As a man who has three Premier League titles and a Champions League winners' medal, Michael Carrick admitted yesterday that he should have more than just 19 England caps to his name.
Carrick has won more Premier League and Champions League winners' medals than Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard combined but the 28-year-old finds himself a long way behind those two in the queue to play in England's midfield, eight months from a World Cup finals.
"You're probably right that 19 caps is not enough," Carrick said. "I should probably have more. I don't really scratch my head. Things happen for a reason. Things haven't worked out with England as I would have liked."
Sir Alex Ferguson's recent comment that Carrick only "got into his stride" in October – combined with the player himself coming in and out of the United side – has promoted some mutterings about his future at Old Trafford. Carrick said there were no problems in his relationship with Ferguson.
"It's fine, I've never, ever had a problem with him," he said. "I've never gone to him with a problem, he's never come to me with one. And the time I've had there has been successful. I've had a chat with the gaffer and he says that [October onwards] is when I'm at my best, that I need a month or a few games under my belt before I start to hit top form. That's how he sees it."
Carrick should get a chance to impress Fabio Capello in the remaining dead rubber World Cup qualifiers against Ukraine on Saturday and Belarus four days' later; the England manager is keen for him to start one game. So far Carrick has not played a single minute of England's successful World Cup qualifying campaign.
Carrick said: "I've not really sat down and thought about the squad. It's more a case of 'I'm in the squad and I've got to play well to stay there'."Reuse content