Darron Gibson, for one, is clearly taking notes from the little master on the training ground: playing with his head up, dropping to receive the ball on the half-turn, the measured passes, the sweetly timed shots… they’re all there.
It should be said, though, that Gibson has ample natural gifts of his own and, as much as anyone, he profited from a run in the Carling Cup last season, making five starts (including the final) and securing a piece of silverware in his debut term in the first team.
Add goals against Southampton and Derby in the FA Cup, and it’s no wonder he was given league cameos against Stoke and Fulham as he raced up the midfield learning curve.
Gibbo also made two Champions League appearances and his thumping winner on the final day at Hull was the highlight of his season.
The young Irishman has been around the first-team squad for a while but this was his breakthrough
League: 1 start (2 subs); 1 goal
Champions League: 1 start (1 sub)
FA Cup: 2 starts (1 sub); 2 goals
Carling Cup: 5 starts (1 sub)
Total: 9 starts (5 subs); 3 goals
How do you assess Gibson's contribution to the 2008/09 season, and how do you think he'll fare next term?
Have your say on Talking Reds.