Carrick: I don't understand teams who aim for top four, it's the title or nothing

Newly appointed Manchester United captain Michael Carrick says a top four finish is not acceptable and it is "winning the league or nothing."

Carrick: I don't understand teams who aim for top four, it's the title or nothing
Carrick in action in pre-season vs Man City | Photo: Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA via Getty Images

Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick believes United need to challenge for the title this season. “It’s all about winning things,” said Carrick after United’s 2-0 win over rivals Manchester City on their pre-season tour of the US. “In some ways, it’s winning the league or nothing. I can’t get my head around that, to say top four is acceptable."

"It's all or nothing," says Carrick

It’s safe to say Carrick has had his fair share of silverware during his spell at Old Trafford, winning every major trophy there is. He won the Premier League title three times in his first three years with the Red Devils, going on to win two more league titles before Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement back in 2013.

United’s new captain was also very successful on a European and global level under Ferguson. Carrick won both the Champions league and the FIFA Club World Cup. José Mourinho helped Carrick add to his collection of world trophies by guiding the side to the Europa League title back in May.

“I know we’ve had changes,” added Carrick. “Players have come in and out and you can’t expect to win the league every year, but you’ve got to set out to do that. I was obviously fortunate enough to win the league straight away and, having that run we did in my first three years, gives you a taste of ‘right, it’s all or nothing now’, so maybe I was spoiled in my early years.”

The pressure sometimes gets to players

Ferguson signed Carrick from Tottenham Hotspur back in 2006 for a fee of £18.6 million. After Wayne Rooney’s departure two weeks ago, the former England international is now the longest serving player at the club. He believes he has seen many talented players fail at Old Trafford that couldn’t handle the pressure.

“I think it has done over the years, we can all see that there are big players who come here, and for whatever reason, it hasn’t worked for them.

"They haven’t been able to deal with it,” United’s number 16 went on to say. "There is a standard level of expectation, standards and scrutiny you probably don’t get elsewhere.”


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