Michael Carrick: England center-back?

Michael Regan

If you're an England supporter, be thankful that Marouane Fellaini is not from San Marino.

Michael Carrick is a fine central-midfielder. In fact, on present form, he's arguably the best midfielder in the Premier League at the moment. He's also not the worst option as an emergency central-defender -- unless of course he's up against someone with the quality and physicality of Everton's Marouane Fellaini. With England's current dire situation at center-back -- only Chris Smalling, Joleon Lescott, Steven Taylor and Steven Caulker are currently available for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers -- manager Roy Hodgson is apparently considering using Carrick at center-back in the upcoming qualifier against San Marino. Now before you put face-to-palm, this is actually something worth considering.

England will beat San Marino. It's only a matter of by how much. The micro-state with a population of just ~33,000 is a national team made up of accountants, bank clerks, and barmen. If the Three Lions do struggle though, Hodgson is considering moving Carrick back to center-back while he brings on another midfielder or attacker.

England will dominate possession and the match will be an exercise in breaking down a deep-defending San Marino side. Using Carrick as a pivot from deep with with his range of passing -- similar to the role Ki-Sung-yueng played for Swansea City during their 5-0 League Cup final demolition of League Two side Bradford City -- would allow him time and space on the ball as the point man supplying the front six. On Tuesday against a tougher Montenegro side, it's seems less likely Hodgson would use the midfield maestro in this sort of role. This use of Carrick would actually be an interesting tactical option for Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson when his side struggle to break down deep-defending sides late in games.


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