There are sensational reports in England that Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is willing to overhaul his squad come this summer. His well-documented row with France international Paul Pogba could see the pair split this summer even as one of his former stars Zlatan Ibrahimovic exits now.
Ji Sung Park had an incredible footballing career becoming the first Korean player to play for Manchester United and appearing at three World Cups.
However, the one-time Champions League winner believes, despite all the hard work he put as a pro, that he is about to start his biggest challenge yet and that is to try to help guide South Korea to the very top of football.
What Park hung up his boots in 2014 it was expected that he would make the transition into management having played under big-name bosses such as Guus Hiddink and Sir Alex Ferguson but he says working under them took him on a different journey.
Instead of taking the head coaching position with South Korea he decided to take the reins of the country’s youth development. The Koreans are historically the best performing Asian side at the World Cups and its premier clubs have won the most continental club trophies but there are big concerns regarding the future of football there.
“The reason that Korea has been a strong nation in Asia was because we produced strong young players,” Park said.
“These days people can’t see this, and so there is a feeling of crisis.”
This feeling has led to much debate within the game in Korea as to how to better the system of developing youth talent.
Cha Bum Keun, South Korea’s former head coach and the player who successfully negotiated the European leagues before Park has a view that the country should follow the German way of developing talent.
“South Koreans don’t give up easily and have the strength to fight until the end,” he said.
“They are also similar to Germans fighting spirit, and that’s why I believe German football is suitable for us.”
For now, the Korean focus is all about the World Cup next year in Russia but it will be interesting to see how they develop in years to come.
On Monday, at the Etihad Stadium, there were only two dominant midfield players. Worryingly for the visitors, they were helping the home team. Sir Alex Ferguson, the Manchester united coach started the match with 5 against 4 in the midfield position, sacrificing Welbeck for the reliable and combative Park Ji-sung.
At last, the plan did not work; still Manchester United could not match the ability of Gareth Barry and Yaya Toure. Of course, United are some way better to other 18 teams in the Premier League. They would probably end with 89 points in the points table, but that huge total may not win then their 20th league.
Looking ahead, though, Sir Alex will be aware that his team would be stretched till he adds a dominant midfield player. United have talented players for that position. Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick have proved themselves time and time again, while Tom Cleverley and Phil Jones are valuable assets.
For some time, Manchester United has lacked a real fearsome midfielder, they kind of player who can pull a team and come out as a defining influence. Sir Alex can certainly defend his plans as City averaged 3 goals in each home game before this game in which they only scored once from a set piece.
Sir Alex’s frustration was clearly visible. He accused the City coach of trying to influence match officials and went furious with Roberto Mancini during the game. Both the coaches had to be separated during the finger-jabbing face-off in the 76th minute in that highly explosive derby game at Eastlands.
The retirement date for Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been the source of discussion for many in recent years, but it seems that the Scotsman is keen to carry on for a number of years at Old Trafford.
He is currently thought the discussions with the head at Manchester United, the final details of his contract, which could be his last in management. The 70-year-old manager has been responsible for the two Champions League titles Manchester United have won in recent seasons, but he is keen on helping United win another final title before he retires.
So far, he has built many great sides during his 25 years at Old Trafford. However, the side that he will be building now is going to be the crucial one because it will help him realise the dream that made him take the job at Old Trafford. Winning the third Champions League title of his career will mean a lot to Sir Alex Ferguson and also the Manchester United fans because it would put him level with Bob Paisley of Liverpool. Despite winning numerous domestic titles with Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson still considers the Champions League title to be the ultimate glory.
“We have to continue the dominance of winning leagues and, without question, winning a European Cup is important at this club. I think I’ve got three years at the club. As long as my health stays up, and as long as I’m still enjoying it and still getting the satisfaction of the team doing its best,” Sir Alex Ferguson said when asked about the date he will hand over the reign of Old Trafford to another manager. He will be offered around £ 6.5 million per year for signing the new contract with Manchester United.