Indeed, events at Ewood Park led to the strange scenario of actually cheering an El Hadji Diouf goal. He always strikes me as one of football’s least appealing characters but on this occasion I leapt into the air as his header found the back of the net!
So, what a great position United are now in as the games begin to run out. It’s often said that United save their best form for the second half of the season and that has certainly happened this time. Since the nightmare at Craven Cottage before Christmas, United have won 10 Premier League games, drawn two and lost one – and that’s undoubtedly title winning form.
And when you consider the injuries that United have had to contend with in this campaign, it’s a remarkable tribute to the manager, players and coaching staff that we are in such a strong position.
Remember, Rio Ferdinand has started just nine league games, Nemanja Vidic has missed half of our league fixtures and Edwin van der Sar has started less then half. John O’Shea hasn’t played since November, while Anderson, Michael Owen and Wes Brown are all currently sidelined long-term. I’m not too sure there are many other teams who could possibly have coped with such a debilitating injury list.
In those circumstances, you rely on the strength of your squad, and we saw that against Liverpool on Sunday. Park is often an unsung player. Yet he is someone that Sir Alex trusts in the big games. This season he’s scored against Arsenal, AC Milan and Liverpool – not a bad collection.
The boss asked him to play in more of a central midfield role against Milan and Liverpool and he performed superbly. He marked Andrea Pirlo out of the Milan game and was a constant threat against Liverpool, scored a wonderful winner of course.