Monday, 22 March 2010

Labrador eater and Scouse slayer..The Cult of Park

The man has Old Trafford's best songs. He is becoming a cult phenomenon

Park, Park, wherever you may be,
You eat dogs in your home country!
It could be worse, you could be Scouse,
Eating rats in your council house!

He shoots,
He scores,
He eats Labradors,
Ji Sung Park, Ji Sung Park...

Ten Alsatians, walking down the street,
Ten Alsatians, walking down the street,
and if Ji-Sung Park fancies one to eat,
there'll be nine Alsatians, walking down the street

In many ways Park Ji Sung is the most unlikeliest of heroes at the Theatre of Dreams. A workhorse South Korean, not blessed with particularly awesome pace. Not a player with the greatest first touch. Often looking uncomfortable on the ball. But he has one thing that United fans have always admired over the years. And that is he has the heart the size of a lion's....or maybe a St Bernard's!

His match winning goal against the Scouse scum was a victory for the common footballer yesterday. The responsibility that the so called 'average players' in the United squad take is what makes United different to many other don't see the likes of Lucas or a Mikel going that metaphoric midfield extra mile to throw their heads at a ball and a boot to score a match defining goal. Park's success at United has been down to 100% application. It is to his credit that when we are involved in a must win game, that the grand master of them all gets out his teamsheet and generally pencils him in ahead of much more talented players.

Darren Fletcher also epitomises all that Ive just said above. A gangly, decided dodgy Scottish kid, who runs around quite alot, used to give the ball away with almost every pass and just looked way out of his depth. That lad has developed into one of the finest midfielders in the Premier League. Those less schooled on the game may still mock Fletch..but they haven't got a clue. He is the ugly duckling that has developed into the majestic swan. His performance against Liverpool merited the man of the match award, but the truth is it was just your average styled performance by the boy these days. He does it like that almost every week. If he was an Englishman he would be in the first eleven for the national team. He may not be fashionable in a David Bentley type way ("ooooh hes the next David Beckham..ooooh he will play for England FOR YEARS!") but then i see that as a blessing rather than a curse.

As a United fan, its our contingent of unsung heroes that makes me most proud. I will know that if we lose the title this year, that those men would have given their every fibre. Its a privilege to watch Rooney every week, but i don't get the most joy from him. Its a United tradition that the team always comes first and the Parks and Fletchers and Evras and Valencias are the type of players that epitomise what we are. None of them are "big time Charlies" None of them are pictured falling out of nightclubs. None of them risk their standing in the squad by shagging the full back's missus. And everyone of them is genuinely proud to wear that badge on their chest. In many ways, Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes are the templates. Look after yourself, earn your millions of pounds, keep a clean nose, and fight fight fight for United til we win the football league. This example is thankfully all still there for the many in the least for a short period of the future.

Arsenal may yet snatch this title. Chelsea may well win all their remaining games and march away with the big silver trophy. But at United we know that we have a breed of footballer that is unique. So thank you Sir Alex Ferguson for assembling this squad. Lets hope we reach for the line in a manner that befits Manchester United Football Club



  1. well said .. I just hope all the dog stuff doesn't offend him and he takes it in the way it is intended... good stuff

  2. Nice article. You're right too. But I guess that's why people like Ferguson and Wenger are coaches and not us! hey know good players when they see one. When trying to buy whole new teams, Chelsea and City go for the big names, but rarely do they work out! Think Robinho. Think Lescott! They let Dunne go - a dependable and importantly; loyal footballer go. Crazy! They want the glamour. But it is players like Park, Fletcher, O'Shea, Neville and Brown who will never draw much praise from outside Old Trafford, that are the types you want to build a club with. Don't complain if they don't play every week. Wait for their chance and give their all when it comes. Watching Torres and Gerrard's petulance yesterday was an embarrassment.

  3. Haha enjoyed that one about the alsatians but seriously manutd need to stay focus an the title will be ours :)

  4. I read this somewhere - 20 years ago, would you ever guess that a South Korean would decide a Manchester United-Liverpool game in a year that the Red Devils were about to eclipse Liverpool's domestic league title haul?

  5. Absolutely agree with everything especially how good fletch has become but you forgot to mention how much park has come on as well, he is more than just the player we put on the wing because we knew ronaldo would track back. he has developed so much as a player eg his performance against arsenal at the emirates or at the san siro where he stiffled the ever creative pirlo. its a testiment to the boys character, to come back and be so good, to be loved by every united fan when no one could have blamed him if he walked away after fergie left him out of the CL final squad in moscow.
    One final point, how good is valencia?!?! he shocks me every week. how i have longed for a player like him to come to old trafford. sure we have had good wingers in recent years in ronaldo and beckham but i have been waiting for a throwback to the days of sharpe and young giggs and kanchelskis. a traditional united winger like coppell. dont get me wrong, he has a long way to go to be up there with those players but i love watching him play. mark my words - he will be such a cornerstone, such a creative force for united in years to come so i must commend fergie for i amongst others critcised that signing last season