Date: 26th May 2008 at 12:46pm
Written by:

Here is the second part of our series. Now we analyse the midfielders’ displays, have a look at how the biggest department of United’s squad performed this season. Please note: Ronaldo is not in this section.

Paul Scholes: The Ginger Ninja enjoyed a mixed season. He was solid but unspectacular until his injury that ruled him out for three months. He returned with a bang against Portsmouth, and produced more masterclasses, especially against Liverpool home and Roma away. But at times he was bypassed when pacy and strong midfielders took the game to United. But he fired United into the Champions League final and though he did not play particularly well there, he picked up the medal he craved since 1999. 8

Michael Carrick: A bit disappointing and injury-ravaged autumn but made up for it during the spring when he became a cornerstone of the team again. He had outstanding games against Liverpool and Arsenal at Old Trafford – and I’ve already praised his passing and his reading of the game. Huge defensive work combined with pulling the strings when needed. Should score more goals. 8

Owen Hargreaves: A difficult season. He was struggling with tendonitis problem and missed a lot of games. At times he was played as an emergency right-back so he did not really exert his influence on his favoured position in central midfield. Yet when he got the chance there he did not let us down. Hopefully he’ll manage to stay injury-free next season and could become a vital member of the first XI. 7

Anderson: The surprise of the season. His tenacity, graft and bite amazed everyone and he’s got a remarkable passing ability and good pace as well. He became a bit-part player at the end of the season after going off the boil a little, sometimes obviously lacking maturity but rammed home the penalty at the Luzhniki. Best displays were against Arsenal and Liverpool. Another one who’ll surely play a much more prominent role next season, especially as Scholes will be phased out, according to Fergie. 7

Darren Fletcher: A big-game player though very few people give him credit for it. The season was difficult for him, given the embarassment of riches in his position but did remarkably well when called upon, especially against Arsenal in the FA Cup and Lyon in the Champions League. He was one of our best players at Stamford Bridge, too. His passing is still rough at times and lacks the technique to become a key player but hopefully he won’t leave Old Trafford. 6

Ryan Giggs: His decline was obvious and rapid. Had great moments but this season was a story of inconsistency for Giggs. It was glorious in the end: decisive goal at Wigan, United’s winning penalty against Chelsea in the European Cup final, lifting it for the second time in his illustrious career. But he will be a squad player at best next season. 6

Ji-sung Park: Missed the first half of the season through injury and though looked a bit blunt at first after his comeback he played a big part in the end. His contribution to our Champions League triumph must not be understated as he did a huge job against Roma and Barcelona. 6

Luis Nani: All in all, better than what I expected. Scored some great goals and showed he can destroy teams when he’s on form but very inconsistent and lacking maturity and tactical awareness. There is plenty of room for improvement but his debut season was a highly encouraging one. 7