Tag Edwin van der Sar

Tag Edwin van der Sar

Veteran van der Sar may stay

February 9, 2010 Tags: Shorts No comments

Manchester United will offer Edwin van der Sar a new one year contract when his current deal expires this summer. The 39-year-old veteran, credited by Sir Alex Ferguson with the turnaround in United’s fortunes in recent weeks, has played just 13 times this season following hand and knee injuries, and time off to look after his ill wife.

But the Dutch legend, who joined the club from Fulham in June 2005, is back between the sticks following his wife Annemarie’s recent illness.

“It feels really good to be back playing,” Van der Sar said.

“It has been a stop-start season for me and you miss your weekly routine of training and games. But it feels great to be back in the swing of things and playing for United again.”

Ferguson is delighted with the Dutchman’s return and the calm reassurance he gives to the back-four in the continued absence of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.

“Every manager speaks highly of his players and I am sure other managers say the same about their goalkeepers,” said the ‘keeper who.

“But I know that I get good recognition here at United – from the players and the manager.

“It is always good to hear you have the support and trust of the people you work with. It is good to know I have that here.”

Reports suggest that van der Sar will earn £90,000 a week in the course of his new 12 month contract, starting June 2010. Tomasz Kuszczak and Ben Foster have played 13 and 12 games respectively this season.

Poll: who should take United gloves?

December 15, 2009 Tags: , , , Polls No comments

Manchester United take on Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford tonight and Sir Alex Ferguson has the luxury of three fit goalkeepers to choose from. Edwin van der Sar is now match fit after missing six matches with a knee injury but Tomasz Kuszczak is in superb form and Ben Foster started the season as the Reds’ number one. Who should play tonight?

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Kuszczak launches into van der Sar tirade

November 6, 2009 Tags: , Shorts 3 comments

Tomasz Kuszczak has launched an astonishing attack on fellow goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar. In a tirade on MUTV the Polish stopper claimed that van der Sar doesn’t like him and refuses to offer the former West Brom ‘keeper any advice. That Kuszczak has aired his dirty laundry in public will surely anger United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

“To be honest, I must say this and Edwin doesn’t like this too much for sure, but he doesn’t help me too much,” said Kuszczak, who joined the club in summer 2006.

“I have told him a few times already to give me some more advice because he’s got more experience and got many more games under his belt.

“I say, ‘You have to give me something more because I like to know what I do wrong and like to watch other people. Doing that I can take some good from the advice I get.’ But I don’t know, maybe Edwin doesn’t like me. You’ll have to ask him.”

Kuszczak, who has started just 17 games in more than three years at the club, was overlooked in favour of Ben Foster during van der Sar’s injury absence earlier this season.

“I try to do everything to be on the pitch as many times as possible, but I hope in the future the games will come more and more and I will get the chance to play in the biggest games because that’s what I want to do,” Kuszczak said.

“The question is how long do you want to wait? Because I try every day, but it’s a slow process, it’s not so easy. I feel great in the position but I’m not called up and sometimes you think, ‘OK, it’s difficult, you have to wait,’ but the question is how long do I have to wait. I’ve already waited 3½ years.”

“I will wait longer, but my ambition is so big and I want to have a nice feeling after games, be tired and go home and think, ‘Oh, you did a good job.’ Now it’s difficult because I haven’t played too much, especially this season, but I’m hungry to play games.

“Of course, there is competition in the team. I know what I have to do. I have to train hard, be ready and wait for my chance. This is what I do all the time and hopefully my chance will come. I’m still young and have a few years in front of me.

“I am a team player, I like to work with different people and help my team-mates to win the game. I know what it’s about and what I give to this club, even though I do not play regularly. But this is not my fault, I’m prepared.”

How to solve a problem like Edwin

October 23, 2009 Tags: Opinion 4 comments

The expected retirement of Dutch legend Edwin van der Sar in May – the best goalkeeper to appear for Manchester United since Peter Schmeichel – will pose a huge problem for Sir Alex Ferguson. The Scot will be left to replace a goalkeeper who last season set a club and Premier League record for consecutive clean sheets at 1,032 minutes.

Igor AkinfeevUnited’s visit to CSKA Moscow for a Champions League fixture this week offered supporters the chance to run-the-rule over a potential successor, Igor Akinfeev. United, linked with a £10 million bid for the 23-year-old in the January transfer window, is known to be compiling a dossier on the Russian.

United, linked with a number of ‘keepers following Ben Foster’s indifferent displays during van der Sar’s absence, may also look elsewhere for van der Sar’s successor.

Sporting Lisbon’s Rui Patricio may lack van der Sar’s experience at just 21-years-old but has already matched the goalscoring exploits of Peter Schmeichel by netting in the Champions League against FC Twente. 6ft 2in Patricio, who comes recommended by Cristiano Ronaldo, could be an option given United’s links with Sporting.

Manuel Neuer

Manuel Neuer, the 6ft 4in 23-year-old Schalke 04 goalkeeper, is another youngster with Champions League experience, who has already been capped by Germany. However, Ferguson may wish to pay heed to Oliver Kahn who believes that Germany has no World Class ‘keepers.

Julio Cesar30-year-old  6ft 2in Brazilian Julio Cesar is widely considered one of the best in the world. With 40 caps for Brazil and over 140 appearances for Internazionale, the former-Flamengo ‘keeper offers experience even if Inter is unlikely to sell.

Heurelho GomesAn outside tip could be Heurelho Gomes from United’s feeder club Tottenham Hotspur. After a troubled first season in English football, the 6ft 3in ‘keeper has become a consistent performer Spurs. Gomes had an outstanding game against Portsmouth last weekend and his ability to launch counter attacks with a long throw is reminiscent of Peter Schmeichel.

United could still look closer to home for its next ‘keeper. Ferguson recently stated that he has “two excellent” goalkeepers in Ben Foster and Tomasz Kuszczak. Kuszczak, it seems, will never be considered the first choice at Old Trafford. Meanwhile, Foster is young enough to improve after a troubling season in which questions have been asked of the former-Stoke City player’s concentration and decision-making. Ferguson is known to rate Foster’s excellent technical ability and shot stopping.

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van der Sar plays tonight

October 6, 2009 Tags: Shorts No comments

Edwin van der Sar will start for Manchester United reserves at Everton tonight, ahead of a possible return to first team action 17 October. The Dutch legend, who has missed 12 games following a broken finger sustained against Bayern Munich in pre-season, will return in tonight’s match at Stobart Stadium, Halton in Widnes.

van der Sar, now likely to make the match with Bolton Wanderers after the international break, hands Sir Alex Ferguson a huge boost. The manager has seen deputy Ben Foster struggle with form and nerves during the former Fulham, Juventus and Ajax stopper’s absence.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team for the trip also includes Fabio da Silva, Corry Evans, Oliver Gill, Joe Dudgeon, Oliver Norwood, Matty James, Magnus Eikrem, Robbie Brady, Federico Macheda and Joshua King. Young goalkeeper Ben Amos is joined by Scott Wootton, Febian Brandy and William Keane on the bench for the match, which kicks off at 19.30.

Fergie facing up to ‘keeper dilemma

September 24, 2009 Tags: , , Opinion 3 comments

Sir Alex Ferguson is faced with a huge goalkeeping dilemma, which he must solve  come the end of the season. Edwin van der Sar, unsure whether to sign a new one-year contract that would take him into his 40th year, may leave the club, while serious doubts remain over the long-term viability of both Ben Foster and Tomasz Kuszczak. Indeed, such is the looming problem that Ferguson may choose to dip into the transfer market next summer.

van der Sar, who signed from Fulham for around £2 million in 2005, has been on a rolling contract for the past three seasons. Last campaign the legendary Dutchman, who has 130 international caps, signed a new one-year deal in December.

“I’ve said for a few years that it may be my last season,” said van der Sar, whom UEFA named  Club Goalkeeper of the Year last season.

“Six months before my contract with Manchester United ended in December 2006, we extended for one year and so far it has been the same every time.

“I wait each season to see how or where I stand, if everyone is happy and if I can get motivated.

“But I know, because I always get older, it is increasingly likely that this will be my last season. In December, it will be clear how it goes. By then, I’ll have clarity. It is a horrible dilemma.”

van der Sar,  out injured with a broken hand,  will return within a month. With Foster’s form this season unconvincing, many believe that the Dutchman will be straight back in the United side. Indeed, while the Englishman has made some crucial saves – such as those to halt Robin van Persie of Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur’s Tom Huddlestone – he has also made mistakes in the same game against Arsenal and Manchester City at the weekend.

Former United legend Peter Schmeichel should know goalkeepers and the giant Dane thinks van der Sar will end up staying at Old Trafford for at least another season. It would be a move that will end Foster’s United career.

“Ben Foster has done well this season and he certainly looks to be a very good goalkeeper. He’s getting a run of games now, but I’m sure Edwin will be back in when he’s fit because the manager knows he’s the right guy for the team at the moment,” said Schmeichel, whose last campaign at United was the 1999 treble season.

“I think Edwin can keep playing for a few more years yet. He’s fit, he’s strong and he’s motivated. Physically, it shouldn’t be a problem for Edwin to carry on and if he wants to, then I’m sure he’ll take that opportunity.”

Schmeichel quit Old Trafford for the warmer climate of Portugal aged just 35 and eventually played on for another four seasons with Sporting, Aston Villa and then Manchester City before retiring.

If van der Sar stays on there will remain serious question marks over the Dutchman’s ability to indefinitely keep up the form of last season, when he kept a clean sheet for record 1,311 minutes in the league. Indeed, the ‘keepers mistake in the Champions League final – beaten at the near post by Samuel Eto’o – was symptomatic of an indifferent end to the campaign.

Meanwhile almost nobody believes that Pole Kuszczak, picked for last night’s Carling Cup win over Wolverhampton Wanderers, will ever be good enough to claim the number one shirt permanently. The question is, after Foster’s gaffe against City, will he be in possession until van der Sar returns?

Is it time to hand Foster the gloves?

July 8, 2009 Tags: , Opinion No comments

News that United’s second choice goalkeeper Ben Foster has agreed a new four year contract this week is welcome but will the former Stoke player finally get his chance? Edwin van der Sar is entering his final season as a pro and – to be frank – began to show signs of wear and tear towards the end of the last campaign. Now manager Sir Alex Ferguson must decide who begins the new campaign as his number one – the legendary Dutch international, or the younger pretender?

Foster, 26, joined from Stoke City in 2005 but has made just 10 starts for United in the intervening four years. Two seasons on loan at Watford, plus recurrent injuries to his knee and hands, have restricted his opportunities at Old Trafford. As such, the new contract is faith in the player’s ability, more than his performances on the pitch for United. But the prize for keeping himself fit is great for Foster – potentially taking over in goal for both United and England too.

Foster’s rival for the shirt, van der Sar, is under pressure to maintain his performance levels in the coming season. While the big Dutch ‘keeper set a new record number of Premier League clean sheets last season, the pressure of back-to-back games during the run in exposed some of van der Sar’s growing frailties. At 38 his ability to stay fit and flexible will be on the wane, as will his judgment. This much was evident in the poor goal van der Sar conceded in last May’s Champions League final.

However, this is no shoe-in for Foster. The Lemington born ‘keeper must perform in pre-season to be in with a shout of starting the campaign as number one. More realistically, Ferguson will go with the devil he knows but it would be a major surprise if the England international does not finish next season as first choice between the sticks for club and country.

All the same, it’s a  make-or-break season for Foster.  If the player fails to break into the team – or worse still succumbs to injury once again – United will buy next summer. Indeed, the club has been linked with a move for two Spanish stoppers – Villareal’s Diego Lopez and Barcelona’s Victor Valdes. While the later may have been angling for a new contract at Camp Nou, Lopez is undoubtedly available. This is the challenge now facing Foster.