After missing nine games early in the 2008/09 season with an ankle injury, the Geordie returned to establish himself as the focal point of United's midfield, finishing with 43 appearances in all competitions and scoring a crucial May winner at Wigan during the title run-in.
His fourth campaign with United proved more difficult, not least when an injury crisis at the club forced him to take up an emergency role in the back four. However, he responded in style, first at West Ham where the Reds won 4-0 and then away to Wolfsburg where he proved his versatility.
The midfielder agreed to extend his
stay at Old Trafford again at the beginning of March 2011, when he signed a new three-year deal to keep him at the club until the end of the 2013/14 campaign.
Though he failed to score in 2010/11, the first barren season of his United career, he was particularly effective after Christmas in a more defensive midfield role, as he helped the Reds reclaim the title. This form improved in 2011/12 as Carrick once again asserted his authority in the centre of the park. Making 40 appearances, the English playmaker enjoyed probably his finest personal campaign at the club - even if it ended in title heartbreak.