Michael Carrick could eclipse Golden Generation players as a manager

Michael Carrick spent many years under the shadows of Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and others from the Golden Generation… but he might just eclipse them all as a manager

  • Michael Carrick’s Middlesbrough beat Wayne Rooney’s Birmingham City 1-0 
  • The former midfielder could prove to be best manager from Golden Generation
  • Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Coming Up!’ 

Michael Carrick spent much of his playing career in the shadow of Wayne Rooney and other England superstars yet he might just eclipse them all as a manager.

While most of the focus here was on Rooney’s first game in charge of Birmingham, Carrick is building an impressive reputation with his work at Middlesbrough.

Boro were in a mess when Carrick replaced Chris Wilder a year ago and he promptly led them to the play-offs.

And despite losing several key players over the summer and experiencing a poor start to this season, Carrick’s men have now reeled off five wins on the bounce to move within five points of third place.

England’s so-called Golden Generation failed to deliver on high expectations and so far their players have had similarly mixed fortunes as managers.

Michael Carrick (Left) could eclipse players from the Golden Generation as a manager

His Middlesbrough side beat Wayne Rooney’s Birmingham thanks to Morgan Rogers’ late goal

Frank Lampard is currently out of work and Steven Gerrard is in the Saudi Pro League

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Frank Lampard is currently out of work and Steven Gerrard is in the Saudi Pro League after failing his Premier League audition at Aston Villa. The less said about Gary Neville’s brief spell with Valencia, the better, while brother Phil has yet to make a serious impact either.

Sol Campbell kept Macclesfield up brilliantly but has not worked since leaving Southend three years ago, while Paul Scholes’ stint at Oldham lasted just a month in 2019.

As for Rooney, this one has to work. After spells with Derby and DC United, Rooney was brought in by Birmingham’s American owners to deliver promotion. Yet on the evidence of this fixture, only one of these managers will be working in the top flight next season – and it isn’t Rooney.

Rooney is attempting to make Birmingham bolder but perhaps lacks the players to do so, whereas Carrick’s men seem perfectly in tune with what their manager requires.

Carrick’s role as a player was to be the understated heartbeat of his teams, keeping them ticking over in the middle of the pitch. He is now in element doing exactly the same from the dugout.

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