Date: 30th September 2009 at 11:00pm
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Michael Carrick has been bloody awful so far this season. No reason to deny it: he was shocking at Burnley, he disappeared against Arsenal, he could not find his teammates at Besiktas… even against Wolves he could not exert his authority on the game.

He’s been given another chance, against German champions Wolfsburg, for an important Champions League game. And this time I feel he grasped it: he was energetic, his passing was good and precise, he created chances for his teammates and got into good positions in front of goal himself.

He missed a sitter, at which point I was extremely worried whether this might put another downer on his season but his majestic goal must have been a real confidence boost, crowning a good night’s work. Does this mean we’ve got our Carrick back? We’ll see but it’s clear that Fergie wants to give him every chance to prove himself again and it’s also obvious that he desperately wants to do well, to get back into the team.

After all, he’s been a fixture in central midfield for the best part of the last three seasons – but this struggle for his place might do him the world of good in the end. Rumours started circulating that Carrick might be back at Spurs sooner rather than later – tonight he showed glimpses of why that move would be a big mistake for the player and for United. Let’s hope it wasn’t just a fleeting moment, that he’ll keep it up now.