Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes has revealed he’s tempted to ask midfield partner Fred to try and play like Michael Carrick whenever the 39-year-old coach takes part in training.
Carrick was a top player at United for 12 years, winning the Champions League in 2008, before becoming part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s backroom team at Old Trafford.
And according to Fernandes, he can still teach the younger generation things with his occasional performances on the Carrington practice pitches.
‘I watched Carrick playing in training and he didn’t miss a pass. It is unbelievable how fresh and sharp he is doing the exercises with us,’ said Fernandes.
‘I was talking with Fred and I was going to say to him, “Hey, watch him playing and do the same!” but I thought it was unfair and so I didn’t say it! But it was amazing – if someone from outside came to watch training, nobody would say this guy (Carrick) isn’t playing in the team.
‘He’s a player who has that quality of passes and also when we need to do some finishing or passing exercises, he’s always there helping us with the balls.
‘I’m learning a lot from him and he’s one of the people I like to listen to, because he was a big player, he won a lot of trophies for the club and for me you have to learn from these players.
‘Joao Moutinho and Carrick, they are the sort of players from whom you can learn how to be smart in the game, how to be clever. Maybe they’re not the sort of players that kids will watch and say, I want to be like Michael Carrick, but when you have one in the team, you know that guy will never miss a pass, you know he will do the smart pass, most of the times will make the right decision, and you need these kinds of players.’
Fernandes has been a revelation at United since arriving in January and scored twice in their win at Everton before the international break.
Solskjaer has called him a leader and the Portuguese playmaker told the official United podcast he is often too hyped after matches to sleep – so watch re-runs of the games so he can study how to improve.
‘Normally when I finish a game, I come home and it’s difficult to sleep because of all the energy and also all the caffeine you take before the game to give you energy, all the Red Bulls you drink,’ he explained.
‘It’s difficult to calm down, so I come back home and start watching the game. Looking at the points I did well, looking at the points I did bad or I need to improve. I like to see the analysis and then I’ll see how many passes I missed, how many balls I recovered, how many long passes I made and how many were good or wrong.
‘I like to watch all those kind of details because I think details can make all the difference in football.’