Michael Carrick and a fan | Catherine Ivill/Getty Images
Bruno Fernandes arrived at Manchester United 18 months too late to play with Michael Carrick, but the coach’s performances in training have left him wishing he would lace up his boots again…and replace Fred on the team sheet.
Carrick set the standards on the training pitch during his 12 years with the club as a player, helping United to five Premier League titles before he decided to hang up his boots in 2018. Even now, however, the 39-year-old keeps the bar high for the squad – his passing range, at least, doesn’t seem to have wavered.
“I watched Carrick playing in training and he didn’t miss a pass,” said Fernandes, as quoted by The Mail. “It’s unbelievable how fresh and sharp he is doing the exercises with us.
✈️?? @ChampionsLeague @vlindelof @Fred08oficial pic.twitter.com/SqCttbibBH
— Bruno Fernandes (@B_Fernandes8) November 3, 2020
“I was talking with Fred and I was going to say to him, ‘Hey, watch him playing and do the same!’ but I thought it was unfair and so I didn’t say it! But it was amazing – if someone from outside came to watch training, nobody would say this guy isn’t playing in the team.
“He’s a player who has that quality of passes and also when we need to do some finishing or passing exercises, he’s always there helping us with the balls.”
Fernandes went on to compare Carrick to his Portugal teammate Joao Moutinho, who inspired much of the creative ability that has earned him 18 goals and 13 assists in just 33 games for United.
“Bruno Fernandes only takes penalties” pic.twitter.com/v4YRPsVCwQ
— Amazon Prime Video Sport (@primevideosport) November 7, 2020
“I’m learning a lot from him and he’s one of the people I like to listen to, because he was a big player, he won a lot of trophies for the club and for me you have to learn from these players.
“Joao Moutinho and Carrick, they are the sort of players from whom you can learn how to be smart in the game, how to be clever.
“Maybe they’re not the sort of players that kids will watch and say, I want to be like Michael Carrick, but when you have one in the team, you know that guy will never miss a pass, you know he will do the smart pass, most of the times will make the right decision, and you need these kinds of players.”