Whilst fans hotly debate the comings and goings of January’s upcoming transfer market, lest we not forget the true heroes of football. John O’Shea comes as no better example. For many the loveable idiot within United’s international set-up, O’Shea is now approaching his tenth season with United. Rant marks O’Shea’s anniversary in all his glory.
A fan’s favourite, O’Shea is also a regular fixture at international level with the Republic of Ireland.O’Shea is probably the most versatile player ever to grace the modern game, having played in goal in United’s famous 2007 win at White Hart Lane. The Irishman also played up-front, scoring the the winner, at Anfield in the same year. A feat that should not be underestimated as the game was pivotal to United finally clinching the title that season.
The 28-year-old has dabbled in central midfield and, though a centre half by trade, seems more accomplished in the right wing-back role. If that was O’Shea’s rite-of-passage he should be relieved to have finished the ordeal. But there seems little in O’Shea’s character to suggest that he minds too much. As long as he is involved, he is happy. The true glory of O’Shea.
Ferguson has rewarded the attitude, with the manager now placing the Irishman as United’s first choice right-back, ahead of the England’s incumbent and teammate Wes Brown.
Brown, magnificent prior to another recent injury lay-off, has lost his place in the starting eleven to O’Shea. Youngster Rafael, with such raw talent, has been unable to displace Ireland’s key defender, and even the club-Captain Gary Neville must now play second fiddle.
The Waterford-born star is also one of the few United players to rarely be troubled with injury throughout his time at the club. It’s a feature of O’Shea’s make-up that has become extremely useful for Sir Alex Ferguson.
O’Shea recently past 350 appearances for United, and is not far from surpassing the Scot Arthur Albiston, who made 485 appearances. That would, almost unbelievably, place O’Shea 10th on the all-time United appearances list.
Trivial facts that should not be underestimated. Many players have an instant impact at Old Trafford but are just as easily forgotten. Dwight Yorke, for example, was at times a superb player for United but lacked the inherent quality to maintain his level for many years. Performances on the pitch are key for Ferguson, with Yorke’s ‘character’ a point of friction for the Scot.
O’Shea, a model of complete professionalism, deserves significant credit. To have survived at Old Trafford for so long, Sir Alex must must not doubt for a moment his capabilities.
Yet it is obvious that O’Shea is not the most gifted player to have pulled on a United shirt. But that is not to doubt the Irishman’s impact – amid too many Prima Donas, there simply aren’t enough John O’Shea’s.
7 thoughts on “An ode to John O’Shea”
You forgot this one:
I couldn’t agree more. For every ‘star’ with a crap attitude that has played for United there has to be players like John O’Shea, Darren Fletcher, Phil Neville, Mike Duxbury, Ashley Grimes who turn up and play where they’re asked to, to the best of their ability. They rarely get any of the plaudits of the big names, but it’s players like this that have won us titles. If it’s 0-0 with a minute to go who would you rather have in the opposition box than John O’Shea? Veron? Saha? Tevez? Berbatov?
And best of all the bloke plays the game with a smile on his face – all too rare these days.
Brilliant article! The selfless lad certainly deserves an ode!
And this season he has been more than just a squad player. Every other defender has had moments/games to forget (Vida, Rio, Foster, Red Nev, Brown), but O’Shea has been consistent. I can’t remember one major mistake from him this season. I wish he also puts in 5-6 good crosses going forward.
He was also so effective playing defensive midfield in Moscow. Deserves much for recognition and praise.
great article geezer, keep up the good (archery) work.
John o’shea is a quality player mate, his work ethic is second to none and he wears nice shinnies too!
your title was better this time, the previous one did cause a right ol’ barney amongst the lads n i can see why to be honest.
I hope your next article is about joe ‘jaws’ jordan, my personal favourite player, and as i’ve heard from you on the united message boards, one of yours too- obviously doesnt have anything on Kleberson though mate as you like to say
P.S wanna go for a bevvie some time?
I read your last article and i just read this one and im sorry to say they are absolute drivel. John o’shea has plagued our side since he joined us in the academy and fergie never got round to getting someone better in. You really dont know your stuff.
Aaron – I’ll allow this comment because I want to make a point. You have a different opinion. Ok. Articulate it then. But to call the article drivel and suggest the writer doesn’t know his stuff simply because you don’t agree and can’t be bothered to write a worthy response reflects badly on you, not the author. If you think you can do better, write in. This is a fans’ website and we don’t all have the same view but if we can’t be polite then what’s the point.
Ed, im sorry but i would like to make a point aswell.If Aaron feels strongly about something why shouldnt he speak his mind. This article is way out, as ever Dan is over the top and he has to be sacked- end of