Carrick’s getting a kick out of Gareth
MICHAEL CARRICK is happy to see England players enjoying themselves under Gareth Southgate after experiencing his own international frustrations.
Carrick, 37, was part of the 2006 and 2010 World Cup squads but admits in his autobiography Between the Lines that his Three Lions experience was not what he hoped it would be.
The former midfielder last week revealed he suffered from depression at times on international duty so he was delighted to see excitement injected back into the team in their summer run to the World Cup semi-finals.
“It’s quite refreshing to see the enjoyment back – from the players, from the country in general,” said Carrick.
“That’s what you are craving at a World Cup. That’s what it should be like.
“Unfortunately, some of the experiences I’ve had it wasn’t like that.
“It kind of all blew up but this time it was a different feeling, there was a freshness and a freedom about it and an enjoyment.
“And credit to Gareth for that because he has kind of manipulated that and guided the lads and created this environment where they seem to have been able to shine and flourish.
“In some ways he has made a rod for his own back by getting to the semi-finals because now unless you’re absolutely flying then it’s never going to be good enough.
“But I am sure that as a manager he’ll be successful in the years to come.”
Manchester United’s captain-turned-coach Carrick grew up dreaming of running out for the Three Lions at Wembley after watching Italia 90.
But he was arguably undervalued by several managers and only won 34 caps with just seven of those appearances competitive starts.
“On one hand, I am really grateful and kind of proud of being able to play for England and in a World Cup, even if it was one game in Germany,” he said of the 1-0 win over Ecuador.
“The feeling it gave me as well as my family, seeing what it meant to them, was incredible.
“Of course, you get one, you want more but it’s not something I regret.
“I haven’t got any regrets over England. It is a tad frustrating maybe when I do look back.
“Managers have got to pick teams, haven’t they? Some players get left out.”
■MAKING A SPLASH: Jordan Henderson at St George’s Park last week ■ SORELY MISSED: Adam Lallana
PRAISE: Michael Carrick