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Sir Alex Ferguson's blunt reply to Michael Carrick's "misjudged" Chelsea comment

Mirror logo Mirror 25/11/2021 Tom Blow

Manchester United caretaker manager Michael Carrick takes charge of his first Premier League fixture on Sunday, as his team travel to league leaders Chelsea.

Ironically, the ex-midfielder's Old Trafford career began with a reference to the current European champions - and legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson wasn't impressed.

Carrick, who came through the ranks at West Ham, joined the Red Devils from Tottenham in August 2006 for a reported £18million - a substantial amount 15 years ago.

Read more: Michael Carrick's Man Utd training ground spat with Paul Pogba sums up temporary boss

The England international was signed as Roy Keane's successor, with Ferguson handing him the Irishman's famous No16 shirt.

The move turned out to be a huge success, with Carrick making more than 460 appearances for the club over the next 12 seasons.

Have Your Say! Was Michael Carrick underrated as a Man Utd midfielder? Let us know in the comments

Sir Alex Ferguson showed Michael Carrick the Manchester United way © Matthew Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images Sir Alex Ferguson showed Michael Carrick the Manchester United way

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During that time, he lifted five Premier League titles, three League Cups, the Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup, Club World Cup and the Community Shield six times.

After retiring from playing in 2018, Carrick was appointed to the club's coaching staff and has since been promoted to his current role.

Despite achieving remarkable success at Old Trafford, his United career didn't get off to a perfect start - as he recalled during an interview with FourFourTwo in January 2019.

"I remember seeing Alex Ferguson in his office on my first day," said Carrick, "and him telling me how there was a relentless desire to win at the club.

"I don’t know why, but I said, 'Similar to Chelsea?' And he shot me down. I was like, 'What on Earth did I say that for? What is he going to think of me now?'"

Thankfully for Carrick, his misjudged comment didn't stop him from becoming a United legend - joining his predecessor Keane in the gallery of greats.

The Englishman's success was a result of Ferguson's leadership - and he'll be hoping to use his experience of working with the great man on Sunday

United are in desperate need of a result against Chelsea after winning just one of their last seven Premier League games, slipping to eighth in the table.

When questioned on Fergie's influence, Carrick added: "It would take me days to answer that one properly! I learned so many things during his time as manager.

"The most valuable thing was probably how to grow a winning mentality, then win again and again with that amazing drive of his.

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"He had incredible desire and that became the culture of the football club.

"He taught me how to be mentally strong, never to settle for anything less than you think you can achieve, and to always strive to be the very best.

"Since becoming a coach at United I’ve tried to take inspiration from him, so hopefully he has rubbed off on me. I probably do a few things in training that I picked up from him but don’t realise."

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