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John O’Shea: A man for every occasion

john-o-shea-manchester-united-derby-county2A successful team is not made up of a few key players, it is not made up of a starting eleven and it is not even made up a starting eleven and substitutes. A successful team involves a full squad. For years now Manchester United have been one of the best, if not the best club in the world. During his time at Old Trafford, there is one thing that Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United sides have always had and that is strength in depth.

The current United side is no different. The Red Devil’s have several quality squad players whom they rely on in times of need, take Park Ji Sung or Johnny Evans for instance. However in my opinion, one of the most important players in the whole of Manchester United’s side is John O’Shea.

Anyone who has read any of my previous articles with know that a skill that I keenly admire in a player is versatility, something that John O’Shea has in abundance. The Irishman is widely regarded as one of the most versatile players in the Premier League and his importance to Alex Ferguson’s side cannot be underestimated. Sure he does not possess the same flair as players such as Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov, but nevertheless he remains a key member of the team.

O’Shea is a man for every occasion and it is a huge compliment to him that in times of need, no matter where the position, Ferguson will often turn to O’Shea. An example was seen in February 2007 after an injury to goalkeeper Edwin Van Der Sar. With United unable to use any more substitutes, John O’Shea was instructed to deputise in goal and although this may not been seen as significant, it still shows the faith United have in O’Shea to do any job.

Despite not really having a set position, in recent seasons O’Shea has begun to be known as a right back for Manchester United. He has been immensely important in the last few campaigns with injuries to Gary Neville and Wes Brown leaving a gap on the right side of defence. Although there has been the recent emergence of young prospect Rafael Da Silva in the wing back role, I am of the firm belief that in big games O’Shea will still be favoured due to his experience; last year’s Champions League final was evidence of this.

Although he is by no means known for his goal scoring prowess, O’Shea has still scored his fair share of key goals for Man United. An injury time winner against Liverpool helped United regain the 2006-07 title and another in a 1-0 win in the Champions League first leg against Arsenal prove that he can pop up to score a crucial goal for his side.

One of the glamorous names of the Manchester United team John O’Shea is definitely not, yet I believe him to still be one of the more important members of the squad. His ability is backed up by his importance to his national side, the Republic of Ireland. He may be a little overshadowed at times at Old Trafford but the importance of his role at United should not be overlooked.

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Article title: John O’Shea: A man for every occasion

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