Former Manchester United goalkeeper, Ben Foster, has immaturely grabbed all of the headlines before the match with his new club, Birmingham City, because he sounded off with unqualified bitterness.
Foster has insisted that he has absolutely no regrets over swapping the Theatre of Dreams for St. Andrew’s this summer, but some of his comments clearly show his resentment about how his brief United career unfolded.
Honestly, it is always good to see that a young player is enjoying his football at another club, but the words of Foster were very unappreciative of the time and patience that Sir Alex Ferguson had, which shows just how infantile he really is.
Foster spent five years on the United books, but, unsurprisingly, his most successful season was not at Old Trafford – but at Vicarage Road playing for another relegation-threatened club, Watford.
To put Foster’s spicy comments into layman’s terms, the Birmingham goalkeeper admitted that his time at United was way too intense for his fragile personality, because he did not really have the desire to compete week in, week out for a place in first-team.
Apparently, Foster would rather have a more relax, non-pressurized job that does not requires him to have a backbone, and he just expects to be handed the responsibilities to be the first-choice ‘keeper rather than earn them.
Foster used the word “cut-throat,” because he faced competition from two other goalkeepers – Edwin van der Sar and Tomasz Kuszczak – at United, and opted for Birmingham and go for broke against Maik Taylor, who, himself, could not handle being behind the big Dutchman in Fulham pecking order.
It seems that United has a “win at all costs” mentality, and should be damned to years of exile, but is that not what ever player, manager and club should aspire to?
At 27, Foster showed his true youthful ignorance, because that state-of-mind that Sir Alex has instilled is exactly what separates United from clubs like Birmingham City.
Finally, the comment Foster made that should not sit well with anyone involved at the club, is that he does not have the “time” to notice what is going on at United.
That, my friend, is a real slap in Ferguson’s face, because, the Gaffer had all of the faith in Foster – which is something he does not have in himself.
To prove that point, Ferguson called Foster the next best young English goalkeeper and tipped him to be the No. 1 for the national team for years to come, but his inability to take his chances ultimately cost him a place at this past summer’s 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Coupled with with all the encouragement that the United boss gave him, and the promise of the natural ability he possessed, Foster did everything in his power to prove Ferguson’s prediction to be wrong.
For instance, last season when van der Sar broke his hand during the pre-season tournament in Germany, Foster was chosen over Kuszczak to be his No. 2, and with hopes of him being the long-term successor to him as well.
Instead of taking his chance, Foster made so many elementary goalkeeping errors: either getting beat by long-range efforts to his near post, not having strong enough hands to hang onto the ball or not being commanding enough in the air.
In just over a month, Foster made five condemning mistakes against Arsenal, Manchester City and Sunderland, which he escaped being chastised by the very unforgiving British media due to the way that United turned each those games around.
Although he was in a very good position to stop Andrei Arsharvin’s fierce drive, he could only manage to get his finger tips on the shot – and they bent worse than a sapling in a wind storm.
Against City, Foster gifted them an equalizer on two separate occasions; first, he gifted Carlos Tevez the ball to set up Gareth Barry to score their first, and then needlessly gave up a yard at his near post for Craig Bellamy to slot in their third and final goal.
Then against Sunderland, Foster was caught snoozing as he let Darren Bent’s 30-yard dribbler into his right-hand post, and then he was seen flapping at mosquitos when he was completely outmuscled by Kenwyne Jones for their second.
That prompted Sir Alex to go against his declaration for Foster being a top-class goalkeeper, and was left with no choice but to reinsert the fit-again van der Sar after the international break in October.
After he was given so many pats on the back for his shootout save – not saves – against Tottenham in the 2009 Carling Cup Final, Foster was left completely baffled against both Everton in the FA Cup Semi-Final, and then against Chelsea in the FA Community Shield.
Of the four spot kicks that were put on target for Everton, Foster was made to look foolhardy with his half-hearted attempts as well being well-beaten by three regular defenders.
Against Chelsea in the annual current raiser for the English football season, Foster was completely clueless against the Blues’ kickers – and only guess right once but even then he was not was not within a yard of saving that one!
It is almost certain that Sir Alex Ferguson will give Ben Foster a public pass, but do not be fooled, because behind the scenes he will tell his Manchester United hounds to bring his pray back to him on his knees begging for mercy.