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“Foster Was Disappointed With Arsenal Goal”

Manchester United goalkeeping coach, Eric Steele, has claimed that Ben Foster was disappointed with the goal Arsenal scored. Arshavin’s shot had plenty of power behind it but Foster really should have been able to push it away.

Steele reckons that you can judge keepers on how they respond to conceding goals and he believes Foster reacts well.

“He was disappointed with the Arsenal goal, we all were, but then he makes a terrific save from Robin Van Persie just after half time,” said Steele. “His concentration levels had to be really spot on at that point. A lot of international managers look for how goalkeepers recover from a mistake. Is he affected, does his game crumble? Ben proved against Arsenal that he won’t crumble. He did the same at Wembley against Chelsea. People forget despite him not being happy with his display we would never have got to penalties but for his save from Didier Drogba just after their second goal.”

Steele reckons that Foster’s concentration makes him a real contender for the England number one shirt.

“Concentration and mistake management is key,” he continued. “The way Ben has gone about that has been a big plus for me. That is what you would be looking for at international level. You cannot let your head drop because you cannot afford it.”

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. Wayne Rooney's hair says:

    i would prefer no mistakes, but thats just me

  2. theboogeyman says:

    I like Ben and I hope he does well.

    Off topic:Tiny Tears was complaining of someone spitting on him and how disgusted he felt.Apparently he doesn’t remember spitting on Tevez..

  3. Bishopville Red says:

    I agree with Foster, He should have done much better with it. His positioning, work with the ball at his foot, and handling of crosses wasn’t spectacular, either.

    As is, he’s not the answer.


  4. sean_m11 says:


    Im staggered at the temerity of ‘the english lion’ to accuse anyone of spittting.
    I always thought id never be able to hate somebody id never met more than alan shearer but terry makes my teeth itch.

    Fuck off Terry!

  5. Wheres_my_bottle says:

    Honestly, VERY honestly, I dont think Ben is England number one material. Not at the moment at least.

  6. aig alex is god says:

    sorry but i dont think foster is the one to replace vds.poor positining ,poor kicking under pressure.letting in some freak goals.too many aspects he has got to improve on.if you make one good save it does not mean that your mistakes should be forgotten.he should have not let in any of the 2 in the community shield.we need to buy another good goalie.the russian guy akinfeev will do.manuel neuer of schalke is good too

  7. Joseph says:

    So basically Foster is canceling himself out right now haha. He neither embarasses nor distinguishes himself because he performs make-up saves.

    As it stands he’s not #1 material for either Utd or England – if anything he has a better shot with England because there’s less daylight between him and Green than him and VDS. I honestly cannot see VDS conceding either the Arshavin goal, or the 2 in the Community Shield. Foster also seems less adept an organizing a defense than Edwin – but I guess we’d have to give him the benefit of the doubt until our first choice defense is together.

    I just don’t trust English keepers – of which there hasn’t been a world class one in a long time. Their mental fortitude and general decision making is usually very unpredictable.

  8. Jack says:

    foster should be england number 1.

  9. keano99 says:

    Im gona say it again Who gives a fuck about england or any other international team for that matter.

  10. Red-Manc says:

    english keepers do not work, i agree with joseph.

    Although i do think Foster is a good keeper he has bags of potential but thats all it is at the moment i dont think he’s number 1 material just yet. He is a good shot stopper, but he lets himself down with mistakes and with his nervy kicking which make the whole team nervy which obviously isnt good.

  11. Androo (United fan from MALTA) says:

    He cannot be England No. 1 unless he becomes United’s number one. He needs games to adjust to this level. Don’t write a player off just yet. Very few are born ready.

  12. Red Rooney says:

    ben is dexter

  13. Alex Craig says:

    Foster to be Man Utd and Englands number 1 for years, give the fucking lad a bit of a chance.

    Eric Steele knows what hes talking about and he will prove the championship manager supporters wrong.

    Long live Fergusons Army!

  14. King Eric says:

    Alex Craig – Agree entirely mate, some of the negative comments on here are quite unbelievable. In my opinion Ben has done well so far this season. His save against Van Persie was world class. He also pulled off a superb save second half against Brum. Four games in and only 2 conceded. Give the lad a chance, it takes time to establish yourself as a Number 1 and writing him off after 4 games is a joke.

  15. King Eric says:

    Keano99 – Spot on fella.

    Joseph – VDS may well have saved Arshavins shot but would he have saved the one from RVP just after half time? Swings and roundabouts.

  16. 20legend99 says:

    I still want Neuer.

  17. raj jolota says:

    He’s just plain shite

  18. Costas says:

    Hi everyone. I think Ben has grown in confidence over the last month. He still needs to improve his aerial game, but that might come with age. Honestly, i don’t know if even VDS would have saved Arshavin’s shot. It came out of nowhere and that’s what caught him off guard. I think Fergie will have a dilemma when VDS comes back. Ben has a real chance of establishing himself as our number 1 this year.

  19. Fze123 says:

    He just needs to be more consistent. the other day i was watching the denmark vs portugal game, denmark have one hell of a keeper. stephan andersen his name was, made save after save. he’s really underrated.would really love it if he plays for us.

    Anyway, this is foster’s time to show himself up. when VDS comes back from injury, he’ll be the number 1 choice, so foster shouldn’t waste this opportunity.

  20. RedDeviled Egg says:

    Still not won over on Foster. I think he’s highly overrated. He’s already entering what whould be his prime age/years as a keeper and he keeps flubbing chances to impress game in game out. He is terrified on set pieces. Can’t get his shit together on crosses and constantly makes poor decisions.
    I’m sure Ed will be back between the posts when he’s fit….Ben will probably be injured by then anyway…
    If we’re looking for an english keeper I’d take Joe Hart over Foster any day

  21. cantona7 says:

    Not a no1 material for United YET – yes
    Shite – a big no

    He has bags of potential. He just need more experience = more playing time.
    Seriously, i dont mind losing the league this season if Foster can be the world’s best goalkeeper in the future. But his potential, whether he can make it or not, i trust SAF with that decision, and i hope Foster really try his hardest to be that.

  22. boam6 says:

    I hope foster is our new fletcher people writes him off says he’s not good enough and then becomes a first team regular. People have faith obviously saf rates him

  23. Mikael says:

    I’ve always been a fan of his although he doesn’t always step up and is too inconsistent but as said above: If SAF believes in him then I will too. If he doesn’t reach his potential this season than I think SAF makes a move in the transfer market and bring in someone… but I hope we can spend that money somewhere else.

  24. Bishopville Red says:

    I’t snot just 4 games, lads. This guy has played Premiership football before. The spectacular saves are recoveries from poor positioning.

    At 26 he has room to improve, but if you can’t play with the ball at your feet at 26, it’s not looking good. Ed VDS is quality with the ball at his feet because the Dutch train ‘keepers to use their feet throughout the time they become ‘keepers. In the thick of the Total football movement Cruyff openly expressed the thought that a defender should go in goal so you had someone who could play the ball and let the back line off the hook some times. Foster with the ball at his feet is dodgy, at best.

    Foster = Dexter? Perhaps he looks like him, but his play is very reminiscent of Gary Bailey.

    Hard to tell just how much SAF believes in him. Fergie also defended Tim Howard and Roy Carroll to the ‘nth degree. The transfer market next year will let us know exactly what Fergie thinks of Foster.

    Danish ‘keeper Stephan Andersen flopped royally with Charlton a few years ago. Perhaps his rating is about right.


  25. whelo76 says:

    jesus give the guy a break. How easy it is for people to forget the mistakes made by VDS last season, Newcastle home first match punching when he should have caught it leading up to their goal and the match at anfield where VDS was the cause of Wes`s og. And don`t forget how many times Rio has a good go off him.

  26. Wheres_my_bottle says:

    Igor Akinfeev would be fantastic. He’s a top, top keeper and he’s proved that at club and national level. And i do agree, at 26, as a keeper who hopes to establish himself as a Utd no. 1 , the least you should be able to do is kick the ball efficiently, make the right decisions and be a decent shot stopper. I find this really hard to say but I dont think Foster does any of those things, and at his age i dont see how he’s going to magically transform into a Peter Schmeichel replica.

  27. KJ says:

    I don’t blame him for the goal, I blame Vidic for allowing him to shoot while at the same time blocking Foster’s view.

    But all credit to Arshavin, most keepers wouldn’t have gotten close to it let alone parry it away.

  28. MG says:

    Where is Big Peter S?

  29. Devilton says:

    It’s nice that the coach believe in Foster…that’s all well and good for a young keeper, but to me he’s still a player who will make one critical mistake every game. EVERY game. I just wait for it and know that it will put us behind. So while i hope he gets better, i personally always look at him as a weak link in the chain.

  30. parjo says:

    I disagree that Foster had to take whole blame for Arshavin’s goal. Where is the defensive players who should mark Arshavin? And from my view from behind the goal nets, Foster view slightly blocked by Vidic.

  31. king eric says:

    i want Neuer too

  32. Rite$h says:

    Foster reacts well to conceding goals according to steele, but he should work on his reaction to prevent them going in…I still feel he’s not apt to be number 1, he’s got to develop more

  33. schmadmir says:

    Quite frankly, the Arshavin goal is up for debate; Ferguson and others claiming it was save-able, other pundits and fans disagree.
    I would say it was save-able because of the distance from where the shot was fired, and where the goalkeeper stands. However, there are two factors which most people seem to disregard completely:

    1. Vidic totally blocked Fosters view
    2. The shot was hit at a tremendous pace

    I am a former semi-professional goalkeeper from Norway, so I should know a thing or two about shot-stopping. Watching that shot, I would say he could have saved it, but I would not categorize it as an error. He should have done better, but give him a break. If you watch the replay closely, he is well positioned and he gets both hands behind the ball. However, because of pace and possibly a wet surface, the ball slid off his hands and into the back of the net.

    A lot of supporters here claim that Ben Fosters aerial presence, goalkicks and positioting are his big weaknesses. Some also argue that he is prone to making costly mistakes. I can understand the views, but they are far too based on one mistake.

    Consider this:

    1. Against Birmingham, he was practically a spectator for the whole game. Still, when the pressure was on and when we needed him the most, he pulls of a world-class save to earn us three points before the final whistle. Clean sheet #1

    2. Burnley score a fantastic goal from inside the box. The goal is un-saveable. I don´t care whether or not you´re Buffon, Akinfeev, Frey, Cech, VDS or God Almighty. You dont save that. Simple as that.

    3. Not much to do against WIgan, kept his concentration, made a couple of saves. Clean sheet #2

    4. Pressure on. Arsenal score one goal, he may have saved. Pulls off a fantastic save in 2nd half to keep us in the game. Three points in the end.

    Are you telling me that Foster is not good enough for United after four PL-games for us where he has conceded two goals? Behind a make-shift defence? Give the guy a chance, he is obviously more than good enough.

  34. Androo (UFFM) says:

    I’m definitely a fan of Foster. However thinks he’s not a brilliant shot stopper has his balls in the wrong place. He made a FANTASTIC save against Birmingham (1v1, Christian Benitez), 2 brilliant saves against Wigan (one at full stretch 1st half vs Rodallega and another in the second right after Rooney’s goal which in turn led to Berbatov’s magic goal). I agree he SHOULD have gotten hold of Arshavin’s shot but not everyone’s perfect. The RVP block was definitely perfect though and no way in hell would VDS have gotten to that.

    IMHO Foster would have gotten hold of Eto’os goal in the final. And please don’t forget that VDS is not perfect. Remember how he let in Lovenkrad’s goal versus Newcastle? He ruined his own record with that flop. I’ve never seen Foster do something like that.

    Yes he has to improve (who hasn’t) and he will with more time between the sticks. Fergie is sticking with him and not with the Pole and I have full faith in him.

    If he turns out shite (which I’m positive he won’t) Fergie will delve in the transfer market next season for a new keeper.

  35. King Eric says:

    schmadmir & Androo – Great posts and agree entirely. The keeper we may “delve” in for could well be Akinfeev. He has said words to the effect of “anyone would like to play for UNited”!

  36. Darren says:

    @ schmadmir

    great post, completely agree. A lot of people seem to jump on the critic bandwagon all too quickly, give him a run of 10 games at least before he is slated. Everybody seems to forget what gave him the tag of “potential england no1″ which was his excellent loan spell at watford, when boothroyd said he was better than VDS! Imagine the pressure of being the goalkeeper for Manchester United, the biggest club in the world? I know dealing with that pressure is what makes a keeper but he has gone from playing on loan at Watford, to a long spell on the treatment table, straight into the start of a season in which we have a lot of pressure already regarding the departure of Ronaldo. Give him a few more games and I am sure he will iron out the mistakes and become the player he was at Watford.

  37. Weuji says:

    @ schmadmir

    Agree with the others, great post! And lets give Foster a chance. How many keepers come in straight and doesnt do an error or two? Stick together guys!


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