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Foster: United More Demanding Than England

Ben Foster, who hasn’t won too many fans after criticising our support for protesting against the Glazers, has reiterated his opinion that he doesn’t have the mentality to cut it as a Manchester United player.

“It gets out of hand, ridiculously so,” said Foster. “You have to perform amazingly well in every single game. You could win and people would still say Manchester United should be doing better than that, should be winning by four or five goals. I just thought it was too much. I see myself as a winner, I am competitive even if I am only playing a video game, but United is another step up the ladder of mental toughness and strength. There is not as much pressure even with England, where every little thing gets scrutinised. United have their own ethos that comes from within. Winning is all. Even practice matches were very intense, win at all costs. You’d see tackles flying in and little scuffles all the time, but that is what United are. That is what they carry on to the pitch on a Saturday and you’ve got to admire them for that. When they were 2-0 down at Blackpool, for instance, I knew they would come back and win. They have that toughness. It’s expected.”

Foster has previously called life at United “cut throat” and not for him, an opinion he stands by today.

“I don’t want to be accused of lacking ambition, I think every professional cares, but I can move on from a defeat pretty much as soon as I step off the pitch,” he added. “I want to enjoy my football, then get home to my family, that’s what matters to me.”

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. Whiteside says:

    At least he can admit that he couldn’t hack it.

  2. DAVE RED says:

    Thats great to hear, thats why we are what we are.

    Long may it continue – first place is all that counts, you win and move on.

  3. Whiteside says:

    From The Guardian:

    ‘Not even the most remarkable careers can go on for ever. United, like Chelsea, appear in danger of being caught out by diminishing returns, and when you can spot the signs it is usually too late. While Arsenal may not catch up this season, at least they know how to replenish.’

    Know how to replenish? WTF are Rafael, Fabio, Chicharito and Smalling?

  4. Costas says:

    Glad to know we are more competitive than a video game. :D

    To be honest, I am surprised he said we are more demanding than England. I could be wrong about this, but I feel that there’s a LOT more pressure from the media on England players, especially goalkeepers.

  5. Natural Red says:

    Being this way actually counts for something as is evident.The Special Air Service aren’t on top of their game from cleaning their rifles…

    There may be a bit more to it ?

  6. Redbeard says:

    It may have escaped your notice, Benny, but United are also a lot more fucking successful than England. You see, lad, United win trophies because they have a winning mentality and prepare accordingly, England on the other hand go into every tournament resting on the fact that they invented the game and assuming that winning a trophy 45 years ago makes you amongst today’s elite. You say you consider yourself a winner; why? the only reason you’ve won anything in your career is because you were lucky enough to spend time at the club you are now criticizing for possessing a winning attitude – are you aware of what irony is? Fair play, you have a couple of medals on your sideboard and if your content to rest on your laurels and label yourself a “winner” then more power to you. It’s a shame for you, though, that Pepe Reina is in such good form because relying on past glories is all the rage at Anfield, you’d probably fit right in.

  7. parryheid says:

    Foster’s comments are so refreshingly enlightening he has opened a window into what is drilled into all Manchester United players you will fight to the bitter end for this club and their supporters.Christ how hard is it to even match that attitude let alone pass it

  8. bornared says:

    Just goes to show that United have an ethos ingrained in us which puts us above all others in the league. I would have loved Foster to have made it at United as their nothing better then seeing English talent make it at United. Still from the sounds of the interview he just wasn’t suited to the mentality of the club…

    “There was no celebration,” he recalls. “There was nothing. We were straight on the train home, then in for training the next day. There was a Champions League fixture coming up, the Carling Cup was over already. Everyone automatically moved on to the next game right away. I was thinking: ‘Jeez, we’ve won a cup, we should be celebrating,’ but I was probably alone in thinking that. United have big games all the time. They win one, then move on to the next. It’s a different world, and though it can seem a bit mad, maybe it has to be that way.”

    Hope he has a good game against Arsenal today.

  9. CedarsDevil says:

    Would rather he kept his mouth shut… Seems more inclined to talk crap than to prove his worth on the pitch

  10. Redbeard says:

    “I am competitive even if I am only playing a video game, but United is another step up the ladder of mental toughness and strength.”

    I’d like to think that playing for United was more that one step up the ladder from Sonic the fucking Hedgehog

  11. Whiteside says:

    Ha ha good one Redbeard. Every time he opens his gob I get more glad we offloaded. I also feel like that every time I see him try to deal with a backpass.

  12. CedarsDevil says:

    So happy we got rid of this idiot……. ‘Oh look at me I am a great keeper and even too big for United’

    Go fuck yourself you stupid idiiot

  13. Fergie is God. says:

    I always knew that this rubbish flop couldnt hack it at Manchester United, even when fans was claiming he was good enough to be #1. Flopster was never good enough and shouldnt even of been bought, £1m wasted on a division level nobody howling flop, thank god we sold this loser before it was to late. Enjoy a career of nothing feller, one of the worse goalies in the world. Ben ‘the English Taibi’ Flopster continues to show what a rubbish keeper he is, hahahahahahaha.

  14. Rai says:

    Good job he wasn’t in the first team with Keano….he would have been in tears

  15. Doghouse says:

    I’m not going to begrudge the bloke his incompatible mentality. He doesn’t sound like a bad guy and it sounds like he made the best move. He couldn’t cut it, he had to go. It’s interesting to read what he has to say as an outsider, because he doesn’t sound bitter or snide about it, and I think in many ways he provides a view we’d not otherwise get.

    I don’t think people should be too harsh to Foster anyway, he tried, he didn’t measure up. That’s not his fault, there are maybe ten guys on the planet talented enough to play in goal for us, he wasn’t one of them. I wish him well against everybody else. A lot of lads have gone from United to lesser clubs and done right by us, Saha, Neville, Howard, Richardson, Forlan and others have popped up to take points off our rivals in the past. As long as they speak well of Sir Alex, and they almost invariably do, I don’t have any problem with them.

  16. Dave says:

    I’m not fond of him, but I admire his honesty. A lot of players in his position might criticise the manager but he hasn’t. He hasn’t even criticised the obsession with winning which caused him to leave – he praised it, but just said it wasn’t for him. These comments are far wiser than what he said in the immediate aftermath of his exit.

  17. DAVE RED says:


    You are right about Keano, he would have had him in tears !!!!

  18. jhunt says:

    the england comment is especially hilarious.

    ben, look at the trophy records of england and united. ’nuff said. still, well done today beating the goons!

  19. Red Devil says:

    “Scuffles on the training pitch all the time’ ????

    Thats a new one……I mean it cant all be hunky dory all the time…and when people are competitive clashes do happen…..but scuffles all the time at united is something of a news to me

  20. Mannings says:

    That’s why we’re world champions twice!

    Once more than England, world champions twice!


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