Carrick back at Arsenal, LVG praises Young

Date published: Thursday 1st October 2015 6:00

Michael Carrick Louis van Gaal Manchester United

Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick is available to return to the side for Sunday’s Premier League match at Arsenal.

Carrick sat out Wednesday’s 2-1 Champions League victory over Wolfsburg at Old Trafford due to what was described as a minor injury.

But the 34-year-old was named in Roy Hodgson’s England squad on Thursday afternoon.

And speaking later that day, Van Gaal told MUTV: “Carrick can play (at Arsenal) so I have a choice. I am happy to say there are no injuries from last night.”

Van Gaal also had praise for Ashley Young, who was again omitted from the England squad, despite a positive start to the season.

The 30-year-old has not played for England in over two years, but the United coach was full of praise for the versatile wideman.

“Ashley Young is very important,” Van Gaal said. “He is a team player in the first place and not many players are actually team players.

“He is always thinking of the team and he can play in a lot of positions. For a manager, it is fantastic that he is willing to do that.

“Against Wolfsburg, he came in as a right-back, despite not playing there very often before.

“The second goal started with him and it was very important for us that he played the second-half.”

United head to the Emirates Stadium on a four-match winning streak in all competitions, and they are currently top of the Premier League table.

But the nature of their victory on Wednesday was somewhat unconvincing and the performance drew some criticism from Van Gaal.

He also suggested his players are being affected by fatigue, claiming the number of games United have played of late – the Wolfsburg match was their sixth in 18 days – is taking its toll.

And when asked about that on Thursday with a view to the clash with Arsenal, who played their Champions League game this week a day earlier than United, Van Gaal said: “The solution is recovery – recovery, recovery, recovery. And that is why it is so difficult to prepare for the match against Arsenal.

“As a manager you want to prepare it on the pitch, but you cannot do it because the players need freshness. So then the other solution is to change your squad.

“So we have to see how the evaluation is of my fatigue specialist.

“I cannot tell that now, then tomorrow the players have a day off because they have already had two weeks with no day off. So we wait and see on Saturday. Then I can make decisions.”

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