The news of Michael Carrick won’t be playing again this season would have sent shock waves across Manchester. With three games still to play in the league and the top four is far from secured, this latest news might leave many United fans nervous.
Carrick has been regularly injured this season, but when not injured, Carrick has been the clubs backbone. In both the fantastic winning run during October-November and February-April, Carrick has been the clubs unsung hero.
He has provided something which other United midfield players have struggled to match. Now though with the midfielder out for the season, let us see which midfield pairing should Van Gaal adopt in the remaining three games:
With Luke Shaw back fit, Van Gaal can perhaps move Blind from the left-back role to the holding midfield position. Thereby, both Herrera and Fellaini can playing either side of him in a three man midfield in Van Gaal’s favourite 4-3-3 system. This system has helped United produce good results. So instead of changing the system due to Carrick’s injury, Van Gaal can just change the personnel and put Blind in place of Carrick.
United can follow the same recipe they used in the last game against West Bromwich Albion by deploying Herrera has the holding midfielder and push Rooney further back to partner him on the right side, while Fellaini can play in the left side. As seen against West Brom, this system helps in creating a lot of chances, but United are weak while defending. Herrera is not effective in that deeper role as Carrick or Blind does.
United have actually never played with this system before. But, what this can offer is stability in both defence and attack. With Blind, the Reds have a holding midfielder and with Herrera and Rooney they have players who can support the Dutchman in defence and be even more lethal in attack. However, the one minus with this system would be to drop the impressive big Belgian to the bench.
Image Courtesy: Manchester Evening News, Dailystar, Express and The Guardian