Overall contribution It is fair to say the record British capture from Nottingham Forest lived up to expectations by soon becoming a key figure, despite the wealth of midfield talent available to Alex Ferguson. A successful penalty in the Charity Shield shoot-out versus Arsenal and first-half double on his home debut against Sheffield United soon endeared him to the United faithful, and he was a driving force, often over-running teams alongside Paul Ince in the engine room.
Best performance The display against Sheffield United is an obvious contender but another tour de force against Tottenham arguably came in a more important fixture. Although the side took some time to reach top gear, he fought for possession from the outset and, in the words of his manager, was "tremendous". A spectacular half-volley past Erik Thorstvedt capped a fine 90 minutes.
Key moment Hot on the heels of the European exit to Galatasaray, Manchester City were enjoying the derby thanks to two first-half goals by Niall Quinn. United battled back and most fans would probably have accepted a point, given the circumstances, until Denis Irwin crossed from the left and his fellow countryman arrived on cue at the far post to complete a remarkable turnaround.
What he said "I’m not really skilful in anything in particular. I’m more of a hard worker if anything. I’d like to think that my stamina is good. I can get up and