Park Ji-Sung wasn’t the best player in the world, not by any stretch of the imagination, but by golly did he work his heart out for Manchester United.
South Korean wonder Park Ji-Sung may not have necessarily been the greatest footballer in the world, we think anyone would agree with us when we say that, but he had that special little something that warmed him to fans.
Park had his flaws, he really did. Blinded by nostalgia people tend to forget just about frustrating his lack of quality on the ball was. He often misplaced passes, opted for simple boring play, couldn’t really finish particularly well, and successfully beating his man was a myth. Yes, while he was excellent in the big games, owed his tremendous work ethic, he often went missing against weaker opposition, whose tight defences would often catch out inconsistent attempts at playmaking.
Saying that, Manchester United was full of these misfits. Average individuals who were made exponentially better by the master tactician that was Sir Alex Ferguson.
While Park’s role in the squad wasn’t necessarily the most attractive, it allowed the more gifted footballers like Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlos Tevez, Dimitar Berbatov and Wayne Rooney to strut their stuff with confidence in the knowledge that he would be there to clear up the mess.
Admittedly he could have been better against the mediocre sides, but at the end of the day he more than made up for it as a big game player. We always remember the game against AC Milan when he was asked to shut out midfield maestro Andrea Pirlo and he did. Or even the clutch goals he scored against Liverpool, Arsenal and Wolves in 2010. He just turned up when it was asked of him, and fans would do well to remember that.
Looking at the current state of the club, we think it is fair to say that Manchester United desperately need a player with Park’s quality and work ethic to drive them forward through the rough. Especially as Ander Herrera, the only player with some semblance of his quality, is due to leave this summer.
Manchester United fans, would you agree that Park Ji-Sung is a cult hero? What are your fondest memories of his time at Old Trafford? Join the discussion by commenting below…
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