Carrick replaces Rooney as Manchester United captain

By Michael Abayateye
Michael Carrick

Manchester United may be getting down to serious business during their pre-season training camp in Los Angeles but there was still time for the likes of Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku to let of some steam in the California heat.

The stars of Old Trafford were enjoying the summer sunshine as they prepare for their hectic tour of the USA and there was plenty of scope on bonding time with a number of stars taking part in some impromptu piggy-back drills.

It was certainly an easy start to life under new captain Michael Carrick, who was confirmed as Wayne Rooney's successor.

Lukaku appeared to be making good use of his superior strength, lifting both Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard from the ground. It was the Belgian's second training session with his new team-mates following a £75million move from Everton.

Even Jose Mourinho managed to crack a smile as he watched his United stars ease themselves back into training following their summer breaks. But soon the real work will start with four games scheduled for next week.

The Red Devils will play LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake City before testing themselves against the much stronger opposition of Manchester City and Real Madrid before returning to Manchester.

They then face two more friendlies on the other side of the Atlantic, playing  Valerenga in Oslo before finishing up with a tie against Sampdoria in Dublin.

It would have been a special training session for Carrick, who was confirmed as the club's new captain shortly before the session got underway at their UCLA training base. 

The 35-year-old midfielder signed for Manchester United in 2006 and has gone on to win five Premier League titles, one FA Cup and a Champions League with the club.

'It feels great and it is such a huge honour to captain such a great club,' Carrick told manutd.com.'It is my 12th year now and I came as a 25-year-old. I never thought I could be here for so long and achieve so much.

'Now, to lead the boys and look after the young boys, to guide them in some ways, it is a nice thing and a real pleasure. 

'I came to this club as a footballer and I am now a huge fan. I have grown to love the club over the years and to be in this position is very special for me.'

Carrick will assume the role following Rooney's departure from the club but has also experienced life under previous captains Gary Neville and Nemanja Vidic, all of whom were renowned for their combative styles. 

In comparison, Carrick has a calm temperament and he says that will not change just because he now wears the armband.

On his planned captaincy style, he said: 'I will just be myself, you can’t change and it is wrong to come into the role and then suddenly change, shouting and screaming at everyone, telling them what to do.

'I am not like that. I will speak when I need to speak, but I am quite laid back and chilled out really. I will try to lead by example.'

Carrick has made 314 Premier League appearances for Manchester United, including 23 under Jose Mourinho last season. He signed a one-year extension to his contract in May.

Credit: Daily Mail