Michael Carrick on the brink of managerial success with Middlesbrough, unlike old England teammates
Michael Carrick recently received the ultimate endorsement for his managerial abilities, with his Middlesbrough side just two games away from the Premier League.
Earlier this month, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insisted the former midfielder will take charge of Manchester United in future.
Carrick has been in charge of Middlesbrough since October, and has led the club up the table and into a coveted play off spot, with just two matches standing in their way of reaching the Premier League.
The first play-off leg was a goalless draw between Coventry and Middlesbrough, but at the Riverside, the side will be hoping to secure a place in the play-off final against Luton.
Should he lead Middlesbrough back into the Premier League for the first time since the 2016-17 season, it will not be his first time in a Premier League dugout.
The former Manchester United midfielder has taken charge previously at Old Trafford, albeit briefly, when he succeeded Solskjaer on a temporary basis, for just three matches.
He oversaw victories over Arsenal and Villarreal before stepping down following the appointment of Ralf Rangnick in December 2021.
Solskjaer had heaped high praise on Carrick, noting his calm demeanour, reflective nature and meticulous over details as crucial for his successes as manager and believe he will take the reigns at Old Trafford one day, if the 41 year old desires.
Carrick took charge of Middlesbrough in October 2022 and has guided the club to fourth place in the Championship and into the play-offs, arguably exceeding similar exploits of those he once called England teammates in Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.
His exploits with the Championship club have largely gone under the radar, for someone who spent 12 years at Manchester United and made 34 England appearances.
Chris Wilder was unceremoniously sacked on 3 October after the club suffered five defeats in the first 11 games of the Championship campaign, with the prospects of promotion far from anyone’s hopes.
Few then could have predicted Middlesbrough’s almost meteoric rise up the table, from just one point above the relegation zone to within touching distance of the riches of the Premier League.
It was Carrick’s first permanent managerial position, but he had learned his trade as part of Jose Mourinho and Solskjaer’s coaching staff and has impressed in the north east.
His time on the Tees saw Boro secure 15 wins from his first 20 matches, but they have trailed off slightly recently, with just two wins from their last seven games, ahead of a second leg play-off semi final against Coventry, who had spent just 17 days in the promotion places this campaign.
Should Carrick lead Boro into the Premier League he will have exceeded all expectations when he took over the role.
While Carrick never received the same focus as the Liverpool and Chelsea midfielders as a player, he has also gone under the radar when it comes to management, while Lampard and Gerrard’s managerial campaigns have received significantly more media attention.
Gerrard had some success at Rangers, and led the club to their first top-flight title in over 10 years, before leaving in November 2021 to take charge of Aston Villa, where he lasted less than a year. Since his sacking and the appointment of Unai Emery, Villa are now on the cusp of Europe.
Lampard is currently employed on his second spell at Chelsea following a disastrous time at Everton and before that, Chelsea. He took charge of his former club from July 2019 to January 2021 but was sacked, and recently returned only in a temporary position to see the club through to the end of the campaign.
However, neither Gerrard, Lampard nor Carrick have yet managed successfully in the top flight, although the former United midfielder will be looking to change that, with the second leg of the play-off semi-final against Coventry on 17 May.