to use the World Cup to rescue his United career. The England midfielder's Old Trafford future is under serious threat as Sir Alex Ferguson looks to return United to Premier League supremacy. Carrick found himself on the fringes as Fergie tried to hold off Chelsea in the race for the title and could find himself on the way out as the United boss firms up his plans for next season. With Rafael van der Vaart, Luka Modric, James Milner and Joe Cole all on Ferguson's radar, it is becoming increasingly likely that Carrick who won three successive titles in his first three years at the club could be the one to make way. The 28-year-old former West Ham and Tottenham star still isn't guaranteed a place in Fabio Capello's World Cup squad. With Gareth Barry facing a race to be fit for the tournament, it could present Carrick with the chance to put some gloss on a season that petered out disappointingly at club level. He will be well aware that Nicky Butt's impressive form in the 2002 World Cup saw him earn a starting berth at United the following season. Carrick will have to hope he can do the same or at the very least put himself in the shop window for potential suitors. It has already been mooted that he could be used as a makeweight in any deal to bring Modric to Old Trafford, even if Harry Redknapp insists the Tottenham playmaker is not for sale. Carrick came under criticism for the size of his fee following his £18.6m transfer from Spurs in 2006 but silenced doubters by immediately helping United to their first title in four years. A year later he was a pivotal part in their Premier League and Champions League double and again in their third successive title in 2009. But he struggled to find consistency last season, with Ferguson saying he was a notoriously slow starter as he toiled in the opening weeks of the campaign. By the end of the season he found himself left out of the side for Scholes and Darron Gibson as Ferguson finally appeared to lose faith in him. Do you think Carrick can re-establish himself in the United midfield next season? Have your say.