This guy could seriously pick out a pass.
Michael Carrick said goodbye to Old Trafford on Sunday after 12 years at the club.
The 36-year-old midfielder signed off his career in typically Carrick fashion, providing a pinpoint pass which ended with Marcus Rashford scoring the only goal of the game against Watford.
The midfielder ends his career with 34 England caps to his name, the first of which came back in February 2001.
Carrick made his Three Lions debut in Sven Goran Eriksson’s first game in charge of England, a 3-0 friendly win against Spain at Villa Park.
The Man United man asked to no longer be selected for international duty after claiming that he became depressed whilst at the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.
The metronome midfielder retires as another one from England’s ‘golden generation’ who never fulfilled their true potential on the international stage.
Carrick hangs up his boots with fewer caps for the Three Lions than this distinctly average bunch
Stewart Downing – 35 caps
The Liverpool winger made the last of his 35 caps in 2014.
It’s fairly unlikely we will see Downing in an England shirt this summer, but you can’t rule anything out.
After all, Downing made England’s Euro 2012 squad after his iconic 2011/12 season.
Despite playing 36 times, Downing ended the Premier League campaign with literally no goals or assists, yet he still made it on the plane to Poland and Ukraine.
The winger’s saving grace was his actually very respectable form for England.
Despite not scoring in his 35 caps, the Boro-born man was the only player to contribute to all nine of England’s goals in 2011 in the buildup to the tournament.
For similar results of a player who only performs for England, see also; Andros Townsend.
Shaun Wright-Phillips – 36 caps
Wright-Phillips got his first Three Lions cap in August 2004 with his last one coming October 2010.
Can anyone else not remember a single one of these?
The former Man City and Chelsea man would occasionally show flashes of being a half decent player, followed by weeks of uninspiring performances.
Wright-Phillips managed 6 goals and 3 assists in his 36 caps, so fairly uninspiring stuff.
The winger can now be found playing for Phoenix Rising FC, a team in the United Soccer League… so not even the MLS.
We really do give out caps like sweets FFS.
Danny Welbeck – 37 caps
Welbeck’s inclusion in this list is potentially a controversial one.
The Arsenal man has scored 15 goals and provided 4 assists in his 37 appearances for the Three Lions, which is a pretty good record considering he’s a horrendously frustrating player.
Welbeck has been the ‘go to’ player for several England managers in the past, and we could yet be treated to more magic from ‘Dat Guy’ in Russia this summer.
The Arsenal man has been touted for a spot in Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad, with his regular appearances for Arsenal this season showing that his injury troubles could be behind him.
I can’t wait till he inevitably misses a sitter against Panama.
Gareth Barry – 53 caps
The Premier League record appearances holder is a player of a similar mould to Carrick.
For one reason or another, Barry was however the man often selected over Carrick to perform the midfield metronome role for England.
His three goals and six assists in over 50 games for the Three Lions proves his value to the team came in other departments… anyone fancy telling me what those were exactly?
Barry made his last appearance for England in 2012 and thankfully we haven’t been burdened with him since.
Phil Neville – 59 caps
Living in the shadow of his brother Gary’s 85 caps, Phil still did ridiculously well to rack up over half a century of outings for England.
The former Everton and Man United player was the utility man of England squad’s gone by, often “doing a job” in both midfield and defence when needed.
Neville’s last cap came in 2007 and with this he secured a place in England history.
Him and Gary set a new record of 144 appearances, the most by a set of brothers, surpassing the previous record of 141 set by the Charlton brothers, Bobby and Jack.
Neville became manager of England Women earlier this year, lets hope he does a better job in management on the international stage as he did as a player.
Carrick’s international career is one that won’t live long in the memory of England fans.
His talents were never fully recognised by international managers, when he should have been a player that sides were built around.
Whether or not Carrick is your cup of tea, no one can argue that he should have more caps than Downing.