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15/08/2009 09:11,
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The squad: Midfielders

Assistant manager Mike Phelan continues his four-part assessment of the United squad, player by player, with this look at the lads in the midfield ranks...

8
Anderson Age 21 Appearances 76 Goals 0
Ando’s very, very talented. He has the Brazilian mentality towards football. He wants to play every week and do all the work but he’s had to learn what it takes to be a Premier League player in England. It’s a little different to what he was used to in Portugal. I think there’s a lot more to come from Ando and I think he’ll really push himself this season. He’s not scored yet so a goal would really be something to treasure! Ando’s still developing as a player. He was a young star before he came to Manchester United, but here he’s just one of many talented footballers. It might take a little more time before he becomes a star at United but everything’s there for him to achieve that but all the ingredients are there.

11 Ryan Giggs Age 35 Appearances 805 Goals 148
Ryan doesn’t need much of an introduction – he’s done everything in the game and yet he still has a huge desire to win. He’s had an immense career and any plaudits Ryan gets are richly deserved. He has this ability to keep going and to keep challenging himself and I think that’s inspirational. We started playing him regularly in the centre of midfield last season after we started to look at the best way we could make the most of Ryan’s talents. Obviously he’s lost a bit of pace over the years but we felt he had all the attributes required to play in the centre of the park, and I think we’ve been proved correct.

13 Ji-sung Park Age 28 Appearances 124 Goals 12
Ji is another one of those unsung heroes. His energy levels are fantastic, his work-rate immense. He’s also very committed to the cause and a real team player. If there’s one thing we’re looking for him to do more of it’s score goals. But he’s working on that, he’s trying a few things out and I’m confident that aspect of his game will improve this season. Ji’s incredibly valuable and when he’s given a specific role he carries it out to the letter. He’s very intelligent and I think he benefitted from his time in Dutch football. He’s very tactically aware. Sometimes all that gets overseen though – there’s more to Ji than his work-rate.

16 Michael Carrick Age 28 Appearances 145 Goals 12
Michael’s incredibly gifted technically, can use both his left and right feet,

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