If Pre Season isn't about sharpness then how come teams that look good in pre-season usually start the season well, while teams who look poor in pre-season usually have slow starts? Hasn't Fergie also gone on record, very recently, as stating he'll start the season with the players who look closest to being fit?...no way is Carrick one of those. He's looked sluggish compared to every other one of our midfielders. I don't see how him single handedly fending of Barcelona as a makeshift centreback and with one arm tied behind his back whilst juggling a lion is relevant to whether he would have started in midfield against Everton. He was fit at the start of last season and got benched for over a month because he took longer to get going than Cleverley, Anderson or Fletcher. And I'm not Carrick bashing. I was one of those defending him on here when he became scapegoat of the month (after it stopped being possible to use Berbatov), but he starts seasons slowly, and has been the least impressive of our midfielders in Pre-Season. Even if Rio were fit I'd rather others get the nod in midfield for now. Also, Scholes wa sby far and away the best player on the pitch against Barcelona. Once he tired, United stopped getting the ball out of their own half.