Park Showing Quality - What Has The World Come To?
The headline, I'll admit, is a tad harsh on Ji-Sung Park who had proved plenty of times in the past that he is much more than a pair of leather lungs. However, there is no denying the fact that it is his industry rather than skill that makes him invaluable, his industry and tactical discipline.
But in recent weeks he played a crucial part in our good form, and not only by adhering perfectly to tactical instructions, performing every task entrusted to him with the maximum of discipline but by showing some real quality, too.
He was our best player in the Carling Cup final, passing the ball around crisply, often threading it through to the strikers, putting them in very good positions. His direct running is one thing, we know about that but PASSING? From JI SUNG PARK? And good passing, too. Not Xaviesque brilliance, obviously, but still, he showed himself to be a capable creative force.
And the same against Milan: he flourished in the role behind Wayne Rooney, smothering the influence of Andrea Pirlo and providing attacking impetus. It was a marvellous bonus that he got on the end of a Scholes through ball to put the tie way beyond the reach of our opponents with a classy finish.
Even against Fulham where he only came on as a substitute he had two memorable moments: first, he set up Berbatov with a sublime cross with the outside of his foot but the Bulgarian headed wide. In the dying minutes, in came another inch-perfect cross from the Korean and this time Berbatov did not miss.
It might sound blasphemous but it's true: the form of Park ensured we did not miss Ryan Giggs who is due to return against Liverpool. And though the Welsh Wizard is fit, I'd start with a trio of Valencia, Park and Nani behind Rooney - surely there's no higher praise for Park then suggesting he should start instead of Giggs?