Ben Foster is not the Answer for Manchester United

Foster has a lot to think about
Foster has a lot to think about

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.

19 thoughts on “Ben Foster is not the Answer for Manchester United”

  1. I, for one, would love to see Tomasz Kuszczak get a shot in goal. His performances in the past have been much better than Foster’s current run of form. Why haven’t we seen him in goal?

  2. Now this has become differnce between Chelsea n UTd. At chelsea cech make impossible saves and keeps team away from struggle. Here this guy play with opponents.

  3. Manchester United have had numerous problems with him and hes only played a few games this season but there is a world of difference between him and Van Der Sar.

    Everybody realises that but as long as VDS is injured we don’t really have any other options. It’s a bit of a sad state of affairs but a lack of a good goalie is proving extremely problematic despite the other parts of the team doing well.

    When VDS returns United will be a lot more secure and be capable of playing with more confidence forward with everything at the back taken care of but until then United will just have to live with what they’ve got and turn midfielders into defenders to make up for the deficiency of the keeper.

    Of course it’s not very helpful that Rio Ferdinand is still recovering from thigh strain injuries. Not all is well at camp United.

  4. Not that I am defending Foster’s play generally, but what happened with Tevez in the Derby should not be blamed on Foster. The majority of the fault for that goal falls, in my opinion, squarely on Rio Ferdinand. Ferdinand was moving in to support Foster at a snail’s pace, and he was the defender between Foster and Tevez, acting as a shield for his keeper. It should have been his reponsibility to a) notice that Tevez was attacking the back-pass; b) attempt to get his body positioned in Tevez’s running lane between the keeper and the attacker; and c) at the very least communicate to his keeper that Tevez was coming with that kind of pace and tenacity sp Foster could play the ball in to touch. Ferdinand did none of these things, any of which would have prevented that goal.

    Foster is not blameless for his part, but the support he got from Rio was dreadful. Very poor defensive awareness and play. I personally give Foster a pass on that one, and on the Arshavin shot, which came at pace, swerving away from the keeper, and most importantly, with very little wind-up or backlift, which made the shot unpredictable in the first place.

    1. Don’t you think that all the coaching he’s had in this position tells him to smack it into row z. This was a very bad piece of goal keeping but never the less is a mistake that he will never make again. I would give him a good chance and a longer run before getting rid all keepers make mistakes even the best especially when they’re young

    2. You are correct Ferdinand had responsibility in all three strikes but you have to remember the man is coming back from a thigh injury he won’t be at his best for a few matches yet.

  5. I’ll be the first to say that I think Van Der Sar has been the most underappreciated member of United. The focus is always on the firepower offense or even the duo of ferdinand and vidic. VDS has been absolutely instrumental in them winning the EPL 3 years in a row with keeping clean sheets. At the very least, he needs to be included with the talk of rio and vidic.

    This foster spell just showcases a gaping hole for united that would otherwise go un-noticed. And I think that’s the important thing to consider; when VDS is in goal you had peace of mind and didn’t even worry about it.


  6. Good post. Great questions….however I also share the opinion that Rio shares a large amount of blame for both of the goals in question.

  7. I agree with above, Ferdinand was absolutely disgracefull on the weekend! Foster wasn’t too good either but Ferdinand was responsible for the Tevez goal…and maybe even that Bellamy goal (what a cracker!). I think Kuszczak should get a run to show what he’s got, maybe Fergie is thinking about Fosters chance for the World Cup this year but I for one don’t think he is good enough to be Uniteds #1 stopper!

  8. omg you lot all should do your uefa coaching badges! give the lad a chance he’s had his first run in the first team after playing lower league football and 1 season in the premier league with watford where he was exceptional! if he’s good enough for fergie he’s good enough for me try getting behind our players and supporting them! novel idea i know.
    he needs to be given first team football before evds hangs up his gloves as fergie keeps saying he’s gonna be englands number 1 and capello allways picks him for his squads when he’s fit and playing and theres no certainty getting another keeper in from abroad would work regards them settling and gettin used to english football.
    your all very quick to forgot some outstanding saves he made this season already in the spurs arsenal nd birmingham spring to mind!!

    1. fair point woolie! I guess I’m used to the standard the VDS has displayed over the years… I never liked Carroll when he was keeping for the first team because he always looked nervous even when he was starting, Foster is the same for me. He looks nervous and in turn, makes me nervous! I’m not the coach of United, but from what happened on the weekend, the defence doesn’t look too confident in him, his reaction time is that of someone who should be a backup stopper only. My trust in Foster has faded a fair bit and I would like to see what Kuszczak can give!!

  9. Foster is a young lad learning his game at the biggest club side in England. He’s in a microcosm of pressure and with it comes stress. Yes, he perhaps could have done better, but the £30 million centre half in front of him is having his worst season of all time.
    Ferdinand was poor all game Sunday and has looked off the pace since the season started. When your top defender is struggling, it makes a goalkeeper make questionable decisions. Foster will be fine, but he needs time to bed in at Old Trafford.
    Kuszczak on the other hand is one of the worst goalkeepers I’ve ever seen. Dreadful.

  10. Ben Foster is not bad, but is not a Champions League caliber keeper at the moment. Someone else has got to start playing. Reminds me of Ferguson’s replacing of Tim Howard, except Tim Howard was better than Foster.

  11. Personally I trust he will come of age, the matches he is getting now will give him the experience he so badly need. As for the goals in question I want to put blame squarely on the vice captain on the field that day. He should have protected the ball till Foster takes it, secondly complacency got the better of him, how in the world was he going to carry the ball over Bellamy in his own half. I don’t think JT would have done that even when they are leading ten nil. Rio should have been the one giving good command in the defense and leading by example.

  12. if it doesnt work with foster the next two years, fergie should start to think and have a look at diego benaglio. he es switzerland keeper #1 and plays for german champions wolfsburg..he will notice him for sure in the cl clash on dec 8th..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *