Saturday, August 20, 2011

John O'Shea

John O'Shea The Goalkeeper
John Francis O'Shea (born 30 April 1981) is an Irish professional footballer, who currently plays for Sunderland and the Republic of Ireland national team as a defender.

Born in Waterford, O'Shea joined Manchester United when he was 17. He spent loan spells at Bournemouth and Royal Antwerp before establishing himself in the Manchester United first team. He joined Sunderland in July 2011.

O'Shea made his Republic of Ireland debut in 2001 against Croatia and has since gone on to make 70 appearances and for his country, scoring one goal.
Prior to joining the Manchester United academy, O'Shea played for Waterford Bohemians where he was first spotted by United scouts. He signed professional forms at the age of 17 and made his professional debut in 1999 against Aston Villa at Villa Park in a 3–0 Football League Cup defeat.

Following loan spells at Bournemouth and Belgian side Royal Antwerp he returned to Manchester and began to feature in the United first team in the 2002–03 season, demonstrating versatility by playing at left-back, right-back, centre-back and central midfield during the successful 2002–03 Premier League campaign.
In 2003–04, United were without Rio Ferdinand after he began a suspension for missing a drugs test in January, and O'Shea took over from Ferdinand in central defence, helping United reach the FA Cup Final where they triumphed 3–0 over Millwall.

He displayed indifferent form in the 2004–05 season and was linked with a move away from Manchester, with Newcastle and Liverpool being linked with the Irishman. One of the highlights of Manchester United's otherwise slightly disappointing season was the 4–2 away victory against Arsenal, in which O'Shea scored the fourth goal by chipping Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia from the edge of the 18 yard box
A month later he won over many United fans by scoring an injury time winner against Liverpool at Anfield for United in the league, having come on as a substitute for Wayne Rooney. This goal was important in United going on to regain the Premier League trophy for the 2006–07 season. He also rescued his team against Everton in one of the final games of the season, when he bundled the ball in the net after Everton goalkeeper Iain Turner fumbled a Ryan Giggs corner. United went on to win 4–2. This was perhaps an even more decisive goal, as Bolton Wanderers were drawing with Chelsea at the same time and defeat would have let Chelsea back into the title race. He scored another goal from close range, in a 2–1 defeat away to Portsmouth that season, this goal came during an injury hit part of the season, were O'Shea, as a versatile player, was required to play at full back. O'Shea had a shooting accuracy of 100% and scored with 80% of his shots in the 2006–07 season.
During the 2007–08 season, Manchester United used O'Shea as an emergency striker due to injury problems. His use as a striker gave him the distinction of having played in every position for Manchester United. In November 2007, O'Shea extended his contract at Manchester United, to keep him at the club until 2012. Throughout the 2007–08 season, O'Shea came off the bench several times and proved important as a utility player on the way to a European double. O'Shea captained his club for the first time, during a 2–0 home defeat to Coventry City in the League Cup Fourth Round.
Throughout the 2008–09 season, O'Shea became a regular within the team, deputising at right back because of injuries to Gary Neville and Wes Brown. On 20 January 2009, O'Shea scored his first goal of the season against Derby County in the 2nd leg of the Carling Cup semi-final. O'Shea then started the 2009 Football League Cup Final, before being replaced by Nemanja Vidić on 76 minutes, United won the game 4–1 on penalties. On 29 April 2009, O'Shea scored the only goal of the game in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final against Arsenal, this set United up to go on and win in the second leg by 4–1 on aggregate. O'Shea started and played the full 90 minutes in the 2009 Champions League Final 2–0 loss to Barcelona, and by many accounts was one of United's better performers on the night. Sir Alex Ferguson had promised O'Shea, who was an unused substitute in the 2008 Champions League Final, a starting place in the 2009 final for his contribution to the team that season.
O'Shea captained United for the second time against Birmingham City in their first game of the 2009–10 Premier League season.He celebrated his 350th appearance fittingly by scoring his first league goal in over two years against Stoke City on 29 September 2009, firing a header in a 2–0 win.

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