Analysis Opinion Insight

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Midfield Phenomenon :: A Centralized Park ::

Park Ji Sung has no doubt announced his arrival on the European elite stage after producing multiple high class performances in the latter stages of the Champions League. It wont come as a shock to the more observant United fans, but to the average punter, there have always been questions about Park's ability, worth and place in the Manchester United. So much so, most of the London hacks have been calling for his head since he was left isolated and almost nonresistant in that horror show in Rome last May.

This season however, along with Rooney's move into the 18 and 6 yard box, and predominantly staying further forward, Park has been allowed to play the "important games" in his preferred position in the centre of the pitch, at the apex in a midfield trio of a 4-5-1.This is historically his best position, a position from which he drives his national side South Korea, and made his name in Japan and for then coach Guus Hiddink's PSV Eindhoven, not to mention his match winning performances that took his team to the semi finals back in 2002.

Park is without doubt a typical European number 10. Getting around the pitch, hustling the opposing midfielders/defence, passing and moving, linking up with the striker, making runs into the box and taking on the odd shot. Obviously not on the Kaka level, his value to United this season is comparable to Diego to Werder Bremen last year and Misimovic to Wolfsburg. Especially in Europe and increasingly in the premier league,his contributions in the big games against stern opposition make him a invaluable component of the Man United excitement machine.

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