How good was Park Ji-sung?

Chipper

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Started 15 CL knockout games including 2 finals.
In my defence I acknowledged he played a key role in some important games, and Europe was really what I was alluding to there.
So influential then?
Well he had some influence, and everyone remembers him doing important jobs in some big games. I was never saying he did nothing at all.

I suppose it's how we describe that. "Very influential" and "key cog" doesn't really do it for me. I'd personally reserve that for players like Rooney, Rio, Scholes, Evra, Vidic, Carrick, Van der Sar etc.

Even players like Brown, O'Shea and Fletcher fit the bill better as Fergie would turn to them more often than he did Park.
 

Bebestation

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Did the "pressing" by himself before I saw it much more done as a team tactic.
 

OL29

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So influential then?

Was he? I been frequenting this forum since 2006 and I don’t remember him being heavily criticised at all. Under appreciated maybe?
Take a look at the first few pages of this thread, which I think pretty much summarises the consensus on him at the time. Feelings on him were pretty mixed, with a lot of people frustrated by his lack of end product and attacking edge, with others defending him on the basis of his big game performances. I don’t dispute that he was a valuable squad player, he definitely provided balance to the likes of Ronaldo who conserved his energy for attacking, but I think the shouts of him being technically excellent are perhaps clouded by nostalgia.
 

siw2007

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Really liked Park, he was a very good player and reliable player who despite occasionally missed a clanger, scored some very important goals, the first ones that come to mind are against Liverpool and Arsenal in 2010 and then Chelsea in 2011 in the UCL.

He was very much the underrated functional player in what was a star studded team with the likes of Rooney, Ronaldo,Tevez, Berbatov, Nani and Giggs so didn’t really grab the imagination of the fans. But he became more important as his time at the club went on, he ultimately built himself a good career at the club.

Unfortunately he dropped off in 2011/2012, understandable that his stamina wained with age which was so key for him.
 

Baneofthegame

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Great squad player.
 

Matt007a

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He’s similar to Fred but better in virtually every way. Granted Park played a bit higher up the pitch but he was often played deeper in order to mark specific players.

Super high energy, much better on the ball than Fred and a player who raised his game for the big occasion.

That said he’s not quite in the Kante level of hard working midfield players.
 

harms

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I followed him from his PSV days until the end of his tenure at United. Technically a great player. Clutch as well and obviously a workhorse. One of my faves.
I always felt like his workhorse reputation & man-marking of Pirlo made people really underestimate his ability (people compares James to him, ffs). The man almost carried PSV to a CL final! And what a fun side they were — Hiddink, Park, Van Bommel, Cocu, Alex, Gomes, VoH…
 

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Some replies in this thread show me that some of our fans really don't deserve to be supporting this great club. I take it as a privilege that I support Manchester United and have done so since 1994. Ji Sung Park was an absolute baller. He was technically brilliant, no doubt about that, I see people saying his touch was erratic, erratic? How? His one touch play, short passing and off the ball movement was top class , no need to talk about his work rate and defensive abilities.

Park could time tackles perfectly and intercept balls and start counters in an instant, his finishing was clean as well. We've had some great players but maybe due to the recent lack of success some of you seem to always be down on United and forget about how great players like Park were. He would start in our midfield easily today alongside McTominay and would start in Liverpools midfield as well. Kloop would love him and so would Tuchel. I always rated him from when he was Holland and he got even better after joining United.
 

OleBoiii

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Another underrated aspect that I forgot to mention in my first post was his total lack of fear. I used to cringe when he'd charge forward even when winning the ball looked hopeless and his chance of getting absolutely clattered was more or less guaranteed. We scored several goals and created many chances as a result of this fearlessness in winning the second ball. If there was even a 1% chance of success he'd go all in. This is usually futile(work smart, not hard etc), but Park somehow made it work.
 

OL29

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Some replies in this thread show me that some of our fans really don't deserve to be supporting this great club. I take it as a privilege that I support Manchester United and have done so since 1994. Ji Sung Park was an absolute baller. He was technically brilliant, no doubt about that, I see people saying his touch was erratic, erratic? How? His one touch play, short passing and off the ball movement was top class , no need to talk about his work rate and defensive abilities.

Park could time tackles perfectly and intercept balls and start counters in an instant, his finishing was clean as well. We've had some great players but maybe due to the recent lack of success some of you seem to always be down on United and forget about how great players like Park were. He would start in our midfield easily today alongside McTominay and would start in Liverpools midfield as well. Kloop would love him and so would Tuchel. I always rated him from when he was Holland and he got even better after joining United.
I think you need to climb off that high horse, just because some people don’t rate a player as highly as you doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to support the club ffs. Nobody’s been disrespectful about him, so I don’t see the issue. For such a super fan, you could at least get his position right, he wasn’t anywhere near a central midfielder, he and McTominay in a midfield 2 would be woeful.
 

therealtboy

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I think you need to climb off that high horse, just because some people don’t rate a player as highly as you doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to support the club ffs. Nobody’s been disrespectful about him, so I don’t see the issue. For such a super fan, you could at least get his position right, he wasn’t anywhere near a central midfielder, he and McTominay in a midfield 2 would be woeful.
He wasn't at first but by 2009 he was playing a central position and that's the version of Park that would start in midfield today.
 

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He was a great player. Superb on a technical level, incredible work rate for 90 minutes, and top game intelligence too. He’d be much higher rated today.
 

Leftback99

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He was good but I think it helped that he was doing the dirty work for players like peak Ronaldo and Rooney which meant he got a lot of credit as the team was getting results.

He wouldn't have stood out as much in our teams since SAF which have lacked the same quality.
 

eire-red

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Good player that had a lot of good moments for us. As squad players go, I don't think you could find a better example. But I never saw him as more than a squad player.
 

Chipper

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He’s similar to Fred but better in virtually every way. Granted Park played a bit higher up the pitch but he was often played deeper in order to mark specific players.

Super high energy, much better on the ball than Fred and a player who raised his game for the big occasion.

That said he’s not quite in the Kante level of hard working midfield players.
Much wider too for the most part as far as his United career goes.



Edit to add: Those stats are incomplete, Park made more appearances than that for United. Maybe some competitions are missing, some sub appearances? Not sure what gives. That is supposed to be filtered for all competitions, United only on Transfermarkt.
 
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11101

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Cracking player, the definition of effective. He wasn't a regular starter only because of how stacked that team was but he was every bit as important and all the players acknowledged that.

He could do whatever Ferguson asked of him and it wasn't just man marking jobs on the likes of Pirlo. He was more than capable of being a nuisance in the opposition box too.
 

redrobed

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He was phenomenal. He was a man that just commanded respect. When he walked onto the pitch you just knew. He commanded respect.
 

Paxi

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In my defence I acknowledged he played a key role in some important games, and Europe was really what I was alluding to there.


Well he had some influence, and everyone remembers him doing important jobs in some big games. I was never saying he did nothing at all.

I suppose it's how we describe that. "Very influential" and "key cog" doesn't really do it for me. I'd personally reserve that for players like Rooney, Rio, Scholes, Evra, Vidic, Carrick, Van der Sar etc.

Even players like Brown, O'Shea and Fletcher fit the bill better as Fergie would turn to them more often than he did Park.
Yeah but that is influence in my opinion. Think of how many players that United had that left no mark on the club at all. Park, in my opinion, left his mark. He was a very good player indeed whom turned up when it mattered most and I suspect he would get much more praise now with the way the game is going.
 

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We respectfully called him Korean Kuyt on old Liverpool Facebook groups.
 

izec

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"It’s crazy but if you mentioned Cristiano Ronaldo to a 12-year-old, they would immediately say, 'Yeah, he was a brilliant player for Manchester United,'" wrote Rooney.

“But if you said 'Ji-sung Park' they may not know who he was. Yet all of us who played with Park know he was almost as important to our success.

“That’s because of what Park gave to the collective and I want to talk about teams. They — not stars — are the most important thing in sport.”
https://www.manutd.com/en/news/deta...t-to-man-utd-as-cristiano-ronaldo-says-rooney

Excellent player and well rounded, could play different roles across the pitch without losing quality. Would suit today's modern game much more, he would get praised by everyone like Kante. You can't hate him. He sacrificed individual brilliance for team success. No allure or arrogance, just a genuine and honest player working his socks off to help the team and whatever was asked of him. He could have asked for a move to have a bigger star role, but he didn't. A perfect example of a player you want to have and every manager would love. He is not the goat, but teams need players like him to make it work and balance things out.
 
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Paxi

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Take a look at the first few pages of this thread, which I think pretty much summarises the consensus on him at the time. Feelings on him were pretty mixed, with a lot of people frustrated by his lack of end product and attacking edge, with others defending him on the basis of his big game performances. I don’t dispute that he was a valuable squad player, he definitely provided balance to the likes of Ronaldo who conserved his energy for attacking, but I think the shouts of him being technically excellent are perhaps clouded by nostalgia.
No harm I’m not reading through 40 pages but first few posts are adequate. You want critical - go to Ole thread or Lingard thread.
 

amolbhatia50k

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Superb footballer. Technically always on the mark, highly intelligent, quick, tenacious, skillful and defensively strong. He wasn't quite top drawer as his end product was not at that level, but he was an absolute dream as a squad player in an elite team. In a lesser team, he'd be a real star.
 

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A very underrated player by non-United fans. But you always needed a player like him to get the balance in your team. Fantastic workhorse who was technically good, and a big game player.
 

Hastar

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I don't know about you lot, but we loved Kuyt. Hardworking, always put in steady performances and played out of position at times for the side.
A bit like Park. So don't know what was funny in that.
 

Lay

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Park and Carrick were regular whipping boys, if I remember correctly
Yep. Don’t know if it was this forum or soccerpulse but Park would continually criticised because he wasn’t a flair player. Carrick who people claim was better than Alonso was also heavily criticised.
 

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Yep. Don’t know if it was this forum or soccerpulse but Park would continually criticised because he wasn’t a flair player. Carrick who people claim was better than Alonso was also heavily criticised.
Bought to increase viewership in Asia and similar silly claims come to mind
 

Kanu

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I always felt like his workhorse reputation & man-marking of Pirlo made people really underestimate his ability (people compares James to him, ffs). The man almost carried PSV to a CL final! And what a fun side they were — Hiddink, Park, Van Bommel, Cocu, Alex, Gomes, VoH…
Such a great team they had and he was the standout player for me. Says a lot about his quality.
 

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I most remember Park as a decent-to-good player who had a knack for scoring important goals.

He was a good signing on the whole.
 

Chairman Steve

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My memories of Park were being an absolute workhorse with unlimited energy. A player who was adept at finding himself in right attacking positions but the majority of the time, not converting when he should have… which frustrated me and other fans too.
 

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I think reservations about his technique were only with respect to the fact he played alongside some unbelievable players. Relatively speaking he wasn't of that same ability, that was fairly clear. Similarly his ability would seem pretty good compared to current midfield options.

But he certainly made up for it by being tidy, having great energy and pressing and always fulfilling the manager's wish. A great "third" midfielder but he could do a job anywhere really. You could play him in the Fred role, he'd probably be a half decent wing back, he could do a job out wide or higher up.
 

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Great stamina, two footed, could play left or right, great off the ball movement. Fell over a lot, drank frog juice.
 

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Brilliant little player. Unreal engine, like Kante level engine, underrated technically as well.

Gave you the option of unlimited energy and came up with goals as well, especially against Arsenal :D
 

hungrywing

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I think Park gets (got) divisive ratings because his attributes lend him to that sort of bifurcation, if you will.

The FIFA player card system helps a bit:

If someone like Rooney had 90 attacking and 25 defense for a total of 115.
And Ronaldo had 100 attacking and 15 defense for a total of 115.
And so on. Obviously greatly simplified, but one gets the idea of 'total attributes' (passing, tackling, etc etc) then summed across the team to glean its overall effectiveness.

Park had like 78 attacking but really weirdly had like 55 defense. Which made him a 133+ player in certain situations against certain opponents.

That 55 defense would be effectively useless against a team parking the bus and not attacking anyways, and his 'low' attacking meant he never was a consistent enough threat against those mid-lower PL teams.

But against bigger teams who tried to outplay you, that's when you got that 133+ version.