Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher has spoken in glowing praise of former midfielder Park Ji Sung, who has now retired from the game after several years of top level football. After making his name at PSV Eindhoven, Park Ji sung move to Manchester United in the summer of 2005 and became one of the important players at the club. His last match as a professional footballer was against K League Classic All-Stars. He won the one of the match award in the 6-6 draw while also scoring the final goal.
Fletcher, who has been out of the Manchester United team with Park to have won numerous titles, said that he shall always remember the South Korean international as a big game player. Former United midfielder Paul Scholes recently claimed that Sir Alex Ferguson always made it a priority to have Park in the big matches since his tireless work often led to the opposition struggling against United. One of his best matches came in the Champions League against AC Milan when he was asked to stop Andrea Pirlo from impacting the game. Park exceed regular role to perfection that it still remains as one of the finest defensive contributions from a United player in the last decade.
“I remember him as a big-game player. When the big games came around, against the likes of Arsenal and the big Champions League sides, he always stepped up to the plate. He was a great team-mate and a real humble lad in the dressing room. He just went about his job diligently. For such a big star in Asia – and he really is a superstar there – he never acted that way at all. He was always professional and a great player. I’d say he was an underrated player, too,” said the United midfielder.
Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta says that he is not enjoying football since he joined the gunners. Arteta completed a move for Everton in £ 10 million deal a few years ago. After several years at Everton, he is slowly establishing himself in the Arsenal first team. At 32 years of age, he offers them wealth of experience that the team has been missing for several years. However, he says that the pressure of playing for a club like Arsenal has made him not love football. Prior to that, he used to love the aspect of playing football.
Arsenal are a club expected to win trophies, but their repeated failures over the last nine years has been putting more pressure on the team and the manager. The team are constantly in the spotlight whether it be success or failure. Even this season, they were under the challenge of winning the Premier league title a few months ago. Now that the title challenge has gone off, they are involved in a challenge for the top four with Everton. In his former club, Arteta was not used to being in such a position because Everton usually were happy with a mediocre place in the table.
Arteta has even gone into saying that the pressure has started affecting his personal life.
“I find it difficult to say ‘I love it’ because I’m constantly putting myself under pressure, there’s always a next target or a ‘we won but we didn’t do a certain thing well’ nagging away at you. And it’s always like that. The fight to switch off gets harder and harder. I just can’t do it. I have long discussions with my wife every time we have a bad result and I constantly think about what we can improve, what we did wrong, what happened in the game,” said Arteta.
Arsenal’s schedule for the month of February sees them going against Liverpool, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Crystal Palace and Sunderland in what will be one of their toughest and busiest times in this season.
Arsene Wenger and his team have to face off against some of the best clubs in the Premier League as well as in the Bundesliga with a battle against Bayern Munich for the 1st leg of the Champions League.
The problem is not the amount of matches and opponents that Arsenal has to do in February but the real concern is the increasing number of players that are unavailable to play due to injuries. Theo Walcott is already confirmed to be out for the remainder of the season, Oxlade-Chamberlain is going through the final stages of his recovery but is still not able to play an entire match, Rosicky is out for a few weeks.
Mikel Arteta is worried that the injuries will leave Arsenal out of the Premier League title race.
The 31 years old midfielder said: “We have many options but that’s one problem we’ve had in recent weeks.
“We’ve had many injuries, we’ve lost Theo for a long time, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is just coming back, too many. Rosicky is out for a few weeks with a nose problem. We are a bit short at the moment but hopefully we can get people back.
“Every squad has to deal with these situations and of course we have to cope with these injuries. The schedule now is going to be really busy.We have some really tough games coming up in the next two weeks and we have deal with it and do our best.”
Even with the ongoing list of injured players, Wenger has managed to cope well with all of the absences as Arsenal maintains their charge at the top of the Premier League along with Chelsea and Manchester City.