One of the reasons Manchester United can afford to splash the cash in the transfer market is because so much of our squad cost us absolutely nothing.

Of the 26 players who have represented us in the Premiership this season, 11 came from our youth system. 6 of them have been playing for our Reserves in the past two seasons. Whilst few players have held down a starting XI place since the likes of Beckham and Scholes, all players have an important role to play. Without squad players, there would be no trophies in the cabinet. The players who fill in when the first team players are injured or suspended, or who come on to give the first XI a rest when they need one. Then every now and again, they pop up and make a match-saving tackle or a match-winning goal.

John O’Shea is one of these players and Sir Alex Ferguson and today claimed that we are “blessed” to have him.

“I feel blessed that we have players like John O’Shea, who has stepped in to play out of his skin,” said Ferguson. “John has thrived on playing regularly and I’m sure that if I asked him to play at centre-forward he would get us a goal. It’s great to have such adaptable players and it’s one of our strengths as we enter the last lap of the title race.”

Whilst I’ll always look upon O’Shea fondly, I’m having a harder time supporting him this season than I have in the past. With the quality of our squad increasing every season, O’Shea seems to get left further and further behind. He stands out as a player who is just not up to scratch.

Saying that, he has been playing right-back for most of his opportunities this season, which is a position he isn’t that familiar with, after usually being used down the other flank or in the centre of midfield. As fourth choice, which is what he is behind Neville, Brown and Rafael, he hasn’t been dreadful. Can you imagine the standard of a fourth choice right back at any club in this country?

Regardless, he needs to book his ideas up a bit this season because he won’t get a look in when the others return from injury otherwise!