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I Thought Foster Was Staying, Fergie?

July 7th 2009
Ben Foster given new four year deal at Manchester United.

October 12th 2009
Ferguson: “I still feel he is the best English goalkeeper around. He has been outstanding in a lot of things. The save he made on Wednesday was typical of his performance level with us too. They are a demonstration of the guy’s ability. But he still has not had a lot of game time and experience. His injuries have curtailed the progress he was making. He is only going to get better, though, and there is no question he will be a fantastic goalkeeper.”

November 21st 2009
Ferguson: “He is definitely staying here. He has had a couple of bad mistakes in games but his performance level has been very good. He will be a terrific goalkeeper. So will Tomasz Kuszczak. They are good goalkeepers they just have the problem that they have Edwin van der Sar in front of them. Ben is a strong lad. Without doubt he is England’s best goalkeeper. Without question he has the best presence and he is the quickest. He is also very brave. But for a lad of 26 he has not had much game experience. That is the negative part for him and that is where maybe it will cost him his England position at the moment. However, I am not protecting the lad because he is my goalkeeper but when I look at the abilities of the goalkeepers in the league who are English, I don’t think they are as good as Ben Foster. It is as simple as that.”

November 24th 2009
Ferguson: “Edwin’s not said anything yet about what he intends to do. It will be Christmas time or sometime in December when he will outline his plans and how long he will go on. We will await that. Ben has terrific ability and needs game experience. Tomasz is also another good keeper. At the end of the day the two of them will fight it out, I’m sure of that.”

April 23rd 2010
Ferguson: “Ben has fantastic talent and I am sure he will be tremendous next year. The boy has just signed a new contract and has never said anything to me, so as far as I am concerned, he will be here.”

May 14th 2010
Foster’s agent: “We are close to agreeing a deal. The two clubs have agreed a fee and given us permission to talk to Birmingham. We fully expect the deal to be completed either this weekend or the start of next week.”

The agreed fee is believed to be £5 million.

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. says:

    @willierednut and rescot – thanks for the definition of PIG.

  2. Gotta hate tiny tears says:


    no off topic comments please :)

  3. Gary says:

    Good business by United. Best of luck to Foster in the future though.

  4. Jay says:

    Foster is brilliant,yeah he’s made mistakes,but if you’re gonna start blaming how we fell short season,we can practically start pointing fingers everywhere,not only at Foster.Sir Alex still rates him,but he knows he isn’t going to get regular football at United,with VDS going on.And Foster’s young,he wants games so i’d think its fair if he hard feelings.i think he’ll be a terrific goalkeeper when he starts getting regular football.

  5. Gotta hate tiny tears says:

    It’s fosters fault Chelsea won the league.

  6. veek says:

    Uhh Just so you guys know, Kasper Schmeichel’s a free agent at the moment.

  7. Macheda IS GOD says:

    someone said because hes english hes not good…lol i dont like england mate.

  8. alexram says:

    this was before he went really shit and tom played amazing and 2nd quote says he has said nothing about wanting to leave, so clearly he has now and im sure he said it to the press so stop the fergie bashing. plus he’s not gonna say he has no future

  9. GoatinaUnitedShirt says:

    The decision by Foster to want to leave has been made in haste. I’m confident that a month a go he had no reason to want to leave and was still gunning for a place in the team. Had United of played better and were more in a possition to play the fringe players and youngsters (like Fergie likes to do on the final days) then he would have been given a few chances more. The reason Foster has accepted this move is a knee jerk reaction because he wasn’t in Fabio Capellos 30. Personally I think Capellos wrong on that one but he is consistant with not bringing players who don’t play regularly. Shame the silly Italian doesn’t take reserve fixtures (league winners) into account.
    We could of handed him out on loan for a season, something I think even Birmingham would have jumped at the chance at but no doubt Foster was upset and bitter and said the wrong things to Fergie and his transfer request (letter of resignation) was accepted. One thing about Fergie he doesn’t suffer fools gladly and if you come with ultimatums he’ll hold you to them. Foster will be kicking himself in years to come, why didn’t he just take a few days out to gather his thoughts and assess the situation calmly. He’ll no doubt play well, he may even then move on when a slightly bigger club come calling, a Tottenham, a City, a Villa but its not really United is it, and that will always go through his mind.

  10. piggysbeeftrousers says:

    as far as i can tell, his reputation has been mainly built on rumour and heresay (quotes from Fergie or Tony Coton about him being the best english keeper they’ve seen etc) rather than any solid evidence.. he’s made the odd great save amongst the epic clangers, but i personally have never been convinced he could handle it mentally at United. he’s probably going to become another Tim Howard – good solid Premier League keeper just short of the top top level.

    i think a season or two out on loan would have been interesting to see how he develops, but i’m not losing too much sleep over him going

  11. cantona7 says:

    It is not the end for him. If he improves a lot at Birmingham, he may have another chance to come here..

  12. United-Sthlm says:

    I’m sorry but i wont be sad at all if he leaves, for one, he is a very good keeper but to ” shaky” in goal for UNITED. but i’ll think he’ll be great in Birmingham and maybe even become englands no1 in England.
    2. I think it’s time to give Tomasz an honest chance, he is truly a fantastic reserve keeper and has the potential to be more than that some day and maybe become united no1.

  13. Doghouse says:


    It’s not Foster’s fault Chelsea won the league. If he had been wilfully unprofessional or disruptive or caused problems in the squad then maybe, sure, he might be considered a target for blame. But he did his best, he worked hard. It’s incredibly harsh to blame the guy just because when VDS was injured he wasn’t ready to fill his boots. It’s not Fosters fault for not being ready any more than it’s Edwin’s fault for being injured. In an ideal season Foster wouldn’t have been thrown in under such circumstances.

  14. willierednut says:

    Doghouse – I think ghtt was being sarcastic mate.

  15. Corea says:

    Mmm.. Looking at Howard’s career at Everton Ben might have successful time somewhere else. And i believe it is going to be the case. Unfortunately some players just can’t cut it at big clubs.

  16. Corea says:

    @stretfordend ryda – LOL. Didn’t read comments before answering.

  17. Gotta hate tiny tears says:

    sorry next time I’ll write ha ha ha after my next comment that is full of shear stupidity my man

  18. CROoney says:

    this is why i’m still holding my breath and hoping that after saha and foster who were both given the voice of confidence ( to up their market value) that it will be the same with berbaflop !

    that’s why i never trust ferige when he’s praising a player and when it’s clearly obvious by fergie’s actions that the very same player doesn’t enjoy his confidence…

  19. Gotta hate tiny tears says:

    It’s “berbaflops” fault Chelsea won the league

  20. redscot says:

    @ GHTT, it was your daughter that did not shout enough, lets face the facts!

  21. Gotta hate tiny tears says:

    she has not stopped singing a brand new anti city chant since Monday, and it’s kinda funny because the familys in complete mourning

  22. Doghouse says:

    Heh, sorry GHTT, ever since the end of the season my sense of humour has been in a coma. :P

  23. CROoney says:

    Gotta hate tiny tears

    yup, that’s right…if we had someone capable of scoring (i.e. owen ), who would actually score those 2 sitters against chelsea, we would have won it but hey, life’s a bitch

  24. ajie says:

    Good goalkeeper but not good enough for United…best of luck Ben!

  25. Greek (MU)DJAHIDDIN says:

    First and foremost, many thanks for the contribution Ben has made. We must always thank those who wear the United shirt. He has been fantastic during his Watford days. It is not that he is not good enough for United, as few people suggest. A goalkeeper is good or is not good enough for any club. It is not like any other team position. Ben is a very good goalkeeper and I am sure that he will be so even after he moves. He may be better to go however, because being in Van der Saar’s shadow for a further year, I can not see him recovering from the psychological blow he must have suffered after few bad performances last season. It is a real pity because he is technically such a good goalkeeper !


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