Michael Carrick Reveals He Told The FA Not To Pick Him For England Duty
Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick has revealed he made himself unavailable for England because he found international duty "depressing".
Carrick made his Three Lions' bow as a West Ham United player in 2001 when he replaced David Beckham in a 4-0 win over Mexico and went on to make a further 33 appearances for his country - the most recent of which came in 2015.
However, having only been taken to one World Cup - South Africa in 2010 where he didn't make a single appearance, there will always be a lingering feeling that Carrick was criminally underrated and misused in the national team set-up.
And as per the man himself, he disliked going on to England duty so much that he told the FA not to pick him any more.
"I had been in the squad a long time and to be honest I was finding it hard going away with England," he admitted in an interview with Gabby Logan for the BBC's 'The Premier League Show'.
"I didn't mind going away with United in pre-season for the three weeks or whatever but going with England, it was almost depressing in a way. It made me really down.
"So I came to the point after South Africa and thought, 'I can't do that again'. I understood the privileged position I was in but I just found it so hard and I couldn't deal with it any more.
"I was depressed at times. I told the FA: 'Look, please don't pick me.'"
Incredibly honest stuff from Carrick. In a period where the national team has been crying out for a deep-lying playmaker who can get the team playing, the desired player was right there the whole time but was continually overlooked.
The 36-year old is retiring at the end of the season following heart problems which have reduced him to just four appearances this season.
But he will move straight into a coaching role in Jose Mourinho's backroom staff at United, having already started that transition in the last few weeks.
When the opportunity was brought up, the former England international didn't have to hesitate.
"I didn't even have to think about it," Carrick said in an interview with The Times.
"It was a total no-brainer. Working with Jose. I'm genuinely looking around and thinking 'not many lads would get that opportunity so quick'".