Ben Foster spent years of his career biding his time, hoping for the opportunity to be Manchester United’s number one.
His opportunity came last season when Edwin Van der Sar was ruled out for months with injury and dealing with the illness of his wife. Sadly, Foster blew his big opportunity.
Against Arsenal, he let a tame Arshavin shot in, although thankfully we won 2-1. Against Manchester City his communication with his defence was poor and this cost us a couple of goals, most notably their first by Barry. It is his display against Sunderland which irritates me the most though, with him timidly staying back as Kenwyne Jones towered above him to put them 2-1 up. Thankfully we salvaged a point from that game but a more commanding goalie would have seen us win that game (and therefore, the league!).
Still, I always had respect for him for more or less sacrificing his career for the opportunity to play for United, as he waited year after year for a chance.
But after leaving, he felt the need to stick it to the fans over the green and gold protest against the Glazers.
“There’s maybe too much made of it by the supporters,” he said. “They are obviously passionate about Manchester United, but sometimes they need to focus on supporting the club a bit more than getting carried away with the technicalities of who’s in charge. Personally, I think the Glazers have always put money in to Manchester United to buy players when needed.”
Of all the stupid fucking things to come out with by a former player, this was probably the worst. After all, it’s not Ben Foster who has had to pay the increasing ticket prices enforced by the Glazers, he also doesn’t have to see ‘the most valuable sports franchise in the world’ spending nothing like our rivals in the transfer market and it’s not the money he puts in to the club that is being gobbled up by the Glazers’ debt. Who the fuck does he think he is to tell us we’re making too much of it?
Anyway, ahead of our game against Birmingham tonight, Foster wants to use the game as an opportunity to ‘show us what we’re missing’. It’s easy to imagine he’ll have the game of his life against us, like Brad Friedel seems to so often, but at no point will I regret the decision the club made to get rid. Bottler of the highest order.
“I’m loving it here, I’ve never enjoyed my football more,” said Foster. “I don’t wish I’d stuck around at all. This is the best time I’ve had. A club like United is cutthroat, win at all costs, whereas here, you know you’re not going to win every game but the players we’ve got bottle and don’t give anyone a second breath. There is more pressure at United, without a doubt. Even if we drew there, it was the end of the world. I don’t keep up to date with what’s going on there, I look out for results but nothing more. I wouldn’t go back. I’m having more fun, that’s a huge part of football. It’s tough at United and in training it’s very serious. I’m not saying it’s not professional at Birmingham and I don’t want to be professional – there is more of a relaxed atmosphere here. It’s up to me to show United what they’re missing.”
We’re not missing anything, are we? We sold a player who doesn’t like the pressure of being at the best club, who is happy to play for a side who don’t care about dropping points, where he can have a laugh and feel relaxed. That is not the mentality of a Manchester United player, so we’re not missing a thing.