On Wednesday, May 17, Michael Carrick’s first season at Middlesbrough came to a disappointing end as they were beaten 1-0 by Coventry City in the Championship playoff semi-finals.
Nevertheless, the current season has been a positive one for both Boro and Carrick. The ex-Premier League all-star raised eyebrows when he was appointed, but he has proven his doubters wrong by showing acute tactical acumen and a strong command over the dressing room.
His tactical understanding, for such an inexperienced coach, is very impressive. In possession, he allows one full-back to push up, while the other tucks inside – allowing Boro to create overloads in advantageous areas.
The proof is in the pudding – since Carrick took the helm, Middlesbrough have won 17 games, drawn four and lost nine. In comparison, before Carrick’s arrival, Boro won two, drew four and lost five this season.
Overall grade: B+
In conclusion, Carrick can certainly look back on what he has achieved this season with pride. After a turgid start under Chris Wilder, he pulled Boro out of the doldrums and led them to an impressive 4th-place finish.
The future is bright for the former Manchester United captain. If he remains at Middlesbrough, they will almost definitely be one of the favourites to be promoted – but as we know, a manager is often best judged in their sophomore season and beyond.