Sunday, August 20, 2017

Carrick backs Pogba for United captaincy

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 20 Jul 2017

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Paul Pogba has the presence and character to be the next captain of Manchester United, according to current skipper Michael Carrick.

Former England international Carrick took over the role from Wayne Rooney earlier this month after the striker’s return to Everton.

But with Carrick nearing the end of his career – the midfielder will celebrate his 36th birthday on July 28 and only started 18 Premier League games last season – United manager Jose Mourinho will soon be looking for another player to wear the armband.

Pogba earned mixed reviews in his first season at Old Trafford, although he opened the scoring in the Europa League final, and Carrick believes the world’s most expensive player can be United’s next skipper.

“He’s certainly got the presence, character and belief to pull it off,” Carrick said. “All the time I’m sure the manager is planning a long way behind me, for someone to take on that mantle and he’s probably in that bracket where you’d say – ‘yeah, he can be a future captain’.

“You need that inner confidence and inner belief. You’re going to take some knocks, suffer some bumps and bruises along the way and take a lot of criticism. But you have to fight that off and be strong enough to get on with the job and believe in yourself.”

Pogba scored five Premier League goals after returning to Old Trafford from Juventus and Carrick called for patience with the 24-year-old France international.

“He’s had a year to adjust. I know he was here as a kid, but a lot has gone on since then and he’s played a lot of different football since then,” Carrick added.

“So to come back with all the scrutiny he had last year and everything surrounding it, it was probably always going to be one of those years where you take time to settle in and improve. I think we’ve seen the improvement and we’ll see it again next season.”

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