Carrick hails 'genius' Scholes

Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick have formed a strong partnership in midfield. Photo: PA

Michael Carrick has labelled Manchester United midfield partner Paul Scholes "a genius".

Scholes celebrates his 38th birthday today (15th November), still capable of producing the kind of cameo performance that helped turn last Saturday's Premier League match at Aston Villa on its head.

Having been alongside the veteran in so many key United matches down the years, Carrick is better placed than most to assess the talents England skipper Steven Gerrard declared earlier this week made Scholes the best player he had ever played with.

"Paul Scholes is a genius," said Carrick. "It is fantastic to play with him.

"Whether he realises or not, he has helped me enormously just by watching him and taking things in.

"We all know what he can do. But there are some things you simply cannot teach. You can learn but some of the stuff only he can do."

Former West Ham and Tottenham midfielder Carrick will complete a landmark of his own if he plays some part in the game with Norwich at Carrow Road.

For his next league appearance would be his 400th in a career that has also included loan spells at Birmingham and Swindon.

Not that the 31-year-old is particularly interested in such statistics.

"It is the first I have heard of that," he said.

"I suppose I have been playing for a number of years and the games do add up but it is not something I look for.

"For me it is more about the trophies, what people win and what they can achieve.

"Maybe at the end of my career I can look back and see what I have done.

"But at the moment, it is just about winning trophies for me."