Michael Carrick's Manchester United send-off more important than FA Cup final against Chelsea, claims Ander Herrera
The former England midfielder has been handed the captain’s armband before he hangs up his boots after the final-day dead rubber with Watford today.
Carrick, 36, will then become part of United’s coaching staff.
And Spanish midfielder Herrera reckons the former West Ham and Spurs star will make an ideal assistant to Jose Mourinho — whose long-time No 2 Rui Faria leaves today.
Herrera stressed that Carrick — not Saturday’s final against Chelsea — is foremost in the players’ thoughts.
He said: “We’re going to enjoy him as a coach and I think he’s the right person to be an assistant as he’s very calm and balanced.
“If you have one guy next to you like that, it really helps. I think one of the qualities that can make him a good manager in the future is that he is very balanced.
"In the good moments he is not crazy happy and in the bad moments he keeps his head and tries to give the right advice to the team.
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“That’s why I think he’s going to be a great manager in the future. It’s all about having a beautiful day and saying goodbye to Michael Carrick the player in the best way possible.
"Let’s try to make it a beautiful day for him. He’s a legend of the club and then, one minute after the game, let’s think about the final.”
Tyneside-born Carrick enjoyed a successful start at West Ham from where he made 158 appearances between 1998 and 2004.
He then moved for £2.75million to bitter rivals Spurs where he made 73 appearances before an £18.6m switch to Old Trafford in July 2006.
In all, he won 34 caps after making his debut against Mexico in 2001. His final game for the Three Lions was in a 2015 friendly with Spain.
Mourinho has already announced that Carrick will be subbed during the game in order to get a standing ovation following 12 years at Old Trafford and 19 years in professional football.
Herrera, 28, added: “I really respect him and look up to him because of the way he is nowadays. The normal guys like Mike are not trendy, but I really respect him because of the way he behaves.
“He is a serious guy. He doesn’t speak that much but he always does it in the right way. He trains hard every day, even now when he’s not playing too much, and is so professional.
“He’s a legend. He has been very successful for the club, one of the best midfielders in the last ten years in the world, and he is a big loss. Not just for Manchester United but for the world of football.”
Thoughts may be on Carrick today, but Mourinho is still expected to have one eye on the Wembley clash against Chelsea by rotating his side again.
The United boss made eight changes on Thursday night for the bore draw with West Ham, a result that guaranteed second spot.
But his side for next week’s showdown is up in the air with plenty of his squad sweating on a place in the side.
Herrera is one of those not certain and insists he will respect his manager and do everything to help the team if he is not selected.
He said: “I want to play every game but the manager will decide. I’m a team player. If I play, I’ll be very happy but if I don’t, I will try to help the team from the bench or the stands.”
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