Park’s workrate alone is something to admire. (©PAphotos)
by Andrew Kirby
, read by 319 people.
When asked to supply my Premier League Player of the Month, a number of key performers and performances instantly ran through my mind.
At Wigan, Charles N'Zogbia has continued to shine, as had the Paraguayan defender Alcaraz until his sending-off at Old Trafford. Ronnie Stam is also improving exponentially. Game on game he gets better.
Danny Welbeck, Keiron Richardson and Asamoah Gyan were fantastic in Sunderland's shock 3-0 away victory against the Champions Chelsea. And Ricardo Fuller deserves an honourable mention for his showing against Liverpool for Stoke.
But for sheer impact, I'd have to plump for Ji-Sung Park of Manchester United. Overall, I believe his two goal salvo against Wolverhampton Wanderers on November 6 could be a key moment in the season.
During a month in which many of the top sides have stumbled, or shot themselves in the foot, Park's last minute winner against Wolves was blessed relief for the Old Trafford faithful. However, there was a feeling that Park's goal was about more than that. It was a ‘hindsight goal’, one of those goals which fans look back on at the end of the season and say 'that was the moment'.
Before Park's goal, United had started the season in a strangely meek fashion. Sure, they are traditional slow-starters, often only coming good at the start of the new year, but never in any of the previous seasons in the Premier League had United been conceding so many late goals.
Never had they thrown away so many points. It used to be a United stereotype, the injury time winner, and yet both Everton and Fulham scored late, late equalisers against the Reds.
Perhaps Park's winner against Wolves has changed this though. Perhaps it has reminded United of their traditional stubbornness, their refusal to throw away points even when it seems there is absolutely no time left to score.
Since that goal, United have gone on to perform a decent comeback against Aston Villa after being two down with nine minutes to go. And in that game, even though United were jaded, well below their best, there was a renewed feeling that despite the fact they'd not even tested Brad Friedel, they might still get back in the game.
As Wigan correspondent, it was disappointing to lose at Old Trafford, especially when it could legitimately be argued that we shot ourselves in the foot what with the two red cards. Park wasn't the shining light in that game, yet nor were most of the other United players.
And, watching the game, you did get that sinking feeling that if Wigan did manage to come back into it, United might well have upped their game and got a winner anyway.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.