Carrick hails English quality
Michael Carrick believes the Premier League is now one of the most complete divisions in the world.
By Chris Burton
Last Updated: 17/12/08 6:50pm
Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick believes the Premier League is now one of the most complete divisions in the world.
For long periods in the past English football was seen as technically inferior to that of their European counterparts.
However, over the years, the influx of foreign talent has helped to bring a new dimension to the domestic game.
The hustle and bustle which has epitomised top-flight action remains, but craft and guile is now as much a feature of fixtures in England as crunching tackles and raking long balls.
"The English game has changed a bit," said Carrick.
"It is still very quick and dynamic but there is a lot more quality now.
"What we had in aggression and robustness, we used to lack in quality on the technical side
"But as we have seen now with English teams being so successful in the Champions League, the quality is much better. There is skill to go with the pace.
"The English game is a tough blend that has proved to be very good over the past few seasons."
United will have the opportunity to put English football firmly on the map when they get their Club World Cup challenge underway against Japanese side Gamba Osaka on Thursday.
No Premier League side has ever taken the crown, but Carrick insists the Red Devils are confident of resolving that fact over the next few days.
"There is always pressure on Manchester United, no matter what game it is or where it is in the world," he said.
"It is something you thrive on. We have come away from home and, in some ways, out of our comfort zone.
"We have a great opportunity to be the first Premier League team to win this tournament and etch our names into the history books. For that reason alone, we are desperate to win it.
"This tournament is a different challenge.
"But we have to play to our own game. We know what we are good at and when we play to our potential we are just as good as anyone else if not better."