Michael Carrick enthused by Gareth Southgate’s happy England camp

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Michael Carrick is happy to see England players enjoying themselves under Gareth Southgate after experiencing his own international frustrations.

The 37-year-old was part of the 2006 and 2010 World Cup squads, but freely admits in his
autobiography ‘Between the Lines’ that his Three Lions experience was not what he hoped it would be.

Carrick did not always enjoy representing his country, so the former midfielder was delighted to see enthusiasm and excitement injected back into the national team during their summer run to the semis.

Soccer – 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany – Second Round  – England v Ecuador – Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion
Michael Carrick made one appearance for England at the 2006 World Cup (Martin Rickett/PA)

“That’s what you are craving at a World Cup. That’s what it should be like.

“Unfortunately, some of the experiences I’ve had it wasn’t like that – and that was from me, from the squad, from the media, from the country.

“It kind of all blew up, really! Which is so sad to say, but that’s kind of how it was.

Soccer – FIFA World Cup 2010 – Qualifying Round – Group Six – England v Ukraine – England Press Conference – Grove Hotel
Michael Carrick was part of the England squad for the World Cup in South Africa (Rebecca Naden/PA)

“And credit to Gareth for that because he has kind of manipulated that and guided the lads and created this environment, where they seem to have been able to shine and flourish.

“In some ways he has made a rod for his own back by getting to the semi-finals because now unless you’re absolutely flying then it’s never going to be good enough!

“But I am sure that they’ve got players and I am sure as a manager he’ll be successful in the years to come.”

Soccer – International Friendly – Brazil v England – England Training Session – Maracana Stadium
Michael Carrick stretches out during England training (Owen Humphreys/PA)

The Manchester United captain-turned-coach grew up dreaming of running out for the Three Lions at Wembley after watching Italia 90.

But Carrick was arguably undervalued by several managers and only won 34 caps, with just seven of those appearances competitive starts.

“On one hand, I am really grateful and kind of proud of being able to play for England and in a World Cup,” he said.

Soccer – FIFA World Cup 2014 – Qualifying – Group H – England v Poland – Wembley Stadium
Michael Carrick was on England’s standby list for the World Cup in Brazil (Nick Potts/PA)

“The feeling it gave me as well as my family, seeing what it meant to them, was incredible, so that’s one game.

“Of course, you get one, you want more.

“But even now, it’s not something I regret. I haven’t got any regrets over England. It is what it is.

Soccer – 2010 World Cup – England Arrive – Royal Bafokeng Sports Campus
Michael Carrick has mixed memories of his time with England (Michael Regan/PA)

“That’s kind of more the route I go down.

“Managers have got to pick teams, haven’t they? Some players are getting left out. That’s just how it is.”

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