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Fergie: Mistakes Cost Foster His Place

Ben Foster has had a difficult Manchester United career, with a string of injuries keeping out of the team before effectively blowing his big opportunity with the mistakes he made against the likes of City and Sunderland.

Rumours are rife that the English keeper is set to leave United but Sir Alex Ferguson seems keep on keeping him around.

“Ben’s ­unfortunate,” said Ferguson. “He has got fantastic talent, it’s just he made some mistakes earlier in the season. Tomasz Kusczcak got in and his form has been great. So what do I do? Pick Ben because he’s English or go with form? I have to go with form.”


About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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73 Comments

  1. Fred says:

    Fergie, please get rid of this clown! I’m still fuming about some of the goals he cost us this season. He is not United quality and never will be.

    The good thing is some mugs like Spurs or Stoke would fork out a good few million for him. We could make a handsome profit on a player who is a major liability to us.

  2. Macheda IS GOD says:

    ….You guys just don’t watch the reserves…His form has been brilliant but so has edwins
    So basically only experience kept him out for these 4 weeks.

  3. parryheid says:

    We do watch the reserves and it doesn’t matter how well he plays in front of a couple of hundred specs the real deal is at premiership games and he just doesn’t cut it move him on.

  4. Marq says:

    I think alot of people are missing the point about Foster, the thing he needs is not confidence, is to learn how to kick the ball! His kicking was horrible the period he was in the first team. I dreaded every backpass to him, and you could see the opposition knew it as well.

    The 1 thing about Van der Sar we have taken for granted, is his kicking. Take a look, left foot, right foot, bouncing balls, give it to him and he will boot it to the middle of the park no problems.

  5. Fred says:

    I agree. Terrible kicking, not especially agile, poor reactions, not remotely imposing, doesn’t instill confidence in his defence, poor decision making, prone to howlers, need I go on?

  6. Fze123 says:

    Kuszack > Foster. After his horrendus performances earlier in the season, my mind was made up about him. It’s a shame, because after his CC final heroics it seemed like we have finally found a long term replacement for VDS. Foster is just not good enough, unfortunately. He did not make full advantage of the chances given to him to prove he is worthy of first team starts.

  7. Tom F says:

    I personally have no doubt at all that Ben Foster is a top quality keeper. In 5 years or so, he will have bypassed Tomasz Kuzcazk in terms of ability and experience as well as appearances for his country.

    The problem at the moment, for both of them, is that Van Der Sar is showing no signs of letting up on his over all consistent form. Between Schmeichel and Edwin, we had an absolute nightmare between the posts. Now we have an all-round perfect keeper, with a couple of relatively young, inexperienced yet internationally capped players waiting in the wings it must be absolutely frustrating for the pair of them to NEVER play.

    Weeks go by with neither of them having barely any part to play, the most exciting part of the season draws to a close and the closest the get to the action is to pat a goal scoring substitute on the back. They both have a dilema, stay and wait for another year in the hope the Van Der Sar retires, or go and fulfil their realistic potential by playing games?

    Ben has had many great seasons already, not least at Watford where he was a key part of their successes over the 2 year period. Regarding his talent, it is clear – he needs to play more. Regarding him staying at United, I want England’s future No.1 to remain at our club, though if he did leave I really wouldn’t blame him. People should really stop writing him off so quickly, only if you really do crave another instant hero.

  8. heywood is red says:

    think this all drops down to mentality. He’s shone whilst on loan but never quite cut it for us. It takes a different type of person to play for as big a team as us, something nani has learnt this year and we’re reaping the dividends of. Unfortunately as a keeper, ur mistakes normally cost goals and points. I don’t think mentally he is gonna be good enough for us

  9. bchilds says:

    £5million from Birmingham would be a great deal, good club for Foster and a decent sum of money for us.

    I still think Ben is a good goalkeeper and, for a Birmingham, would be a fantastic acquisition but, when you’re playing for United, good isn’t good enough!

  10. redscot says:

    @ Tom F, care to explain why you see Foster as the next England goalkeeper , in the next 3/4 years before Joe Hart. Read your view tommorow. Be lucky but not analytical.

  11. Fred says:

    Tom F = Tom Foster, a relative of Ben’s no doubt!

    Look mate, I’m sure your brother/uncle/cousin is a nice guy and I’ve got nothing against him personally – he’s just not good enough for United. There’s no shame in that. I wish Ben all the best at whichever club he ends up at.

  12. united84 says:

    i would love to see an English keeper in goal at United but Foster doesnt seem to quiet have it?

    Maybe if he is loaned out next season to a Premiership club this time it might spur him on and maybe give him a chance the 11/12 season

  13. Josh-2b-King says:

    There is no point in loaning Ben to any team. He had his great chance to become the real hero in Manchester United’s goal and royally has blown it away. That is it! Full stop. He should be sold. After all, he possibly will be able to replicate Tim Howard’s way…

  14. Tom F says:

    Fred = Fred The Red? Fan’s favourite on match day?

    Leave my brother alone, take it back! :(

    I can see for sure why everyone has come to the conclusion that he is no good, that basically comes down to how some United fans are. I just personally don’t think Ben has even had the chance to establish himself. How can you judge a bit part player? It’s a bit like Darren Bent when he was at Spurs, everyone laughed at the price that was paid for him but he never got the chance – now he has a run of games he is showing what he is and always has been about.

    Ben Foster, is capable of being good enough for United but won’t get the opportunity, that’s the real problem. Any person can have a bad run of games and that’s all you’ll remember of him. 9 apps in a year is pretty bad going, considering how long EVDS was out.

    If Hart goes back to City and they do buy the sucess that they intend to, Joe Hart has a massive chance of being England’s number 1, though if Foster does stick it out here and show what he is capable of then I think he’ll be next in line. If Van Der Sar left tomorrow, would I have Foster, it’s hard to say, you want players like him to have a run in the game and prove what they can do, but a few Paul Robinson / David James moments may be hard to get past when every game is a potential title winner for us.

    I’d like to see Foster as a definite stand in keeper over Kusczazk, though I think there’s also Thomas Sorensen who could come in with great Premier League experience and ability to match.

    Over-all, I see what the reason is behind some fans opinion on Ben, but I can’t help to think you are the same fans who would be the types to write off Berbatov or say Giggs hasn’t got it anymore after one poor game.

  15. NotoriousRedDevil says:

    @ Tom F – Spot on!

  16. david22hughes says:

    lets not forget its man utd were talking about – mistakes from keepers are unacceptable and foster has simply made too many……the next 1st choice utd keeper has to be as good and consistent as van der sar and schmeichel were – nothing else will do………..

  17. redscot says:

    @TomF. Absoloute fucking nonesense, the reason he does not get a sustained run of games, because when he does get an opportunity, he screws it up, its not rocket science.
    If you cannot see the qualities of Joe Hart over Foster, forget it.Englands number 1 in the next 4/5 years, your some sort of fucking joker right.
    I do hope your selecting the sqaud to go to South Africa, because as sure fuck they will be on a return flight before the you get out of the group stages.
    There is loyalty and sticking behind the players and blinkered .Foster is a decent shot stopper, fast reflexes,thats about it.Dreadfull at high balls into the box, woefull kicking on the ground when a backpass is laid to him.Causes panic in the defence in front of him, the defence dont trust him, so why should anyone else.
    Anyway I dont want to waste my time on this, its just arguementative and stupidity to attempt to defend the defenceless.Your wrong Sir Alex, Mr Capello please play Ben its all clear now.
    Over to you Fred I cant react to drivvle.

  18. bigphil2003 says:

    @Tom F – I think your comparison to Darren Bent is apt – Foster would no doubt have a blinder playing for a “lesser team” like Sunderland, but for whatever reason neither of them (in my view) will be able to make it at one of the bigger clubs – though Foster could probably make it at Spurs.
    What’s so big about being England number one anyway? Just because you’re good enough to be England’s keeper doesn’t make you good enough for United… Paul Robinson, David James?

  19. Tom F says:

    BigPhil2010 – You have a fair point, the same could be said for Joe Hart should he become England’s number 1. Ability never is the key factor in an international managers decision on who makes a squad.

    There is the possibility that Foster isn’t good enough for United, I am just not able to make that decision based on his lack of games and inability to shift a goal keeping legend from between the posts.

    I may have a little too much optimism, but I had the same view with Nani and its clear he is making a high percentage of united fans eat their words. Slowly yes, but that’s what time does, the same as Sir Alex had time to change things around at United.

    The days of patience have been replaced by those greedy for instant success but I am not of that culture. I understand that United can’t wait forever and let titles slip away match by match due to individual errors, but as a United player he will get my support.

    As for Bent, he didn’t get a chance at Spurs, so its hard to judge his mentality in that respect. One thing I am sure of, Foster would have a great career at a place like Spurs and in turn he’d be favourite for the England No.1 shirt. I am not an England fan and put United first every time, but there is s sense of pride about having your teams players filling up their international team sheets… until the injuries begin to roll in.

  20. willierednut says:

    I don’t think shouting people down, because they have a different view is the way to go.

  21. Fred says:

    “There is the possibility that Foster isn’t good enough for United, I am just not able to make that decision based on his lack of games and inability to shift a goal keeping legend from between the posts.”

    How about basing it on the fact that the useless clown made a huge cock-up just about every time he played for us this season?

    Community Shield – limp-wristed flap lets Drogba beat him to the ball, giving Carvalho a tap-in. Second limp-wristed flap allows Lampard shot through his hands and into the net.

    Burnley – barely leaves the ground in poor attempt to save Blake’s goal

    Arsenal – as at Burnley, rooted to the spot and gets nowhere near Arshavin shot from 30 yards

    Spurs – flat-footed again as Defoe overhead-kicks into what might as well be an open goal

    City – tries to be cute and gets mugged by Tevez, Barry shoots into empty goal. Might as well not be there as Bellamy ghosts past him for easy tap in.

    Sunderland – Gets nowhere near another speculative long-range shot, this time from Bent. A flimsy attempt at punch allows Jones to head into an empty goal

    Barnsley – easily tackled by a teenage pitch invader who robs him of the ball and sets up a tap-in for his mate.

  22. Tom F says:

    Fred – It’s clear you have made up your mind on Foster, unlike a few people on here, I am capable of accepting the opinions of fellow reds. The list you have produced shows you have been given reason to believe Foster is no good but you have missed out a few vital parts of information. This to me, shows that you are either nit picking to back up your opinion or that you simply cannot remember what actually happened when the above goals were conceded.

    Let’s have a look:

    Community Shield – Both Evra & Drogba back in to Foster as he attempts to clear the ball. If Foster didn’t go for it, Drogba would’ve scored. Instead it falls to an unmarked Carvalho who puts it away. He could have done better for the Lampard goal, no doubt there.

    Burnley – Are you serious? The way in which the ball is struck is so good that the power and swerve on this would have beated most keepers. He would never have been expected to hit that first time, but had the space and did exactly what he had to.

    Arsenal – He could have done better, good strike but you wouldn’t have expected that to go in.

    Spurs- REALLY!?! No mention of the little jump and twist from Rio has the ball falls to Defoe, instead of attacking the ball Ferdinand turns away from it. The finish that follows, is superb and from six yards out most top keepers would’ve been left rooted to the ground. It was an unexpected finish and not too different from the goal Dean Ashton scored against VAN DER SAR in 2008.

    City – That really pissed me off, his positioning was terrible! Another error from Rio lead to that chance.

    Barnsley – Haha, that’s unpredicatable fan behaviour, Ben was probably in two minds as to whether he was allowed to stop the kids or not. Great world class finish though.

    So, yeah, Foster could do better, he has been inconsistant and that is what I accept. Lack of games will never change that though. He has the natural ability but it’s the things you learn such as decision making and also knowing your defence that comes with time and matches. The older he gets the better he will become.

    As you will see in the post you quoted me from, I think he may never get that chance, there are better out there but I will support him as a fan and because he has shown how talented he is. Fergie knows it, he’s said it himself and I am happy to keep an open mind about it.

    With all this stick Foster is getting, who would you want to replace Edwin?

  23. King Eric says:

    Fred – Ha . That Barnsley comment is quality. Spot on.

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