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Foster Ready To Push Out Van der Sar

Ben FosterBen Foster has been tipped to be the future England number 1 and despite never playing competitively for the reds, the fans have high hopes for his future at the club.

Foster underwent cruciate knee ligament surgery in the summer, frustrated at not being able to fight for his place at United after completing a successful loan period with Watford.

He has now been training with the club for several weeks and is coming close to featuring for the Reserves, a big step towards playing first team football for United. Does this mean Van der Sar’s time is up?

“All is going well,” Foster said. “I’ve been training for the last two or three months. I started full time training about six weeks ago. All been good so far, no niggles or pain, so I’m looking to play a reserves game pretty soon. It’s a serious injury. I’ve been out for eight months. I always knew it would be tough this season. I’ve got to the stage now where I’m itching to go, but the physios are just having to hold me back. It’s frustrating, but you have to listen to them.”

The Reserve team play Liverpool on Tuesday which Foster is eager to feature in, but the medical staff have insisted he spends more time on the training ground before playing.

“The medical staff just want me to have a couple more weeks in training,” he said. “I’ve got to start from where I left off at the start of last season. I felt confident in myself in any given situation. Eight months out knocks you a bit. You forget tiny little things about your game that you need to think about. I’m working on my sharpness and my handling in training now. There’s a few things I’m going to work on. Kicking, cross-taking with players around me. I’ve got to do a bit of that, and then I’ll hopefully be ready to play for the reserves.”

United are approaching the crucial time in the season, and with us having little to complain about where Edwin Van der Sar is concerned, it could be questioned whether Foster will get much first team action in the remaining months. If United are still in the Cup competitions, they will be in the late stages by the time Foster would be ready, and with the title race so tight, every single point matters.

Would you like to see Foster get a decent amount of game time under his belt this season?

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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  1. Sam says:

    Keep Edders in the first team until preseason, then decide.

  2. Tom F says:

    Well it’s pretty obvious Foster isn’t going to walk into the first team that soon. I always pay attention to how certain United players out on loan are performing and Ben Foster, playing in a shakey team like Watford prevented them being embarrassed on a number of occasions and it is clear to see he will make it here, he is the best English keeper I’ve seen in a long while.

    I also will refuse to write off Tomasz Kuszczak who has always been ready to fill Van Der Sars role and performed consistantly well, both him and Foster will be fighting for Number 1 when Edwin decides to leave or become our goal-keeping coach.

    Just a non-related comment:

    Is anyone else here suprised that as soon as Arsenal get a disappointing result their players kick-off at each-other or the opposition, Gallas behaved like an absolute twat after the Birmingham game today. It shoudn’t piss me off so much, but they are like animals sometimes.

  3. KingOfZamunda says:

    they’re not like animals, they ARE animals!!
    And oooh, it is looking tasty for us, this competition for places all over the squad- it’s what we lacked in our years out in the wilderness-oh happy days!

  4. Taehr says:

    Foster isnt anything special.He gets scored by easy shots.He comes off his line way to much.Sometimes it makes it easier to concede.I remember paul robinson once scored him.He played at at watford,pulled off a few good saves but thats about it.

  5. Tom F says:


    You are wrong. Not often I’d write a comment from a fellow United fan off like that, but if you actually watched every Watford game involving Foster you will see how many great saves he actually pulls off. Yes, like every keeper he makes the odd mistake. However for most of the goals he conceded it was down to the defence in front of him. He is a great keeper, with great reflexes and I would be happy if he became United and England number 1 in the next couple of years.

  6. Taehr says:

    Tom f, okay maybe he isnt as bad as I think he is,but to say he is ready to replace van de saar,who has been our best keeper since peter,is a bit hasty.He hasnt even played a game for us yet.Personally I feel he is mistake prone,its a disease to keepers.time will tell.Oh and whats up with the injuries?Its not the first time.

  7. Tom F says:

    Taehr, I agree with your comment about him replacing one of the best experienced keepers in the world. (see my first comment…)

    Time will tell!

  8. spiritof1983 says:

    I’ve tried to keep an eye out on all three keepers (five if Tom Heath and Ron-Robert Zielar are included) and Foster since he signed was no different.

    What I have seen (this must be stressed as it has been over 7 months ago since top flight appearance) Foster is a great shot stopper. However this is a basic requirement and all the good keepers have this. What he is particularly good at is in long ball distribution be it by kick or throw. Better than the other two in this respect. However with us, the bread and butter is in short ball distribution, something he did not have much practice with Watford, so he needs to catch up on that. In assertivenes in commanding the area and coming out he seems to have the same uncertainties that Van Der Sar and Kuszczak have at times. In addition both Kuszczak and Foster tend to stray off their lines and get caught off position. This is an experience in concentration issue with our keepers tending to have much less activity coming their way. In Foster case this is less excusable as he was with Watford who had an opposite scenario.

    So improvements in all can be had though it is in the youger two that this still has time to happen and worthwhile investing in. Foster and Kuszczak will compete in pre-season for tthe right if at all to displace VDS. I expect Foster to prevail some time next season. I definitely do not see him in this season’s senior squad either for league or cup matches, if there are no injuries to the established two. The keeper operates with understanding of his back four and at times we can see that this is not always been perfect, with both VDS and Kuszczak. Foster throw into this mix hastely would likely lead to a foull up due to unfamiliarity with the defenders. As things stand, I think Heath has earned the right to remain as third keeper.

    Foster will get a few games in reserve and probably be available for emergency loan later in March onwards, for clubs in need.

    PS: I expect Heath would be sold, perhaps next season, as he would need games to help in his fledgling career. Ron-Robert Zielar would move up and between Foster, perhaps Kuszczak and Zielar, our keeping department would have a wealth in talent for the future.


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