Will Ji-Sung Park Be A Loss To United?

Still digesting the derby and watching that brilliant Wayne Rooney goal… over and over and over, there has been a few snippets of news to come out of Old Trafford in the past few days.

First we can start with the injury news both good and bad. It seems Ji-Sung Park will be out of action for about a month thanks to a hamstring injury. The South Korean has only just returned from the Asian Cup, but looking on the bright side he will be back for the title run in and – if we get there – the Champions League quarter finals.

Antonio Valencia will begin training with the reserves at the weekend as his rehabilitation nears its end. It looked as if he would be out for the entire season after the leg break and ankle dislocation experienced against Rangers in September.

His return could revitalise a midfield that has lacked a creative edge, while also giving the likes of Nani a breather as the games start to pile up. Though it remains to be seen if he can return to the form that has made him such a fan favourite since his arrival. It may not be until next season that we see the real Valencia strutting his stuff at Old Trafford.

In transfer news the latest in a long line of midfielders linked with a move to United is Borussia Dortmund’s 18 year old Mario Goetze, who has already been capped by the German national team and is valued at £10 million. As reported by The Daily Mail, he will be a replacement for Paul Scholes. Next time… find out about another young starlet who is going to replace the Ginger Ninja.

After Wayne Rooney’s wage increase for not scoring goals, it seems Dimitar Berbatov has taken advantage of this seasons increase in productivity as talks over a new deal have begun, with his reported new salary to be a whopping £175, 000 a week according to The Mirror. Obviously pure speculation, but for a man who has generally been poor during his time at United, it does seems a little excessive.

However, this season he has been a changed player, bagging 19 goals so far in the Premier League and has set his sights on another 20 as well as a 19th league title for the club: “Everything’s going well for me this season,” he told Four Four Two.

“And if we can win the title it will be even better. That’s my main wish. If, in May, we’ve won the title and I’m there to lift it, then it would be a personal best for me.

“Winning the 19th league title is very important at Manchester United. I’d love to do that for the manager, who’s been here almost 25 years, as well as my team-mates and the fans.

“My ambitions have always been high, so I’ll try and score another 20 by the end.”

To finish. With Rooney describing his goal at the weekend against City as his greatest ever. Would you agree? Or can you think of another that can top it?



  1. @Grognard: Oh totally, mate.
    United won’t have a prayer against Barca until the CMF has been completely overhauled.
    We don’t play like them, or Arsenal for that matter, but you have to compete with them in the middle of the pitch. Make them fight for possession, and their comfort zone is compromised – allow them set up their front men and you’re dead in the water.

  2. @Grognard: “#3 – If Grognard says stop, goes limp, taps out, the rant is over.”

    Sorry to hear about the limpness, mate. However I think they have medications for that now!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  3. @Eddie Griffin: Yep, I’ve always thought Barca can be “manned” out of their rhythm.
    Maurine did a fine job last year – sending Inter out with strict instruction to hold a firm eleven man back-line and to take their chances on the counter. It worked real well and in the end the boys from Barca got frustrated from the tedium of their task and the ugliness of what faced them.
    Problem for Arsenal is, Wenger has now been lured into a beauty contest. He will try to beat them the “right way”, trying to prove that his team can “out Barca” Barca and hence be crowned as king of perfection.
    Truth is, they’re not nearly good enough to win at the Nou Camp with those tactics, and I’m afraid they will crash and burn.

  4. @Onkar: The PL is well represented in these knockout stages of the CL once again, so the idea that the league is slipping is but a fallacy.
    The PL has become a tad less attractive this season and it’s my thought that deeper pockets up and down the league is creating a bit of a stalemate. But eventually the talent will follow the money, just like water finds the drain (like Torres migrating to Chelsea) :mrgreen: .

    The league is in great shape, financially and otherwise – I honestly don’t see anything else to touch it right now.

  5. @Grognard: Grog, I did not say Nani will be rotated. I said if we buy Young, Nani and Young will start and non Valencia. Valencia will most likely be the sub and can come on to replace Young with Nani moving to the left, ONLY if required/needed.

  6. @godzilla:

    A little known fact is that Tony Valencia can actually play as a central attacking mid…we use him exclusively as a winger but wouldn’t mind giving him a shot in there…I am torn about Ashley Young…when i see him play he looks dangerous and effective..but he doesn’t really excite me….I really would love to see a winger who will come in and draw a double team every time (a la nani)….basically a guy who will pretty much skin his defender 9/10 in a 1-on-1…we just don’t have those types of players outside of Nani and Giggs (inside of 60min)….I really am getting bored with the vanilla football we have been playing this season….I really am not recognizing United given the way we play these days…that’s whay I would all be for a wing signing like Sanchez or Hazard…

  7. @Grognard:

    I hear you Grog…I guess I hold those dreams of some 17/18 yr old whiz kid making his debut and dazzling…fantasy I know but the likes of Macheda flattered to deceive..love those type of stories…I agree resi level is nowhere near first team but I’m holding out hope that one or two of those lads will break through…so since you are a Bundesliga head what do you make of this Dortmund side that seems to be drawing rave reviews…where do you think they would place if they were currently in the Premier league and which of their players would walk into the current United side? Seems like a lot of noise is being made about Sachin, Goetze and Kagawa….

  8. @Johnsom33: I just think ours is rubbish for a number of reasons. I actually am a big believer in academies but United have had a very spotty recent history when it comes to recruiting talent. Players who are good but not United class. Forget the territorial boundaries, even our foreign talent bar a few is shite.

    You either play them or sell them and United is doing neither. A game a month in either Carling Cup or early stage FA Cup is not experience enough and Fergie has been hanging on to this forever it seems. Beckham, Scholes, Butt and Neville didn’t have to wait that long and at least they were used as subs early in their United careers.

    As I have said on many occasions before, I am not a fan of buying 16 and 17 year old’s. Too many factors in play and too much can go wrong. I prefer 20 to 23 year old’s who are more proven but are still far from their potential and in most cases, still affordable.

  9. @Johnsom33: At the risk of sounding rude and arrogant (which is not my intention), this is where I will use the age card and point out that I have a little more faith in my judgment of players having studied and watched this sport for well over 30 years. And I can boldly say this because in all honesty I have been found wrong rarely. I just know when a player is the real deal even in his rawest and youngest inexperienced form. It took me five minutes to declare to a friend that Cristiano Ronaldo would one day be the world’s best and it took me just as long to declare Anderson complete crap.

    I respect your feelings and judgments and I am not putting them down. All I am saying is I trust my judgments a lot more as I feel they are tried and tested over time. Yes I can be wrong but like I said, I rarely am. I f I could honestly recall ten players I was wrong about over 30 years it would be a challenge. And in fairness I reserve my right regarding some of the reserves having yet to see them play, but for the one’s I have seen, other than Cleverley, I am not impressed in the least. I am also a big believer that if a teen who is 18 or 19 is really that damned good like Ronaldo or Beckham and Neville, then he should make his breakthrough with the club much faster. The fact Obertan and others haven’t is sure warning sign they are not United class..

  10. @Moscow is my heaven: Harsh words but I am in full agreement. Too many on here are kids themselves and thus, are seduced by the idea of kids like them making the grade. I wouldn’t go as far as to say 1/100 make it but more like 1/25. That’s not great return for the money and time invested. The club would be better suited signing 20-23 year old players who have something to offer immediately.

  11. @colver: Excellent points mate. United need to do what Bayern does. Buy quality depth and cut the fat. If you have reserves, they need to be good enough (ie; Muller, Badstuber) to make the grade before 20 or forget about it, sell them or loan them out. We shouldn’t have reserve team in the reserves league. Our best young talent should be practicing with the main team and playing or sitting and learning or loaned out. Playing in a reserve league is no better than pub leagues as far as I’m concerned. We are United, no time for projects.

  12. @Redrich: I’ve said this for two years now. Break their rhythm by counter attacking with intent but always physically let their midfielders know that if they are to hold the ball for long, they will get a hurting. Always be in their face but also let them feel it. The teams that have done this have had success against them.

  13. @Redrich: I think the minnows have deeper pockets but I also think that the traditional big four have looked and acted like paupers up until the Torres deal. United and the others have watched an exodus of great talent with very little coming back to replace what just left. And also, success at the round of 16 means nothing. EPL is assured of four clubs every year so their odds at getting to and surviving this round are good. Lets see how many survive by the semi’s before we proclaim the EPL king.

  14. @Don: Dortmund’s secret is their manager Jurgen Klopp. In fact, I fully expect him to be managing Bayern next season unless van Gaal wins the Champions League. He is an excellent tactician and believes in breaking in the young players. He loves teams to play ball, control football but also encourages pace which is something Fergie doesn’t do enough of. Dortmund succeeds because of a good back four, and excellent GK in Weidenfeller who is borderline world class and youthful fast midfielders. I don’t think they have depth but they play with passion and discipline which is something the great Bayern have lacked this season

  15. @Grognard:

    The Bundesliga really seems like an interesting league…I wish they showed the games here other than on ESPN3…I remember back in the days of “Football Made In Germany” used to love watching the Bundesliga…so it sounds like of Sachin, Kagawa and Goetze none would walk into our midfield? I know you don’t rate our youngsters but I fully expect 1 or 2 of the current crop to be big players for us… if we were in the same locale i would wager you a case of something… 🙂

  16. @godzilla:

    The Daily Mail is not a serious paper…i wouldn’t hold much stock into much they put out when it comes to United and transfer rumors…

  17. @Don: Don’t get me started on “Soccer Made In Germany”. It may go down as my favorite one hour program of all time. Not only were the games and players great but I used to love to listen to the commentator known as Toby Charles. That show had more to do with making a hard core Bayern Munich fan as well as Germany fan than anything. Exposure to that league back then was special because back then the Bundesliga was the best league in the world. Today it’s still the best league ion the world from a business and attendance point of view as well as the fact that most top German teams play in great stadiums, not dung heaps like England.

    As for Dortmund, watched their game today on GOL TV here in Canada and was impressed with many players and especially their control of the midfield. Goetz was good as was Sahin but Barrios was great today. I also feel for me the player I would most like from that club other than Goetz would be their central defender Mats Hummels. He can play as a CB or as a defensive midfielder and he has attacking skills as well. Great youth on this team that get the chance to play and grow rather than starve for opportunities and then risk going stale like at United.

  18. @godzilla: That’s a Daily Mail rumor which I for one would take more seriously. Not a bastion of journalistic integrity by no means but I find them to be less full of BS than many others. They, the BBC, and the Guardian are the only English football media I half way trust. And I sincerely hope this is true. Rodwell would be a great signing.

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