So where were we, yes...I think we stopped at Darren Fletcher....and that was just about towards the mid-way point of the season;
Regular readers of this blog should will know that I've always failed to get his sir name right so hopefully that will do. I know its wrong but you obviously know who I'm talking about.
That TK makes an appearance in the context of a season review must be a surprise to most of you but so has the whole season. You might remember that we were thankful to have EVDS back in goal for us for our trip to Anfield. It was a rather welcome relief given what we had endured when Ben was in goal. Ben himself must have been pleased as it was finally a breather for him.
However, we lost our veteran custodian to another injury sustained in the home clash against Everton. Enter TK!
Ben Foster blew his chance, but what would TK do with his....well given that he contributes a sizeable portion of this review, it's only fair that I tell you that in my opinion, he did well. People will always point to the fact that we had six to nine defenders injured mid-way through the season but what about the goalkeeper who had to stand behind a defence of Carrick and Fletcher for four games and try to keep United in the game? For me TK is another unsung hero of our season. For all their commitment and determination, Carrick and Fletcher are not the ideal partnership in central defence simply because they are not central defenders.
The game against Portsmouth was supposed to be an easy one and the result suggests so but you might want to remember that TK was the reason as to why we did not concede at crucial moments. He also pulled off a reflex save late in that game which at the time was in the reckoning for save of the season----but I guess no one will remember that.
What about the point at Birmingham? Who should we credit for keeping the Blues at bay. I remember Alex McCleish's boys had three good chances to add on to their one goal but were only thwarted by TK. Michael Owen scored a hat-trick in Germany but with just one recognised defender in that game, TK kept out the Germans at very crucial moments in the game.
I'm not saying that the lad is as good as EVDS or anything but he does rate higher than Foster if form is the yardstick. I thought he covered well for the Dutchman in his absence so big ups to the Pole.
Couldn't avoid him for long. It's not to suggest that Wayne had been poor at the start of the season because you don't get 34 goals in just three months but there was a period after Christmas when he certainly grabbed the goal scoring mantle. He was playing like a possessed man and scoring goals as though his salary depended on it. He bagged three at Pompey and all four at Hull. That was when the talk of passing Ronaldo's 42 goal tally crept in. He almost single handedly helped us beat AC Milan in the champions League as well. There was however one interesting stat that was being added to his game through all this and that was the fact that the goals were now coming off his head vide provider in Chief--Antonio Valencia!
It was a remarkable run that also saw him score what would in the end be our goal of the season---a 9.2 seconds counter-attack at the Emirates Stadium (eat your heart out Cristiano). It would all climax in the Englishman heading in the winner in the CarlingCup final against Aston Villa at Wembley and from that moment, his individual accolades for the season were intact. It is during that period (February) that most awards are voted for and now wonder that he is the PFA and FWA player of the year, the Barclays Premier League Player of the Year, The Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year, etc.
PARK JI SUNG
Cameo role usually but Park was a sort of assistant engine to Wayne Rooney. His energetic displays from midfield could not go unnoticed and hence his man of the match performances in the game at the Emirates, The home and away legs against AC Milan, climaxing in his winning goal against Liverpool at OT to keep us in the hunt for the title. He has proved yet again that the manager did not sign him just to sell shirts as you wouldn't play a player for that purpose in all the important games of the season.
The final Chapter---Part three to come!