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Will Park JS Remain a Starter for ManU?

Posted July. 16, 2009 08:28,   


“I don’t care much about the competition for a starting spot. After all, I’m fighting myself.”

Soccer star Park Ji-sung often makes this type of comment whenever his team Manchester United recruits players who could take his starting spot.

Struggling with his own will and spirit, the 28-year-old midfielder faces yet another test. United coach Sir Alex Ferguson Tuesday ruled out more player signings for next season.

If what Ferguson said is true, four players could still challenge Park for his wing midfielder position. They are Antonia Valencia, 24; Gabriel Obertan, 20; Luis Nani, 23; and Zoran Tosic, 22.

The biggest threat is from Valencia. SBS soccer commentator Park Moon-seong said, “A prototype winger, Valencia is an immediate and sure bet for United to boost its capacity, as the team lacks depth on the wings.”

Though competitors have emerged, Park has consolidated his status on the team. Cristiano Ronaldo, 24, who was transferred to Real Madrid of Spain, might have been an “invincible barrier” for Park, but the Korean winger is expected to hold his own against Valencia.

Even if Valencia claims a wing post, chances are high that Park will take another. Nani is behind Park in player ratings and United might not feel confident starting the relatively inexperienced Tosic and Obertan.

Of course, these are merely predictions. All-around ace striker Wayne Rooney, 24, is a major variable. With the addition of veteran Michael Owen, 30, United could move Rooney to the wing and thus give Park a competitor for his position as strong as Ronaldo.

The ageless Ryan Giggs, 36, who moved to a central position, could also take Park’s wing post.

Still another potential variable is United’s recruitment of additional strikers. KBS commentator Han Joon-hee said, “Ferguson’s comment that United has finished adding players is merely a declaration.”

“If a good striker is available, Ferguson will not hesitate to chase him. So whether Park can remain a starter will depend on his performance.”