Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Appointment of Carrick as United captain highlights lack of leaders at the club...

Social media is awash with fans wishing Michael Carrick well after being appointed as United's new captain, it's all very nice and he's well liked by many Manchester United fans. However, like his predecessor Wayne Rooney, Carrick will more than likely find himself sat on the bench next season, and therefore of no value in the red hot heat of battle. It doesn't seem that long ago that Roy Keane was chivvying his team-mates along and snarling at opponents in the tunnel before a ball was kicked, as well as inspiring the team to epic comebacks like he did with that towering header in the Champions League semi-final against Juventus in 1999.

Roy Keane was a player who led by example, like Bryan Robson another great United captain, his finest 90 minutes came against Barcelona in 1984 the second leg of Cup Winners Cup. United were two-nil down from the first leg, the return leg at Old Trafford will never be forgotten for those like myself who were lucky enough to be there.
Leading by example is what the great captains do. Sadly, but truthfully, the role of United captain (like at many clubs) has been reduced to a largely ceremonial role. The fact that it has come to this isn't by choice of course, it is because true leaders of the desired quality are in very short supply. There is another theory that clubs on the continent view the role of club captain as a ceremonial role and a none playing captain is deemed acceptable.

Once your team crosses the touchline the manager is helpless to affect events directly on the pitch where leadership is concerned. Jose Mourinho needs to find a player who is a leader in the best traditions of former great Manchester United club captains. Easier said that done of course...but one hopes it's on Jose's to do list.

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