Manchester United midfielder Micheal Carrick has opened up about how down he got while away on England duty.
The 36-year-old, who will retire at the end of this season and take up a coaching role at Old Trafford, made his international debut in 2001 and played his last game for his country in 2015.
Despite his international career spanning 14 years Carrick would only gain 34 caps, as he often found himself as the third or fourth choice central midfielder.
Constantly joining up with England squads but rarely featuring obviously took it’s toll on him, and he freely admitted this to the BBC recently when he said:
“I’d been in the squad a long time and I’ll be honest, I was finding it hard going away with England.
“I didn’t mind going away with United pre-season for three weeks or whatever and coming back, 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 where I thought, ‘I can’t do that again’.
“People would be saying, ‘Pull yourself together and be grateful for it’ and I understood the position I was in, the privileged position I was in, but I just found it so hard and I couldn’t deal with it any more.
“I was probably on the verge of… yes, I was depressed at times, yes. I told the FA, ‘Look, please don’t pick me’.”
Usually there is an outcry when players ever talk negatively about representing their country, but it must also be extremely discouraging to travel and train with your national team while knowing that you have very little chance of playing.
Interestingly there is a school of thought that says Carrick was actually the missing link for the England team known as the ”Golden Generation,” and that he would have been the perfect man to compliment either Steven Gerrard or Frank Lampard at the heart of the Three Lions midfield.