The Rise And Fall Of Ben Foster

11 05 2010

Ever since Peter Schmeichel left Manchester United after their treble success in 1999, Sir Alex Ferguson has struggled to replace the Dane. The likes of Mark Bosnich, Tim Howard, Roy Caroll and World Cup winner Fabien Barthez had all been given the role between the stick, but nobody cemented their place.

The United manager’s son Darren was scouting the 2005 Football league Trophy final competed between Wrexham and Southend United, when he came across a 22-year-old keeper called Ben Foster. This unknown keeper was signed for a fee of £1 million without ever making an appearance for his parent club Stoke City.

A Glimpse Of Potential

Foster Showing A Glimpse Of His Potential

Foster was immediately sent on loan to gain invaluable experience with Watford, where he earned them promotion to the Premier league in 2006. The manager of The Hornets Aidy Boothroyd claimed Foster “is going to be the best goalkeeper in the world.” Even though the following season the club were relegated, Ferguson praised Foster publically and informed him he would be returning to the club next season.

Since then Foster has had a mixed time. A ruptured cruciate ligament kept him out for virtually his first season, but his big break came in the 2009 Carling Cup final against Tottenham Hotspur. A clean sheet and saving Jamie O’Hara’s spot kick led him to being the man of the match, and the future looked rosy.

With the clubs number one Edwin Van der Sar nearing the end of his contract it was published The Red Devils were in the market for a new keeper, with the likes of Igor Akinfeev linked. Ferguson again reiterated that he had faith in the keeper and saw him as a “successor” to the legendary Dutchman.

This was meant to be his big season. With Van der Sar in the treatment room for the first two months of this campaign, United fans eagerly anticipated that they would see their and England’s new number one, however they didn’t get their wish. Highly publicised errors against Arsenal, Manchester City and Sunderland saw him get dropped, and hasn’t represented the club since the 3-0 win over West Ham United in February.

It is a shame that the talented keeper hasn’t excelled. With both club and country calling out for a new goalkeeper, Foster seems to have blown his chance. England coach Fabio Capello has decided to omit him from his provisional squad for this summer’s World Cup, a position which looked certain for him with three appearances this season for the three lions. Even Ferguson seems to have given up by giving Tomasz Kuszczak the continuous nod to be the number two.

Tabloid rumours have circled the past few days of a move to Birmingham City for £6 million in the summer, which could be a welcome move to get the keepers career back on track. Even though his career has come to a standstill, at 27 he still has potentially another 10 years in the game. Let’s hope he can rise to the challenge.

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3 responses

30 05 2010
WafNainiArriz

Hi Hello

31 05 2010
acronitit

Hi Hello

30 06 2010
acronitit

Hi hello,
im new here.

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