Ji might have increased his manager’s options with his ability to switch from the wing to a central role, but his selfless running and movement remain his key attributes.
Appearances/goals: Premier League 10(7)/3; Champions League 5(1)/1; Carling Cup 2/0.
Season soundbite: “It’s probably only since the Milan games that people have really started to appreciate Ji’s importance, but it’s been that way for a long time inside our dressing room.”
– Michael Carrick
In a word: Assiduous
Ji-sung Park proved again in 2009/10 that he's the man for the big occasion...
Story of the season Park’s first start came in the shock defeat at Burnley, before he suffered a knee injury in the 4-3 Manchester derby victory – just days after he’d signed a new three-year contract. The Korean spent the next two months in the treatment room and it was not until the latter half of the campaign that he came into his own. He reprised his 08/09 Champions League semi-final display at the Emirates by helping the Reds to another 3-1 victory over Arsenal in the league, then came two superb, destructive central-midfield performances against AC Milan, before his match-winning deeds against Liverpool (see below). An ankle injury disputed the end of his campaign, though he returned to net United's final goal of 09/10 against Stoke. And Sir Alex was fulsome in his praise of his no.13. “He’s one of these players that we can give roles to play and he does it because of his control and discipline,” said the Reds boss.
Finest moment Ji shone against Milan, but in the league it was the 'job' he did on our Merseyside rivals at Old Trafford, in his new advanced midfield role, that will live longest in the memory. Javier Mascherano was given no time on the ball and was kept busy tracking Park –