Ben Foster has been enjoying his recent run as Manchester United’s number one, “I’ve really enjoyed being involved so far – it’s what I’ve wanted, when you have a solid run in the team you can look forward to games in advance and settle down a bit more.” Foster told United’s official website.
But how long will this run last for?
After a number of mistakes in the Manchester Derby, people have been putting the 25 year-old against the chopping block, and I for one, can understand where certain people are coming from. In my opinion, Foster seems to lose confidence very quickly and is hesitant when dealing with the ball at his feet. A few times on Sunday, his decision-making or lack of, caused the United defence a number of issues.
When Carlos Tevez, chased down Foster, the United goalkeeper made a fundamental error while trying to bring the ball back into the box. He tried some sort of Cruyff turn and inevitably it was an accident waiting to happen as Tevez grabbed the ball and laid it off to Gareth Barry, which allowed City to level the match. Even for Manchester City’s third, part of the blame can be portioned to Foster who, for me, went down far too easily as Bellamy raced into the box.
It also appears that despite the number of positive attributes he has, his footwork is something to be desired. Against Arsenal for instance, when Arshavin let a thunderous shot off, Foster took an age to move a couple of steps top his right, if the lead was removed from his boots maybe, just maybe, he would have kept a clean sheet.
During his time at Watford, Paul Robinson famously beat Foster from 80 yards. Earlier on in the season against Chelsea in the Community Shield, he endured another torrid afternoon, punching crosses instead of catching them and subsequently increasing the pressure on his defenders.
I think he is very unsure of himself as a goalkeeper, not mentally strong at all. He is touted as England’s next No. 1 but on this form he is far from an international ‘keeper or even United’s number one. The blunder is quickly becoming a Ben Foster speciality.
While I cannot ‘completely’ write the young goalkeeper off yet, as he clearly has potential as a shot-stopper and possesses sublime reactions, recently shown against Arsenal in the aforementioned match when he saved from Van Persie. If he can sort out the mental aspect of his game, work on his positioning along with his footwork there might be some hope for him.
But, in my opinion he has made one mistake too many and will not become the all-conquering ‘keeper Sir Alex Ferguson thought he would be. Many United fans will be praying Van der Sar returns to fitness sooner rather than later.