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CARRA ON ROBBIE

Posted on 27 April 2006  - 12:00

Michael Carrick has received a good few plaudits of late, but feels his captain over the last two games is the real man of the moment.

Michael Carrick has received a good few plaudits of late, but feels his captain over the last two games is the real man of the moment.

Robbie Keane's goal against Arsenal on Saturday was his 16th Premiership goal of the season in 23 starts, further improving on his seasonal best in the league, which was 14 in 2003-04 - where he made 34 appearances.

His midfield mate suspects captaincy is adding a notch or two to the performance level of the striker who has now clocked up 342 senior appearances since bursting onto the scene with Wolves in August 1997.

"He is absolutely on fire," said Michael. "Since he came in just before Christmas he has been electric and just seems to be getting better and better.

"He has had the captain's armband over the last couple of weeks and that has probably given him a lift, along with more responsibility. Robbie and Aaron were simply outstanding against Arsenal - especially in the first half - and I thought Azza was brilliant and caused them all sorts of problems.

"To go to Highbury like we did and create chances like the boys did up front doesn't happen very often."

Michael suspects there is plenty more to come from the Republic of Ireland national team captain given the fact he still has plenty of time on his side - even though Robbie seems to have been around for years.

"He's only 25 - so he tells me anyway - and, if you are meant to peak at 28-30, there are a few boys in the squad who will be interesting to watch over the coming years.

"Robbie has been a top player for a number of years now, but the way he's been playing over the last few months has been magnificent," continued the England international, who added our leading goalscorer is beginning to bring his experience to bear for the benefit of others.

"From what I know he has always been a team player, he just keeps on improving and having more influence. He is coming to the stage where he is one of the older and more experienced ones. He wants to do that little bit more to help the lads and it is great to have someone like that in your team."