The extracts on this page are taken from selected national newspapers. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Manchester United.
Carrick the real victim of United's injury crisis
Michael Carrick might just write out four 'Get Well Soon’ cards and deliver four bunches of grapes to the Manchester United treatment room on Tuesday in a desperate attempt to accelerate the return to fitness of Sir Alex Ferguson’s wounded defenders. Nobody bears the brunt of defensive injuries at Old Trafford more than Carrick, the reluctant centre-half whose manful attempts to plug a gap alongside Nemanja Vidic in the heart of United’s defence against Everton were undone by a marauding Marouane Fellaini. Injuries to Phil Jones (back), Chris Smalling (foot), Jonny Evans (ankle) and Rio Ferdinand (groin), left Ferguson without four of his five senior centre-halves against Everton. The fifth — Vidic — was making his first competitive start for nine months having recovered from cruciate ligament surgery, so Manchester United were hardly faced with the ideal scenario as they approached a typically physical challenge at Goodison Park. Not for the first time, Ferguson called on Carrick to put in a shift at the back, and the England midfielder will have accepted the role without complaint. But as Fellaini highlighted time after time, Carrick’s honesty and willingness to do a job for the team can only take him so far and, when faced with a powerhouse figure like the Belgian midfielder, luck is the one quality you cannot do without.
The same paper is impressed by debutant Shinji Kagawa's display but says he'll need time to adapt, while The Sun declares Robin van Persie should have started the 1-0 defeat. There's also praise for David De Gea's performance in The Mirror.
Elsewhere, The Independent carries quotes from reported transfer target Alexander Buttner in which the Dutch defender says he would relish the chance to link up with compatriot van Persie. And the Daily Mail claims Fiorentina are targeting Dimitar Berbatov.