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05th Nov 2015

Michael Carrick responds to Paul Scholes’s claims that Manchester United are boring

Darragh Murphy

Who could have predicted ten years ago that Paul Scholes would turn into the biggest critic of Manchester United?

For weeks now, the Red Devils legend has been picking away at Louis van Gaal’s footballing philosophy.

After their 1-0 win over CSKA Moscow, Scholes said of United’s style: “It’s just a sideways, possession, boring style of football.”

But Michael Carrick, who partnered Scholes in the centre of the Old Trafford pitch for over five years, isn’t taking his former teammate’s criticism to heart.

Manchester United v Middlesbrough - Capital One Cup Fourth Round

“People are there to have opinions,” Carrick said. “That’s fine. You have to take the rough with the smooth and if you accept the pats on the back then you have to accept the criticism when it comes.

“What he [Scholes] said doesn’t bother me. I have respect for Scholesy and that isn’t going to change. It’s not an issue really.

“There is always pressure here, every time you put a shirt on and play. People will always look to judge you and that will never change. There is nothing wrong with that.”

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

United scored their first goal in 404 minutes of football when Wayne Rooney broke the deadlock against CSKA Moscow on Tuesday but had been typically ponderous and unexciting up to that point.

Carrick, United’s vice-captain, isn’t about to start questioning  his manager’s tactics.

“I don’t think our style is more conservative,” Carrick said. “It is just slightly different. In some ways but not all ways. I thought against CSKA Moscow we were more dynamic and aggressive in terms of attacking and getting forward quickly and getting crosses in the box.

“If you win 1-0 then the tactics don’t get discussed that much. That’s the way of things. Its fine lines isn’t it? It’s about winning games and trophies.

“Of course we want to play exciting football and score loads of goals but it’s not always easy when players are coming and putting ten behind the ball. It is difficult. What do you do throw it in the box and hope? Or do you play football and try and pass it and break them down?”