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Ferguson Rages At Ben Foster


The fallout of Manchester United’s 2-2 draw with Sunderland extended to the dressing room, as reports suggest Alex Ferguson and goalkeeper Ben Foster had a bit of an argument.  Foster made a poor decision coming out to catch Andy Reid’s chipped ball for Kenwyne Jones, resulting in the Black Cats’ second goal.  He should have punched the ball clear instead of catching it, but honestly, is that really the reason the Red Devils dropped two points on Saturday?

The Gaffer wrote earlier about Ferguson’s reaction to a perceived lack of fitness and poor game-handling on the part of ref Alan Wiley, which the Manchester United gaffer may have to pay for.  The same Alan Wiley he was yukking it up with on the sidelines after seeing his side go up a goal against Manchester City in the sixth minute of added time.  Sometimes you end up on the better side of luck.  And despite Ferguson’s protestations, his side were lucky to draw against Sunderland.

Sorry, but one moment of brilliance from Dimitar Berbatov doesn’t dismiss the fact that you only drew that game because of an unfortunate Sunderland own goal.  Manchester United should have put this game away, especially after Kieran Richardson’s sending off.  They very well may have scored on their own anyway, but it doesn’t excuse the fact that Ferguson is merely drawing attention away from his team’s poor performance, while playing his mind games with the FA.  He may have to pay a fine or even suffer a ban, but it’ll be worth whatever bugs are in the referee’s heads in their upcoming games.

And it works . . . to an extent.  All the talk in the papers have been about Ferguson’s comments on Wiley, and now his supposed tiff with Ben Foster.  While it’s been discussed, Manchester United’s poor performance hasn’t been touched upon as much as it would normally would have.  Sir Alex knows what he’s doing, and although we can all see it coming a mile down the road, we all turn our heads like sheep.

But he has to be fretting on when Edwin van der Sar will be ready between the sticks, and what to do about the lack of creativity in attack.  Sunderland approached the Red Devils well, but they’re hardly Chelsea or even Manchester City.  We may be looking at a more competitive league this year, but there’s some sparkle missing from Old Trafford.  Ryan Giggs continues to amaze at his age, while Paul Scholes merely ages.  Berbatov, despite his superb goal, has yet to show his Tottenham form.  Either way, the talking points for a team that Ferguson envisions shouldn’t revolve around a bunch of players that were around in the last decade, or waiting for someone to get hot.

As for Ben Foster, he’s merely on Fergie’s shit-list, which doesn’t bode well for him.  We all remember the nasty cut on David Beckham’s face that ruined his boy-band looks for a week or two .  He soon left, as did Roy Keane and Ruud van Nistelrooy when they were deemed useless in Ferguson’s mind.  And he was perhaps right in most instances in letting highly-valued players leave before the beginning of their downfall.  Unfortunately, Foster doesn’t fit into that category.  He merely plays the part of victim in Ferguson’s typical bullying charade.

[Guardian, EPLTalk, Daily Mail]

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  1. Gaz

    October 9, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    You’re right – all those goals were his fault because his defenders are preventing all chances, his midfield was holding possession, and his front line is scoring tons of goals.

    Team sport.

    As the article points out, it’s easy to blame one person for all your faults – but you’re not being honest with yourself and it’s just not accurate.

  2. JLay

    October 7, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Is Fergie being a “bullying arse-hole”, or does he rightfully expect better?

    Foster is crap. Period. End of discussion. He has been shaky all season, from the Community Shield on through. Foster has single-handedly given up (at least) a half-dozen goals this year that any decent professional should be able to stop. Don’t give me the “poor, nervous kid” act – he is a 26-year old professional who has been training for his entire life. Ben Foster wouldn’t start for the local pub team.

    For the record, Tim Howard was crap at United, too. So what if he does better on an inferior team? Players that thrive when they don’t play under pressure have one thing in common – they never win anything.

    • Gaz

      October 8, 2009 at 9:10 am

      You can’t blame six goals on Foster. This is a team sport, mate.

      I’ll give you one – he should have just booted that ball at the derby (the one that Tevez won for Barry).

      • JLay

        October 8, 2009 at 3:05 pm

        Oh, but I can. Here are 5 to get you started:

        2 against Cheksea in the Community Shield.
        1 against Arsenal
        1 against City
        1 against Sunderland

        And I guarantee you there’s at least one more that I’m forgetting.


  3. eplnfl

    October 7, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    Fergie, maybe should of kept Tim Howard? Want that one back. Moyes knew better.

  4. Marc

    October 7, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Lucily we won’t have to hear anymore about Foster since VDS played a full match for the reservers and should be back in the net next week for Man United.

  5. F1Mikal

    October 7, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Fergie is on holiday in NYC this week; anyone seen him yet?


  6. Chris

    October 7, 2009 at 9:52 am

    We seen it with my fellow american Tim Howard and we are seeing it with Ben Foster…He can be a good goalkeeper and be one of the best in the leauge when he gets the hell out of Manchester United. There is so much pressure put on you at that club its not even funny…I would bet money that Fergie wish he had Tim Howard now…but Manchester United dont deserve such a kepper because they dont know how to treat people, You makes mistakes and they on your ass like flys on shit, and there really isnt no sense it at all. If I was Ben Foster I would look for another club and he will finally be comfortable.

  7. Juan José

    October 7, 2009 at 8:54 am

    No, Foster is not some victim here: he’s a mediocre goalkeeper who is not good enough to play that position for Manchester United. Fergie shouldn’t be so stubborn as to keep playing him. Kuzcak hasn’t done much wrong, and yet it’s him on the bench, while the human liability is on the field.

    By all means, when I read the headline of this article, I rejoiced: we’re getting rid of EFFING Foster! Hopefully the rumors are true and he gets sold to Stoke or Ipswich.

  8. ovalball

    October 7, 2009 at 8:45 am

    “Berbatov, despite his superb goal, has yet to show his Tottenham form.”

    I have read and heard this type of comment before about Berba, but have wondered if the comparison is a fair one. Do his playing minutes match up? Was he “the man” at Hotspur as opposed to playing second fiddle to someone else? Are the systems of play likely to yield the same results?

    I ask out of complete ignorance as I have only been following the EPL for three years and don’t remember Berba’s last year with Hotspur (2007). Hell, at that point I thought Hotspur was a new drink being pushed by Starbucks.

    • Gaz

      October 7, 2009 at 10:44 am

      You didn’t know who Spurs were two years ago? Please go read up on the English football. 🙂

      • ovalball

        October 7, 2009 at 11:47 am

        Been there, done that, Gaz. 😀 Help me with the Berba thing.

  9. forweg

    October 7, 2009 at 8:02 am

    Good article. We all know why the Big Four managers complain about the officials after every non-win: To intimidate them for future matches. And it’s always worked.

    That’s why I’m still shocked by Ancelotti’s comments after the Wigan game.

    • Melanie

      October 7, 2009 at 1:13 pm

      And that’s sad. I suppose that Furious Fergie has been dominant in management for so long everyone has forgotten the a football manager does not have to be a bullying arsehole to get the job done.

  10. Brian

    October 7, 2009 at 6:11 am

    It’d be difficult for anyone to say Sunderland dominated this match, but they achieved what they set out to do. The only surprising things were that Sunderland scored two and that United made little from those 15 opportunities.

  11. Hargo's Left Knee

    October 7, 2009 at 4:57 am

    Rule 1 when doing football ‘blogs’ – don’t trust UK papers without quotes. As with a good number of articles in any given paper (even the formerly reliable Guardian and The Times are crap these days – sh*t sells) this is one without any source, any quotes and is just pure speculation on the part of a random reporter. For some reason football journalism has shown to have no standards in the UK, and is never held accountable for their outright lies and slandering.

    Regardless, you’re right about Fergie deflecting attention, but I have to question if you actually watched the match? Sunderland had 3 shots in the whole game, something like 40% possession and 1 corner to United’s 15. United were rubbish in the first half, but confined Sunderland to depsperate clearances for the last 20/25 minutes.

    For some reason in the press the match has been written up as though Sunderland dominated, which simply isn’t true. Both teams struggled to put together 3 passes in the first half, and in the second half Sunderland were always on the back foot.

    But as always, the truth doesn’t make as interesting reading, so the papers spun it as ‘unlucky’ Sunderland who ‘deserved’ to win.

    • The Gaffer

      October 7, 2009 at 5:24 am

      Yes, it wasn’t the purest of games and there were plenty of bad passes, especially in the first half, but even despite Manchester United’s dominance in the second half, they failed to really test Sunderland keeper Craig Gordon.

      Sunderland defended well throughout the game, but for Manchester United – it was one of their worst Premier League performances for as long as I can remember despite Berbatov’s amazing goal.

      I believe United can turn things around after the international break. Giggs needs to be a permanent fixture in the side. Nani needs to be a permanent fixture on the bench. And people need to realize that Berbatov is more the provider of goals rather than creator. His link-up play with Rooney has been underreported this season, and Berbatov is filling in nicely to replace Ronaldo (even though Berba is a different type of player who plays in a different position than Cristiano).

      Good article Brian.

      The Gaffer

      • oliver

        October 7, 2009 at 10:11 am

        “despite Manchester United’s dominance in the second half, they failed to really test Sunderland keeper Craig Gordon.”

        I agree – often, if a non-big-4 team gets a draw at a big-4 ground, their goalkeeper is the MoM or at least made a number of top-drawer saves. How many big saves did Gordon have to make over the 90 minutes?

      • brn442

        October 7, 2009 at 3:22 pm

        Giggs simply doesn’t have the legs to play week in week out anymore. Nani started the season relatively well but has faded somewhat, he is no longer has the shadow of Ronaldo to hide under. The jury is still out on Valencia. Foster is simply not the imposing keeper on or off the pitch Man Utd have gotten used to the last few years, Barthez aside. The larger question is: Can Foster’s confidence survive with the pressures of Old Trafford. Based on his body language, I don’t think so.

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