Football FanCast guest columnist Tim Wrotham feels Sir Alex Ferguson is making a mistake in not sending Ben Foster out on loan.
Far be it from me to question Sir Alex Ferguson, given the success he has brought to my beloved Manchester United; however I wonder if his decision to keep Ben Foster at the club and not send him out on loan is actually the correct one. I personally feel he could use the break and the change of environment could be of great benefit to him and United, in the long term.
The goalkeeping position is like that of a centre forward and where if you are lacking confidence then it is beneficial to let the player play his way out of bad form. If you drop them, it does little for them and the pressure just seems to mount and where top class keepers come through the other end, we are still to find out whether Ben Foster is that.
I have to admit I have a lot of sympathy for Ben Foster in that I felt he has had a hell of a lot of pressure dumped on his shoulders, not only being thrown into first team action at Old Trafford, but being heralded as the man to keep goal for England as the nation’s No.1. Why it is a huge compliment for Foster, the truth is that he hasn’t played a lot of football at the highest level prior to this season and why he had one season with a struggling Watford side in the Premier League, he hasn’t had a sustained period at the top level therefore I can’t help feel that he has been thrown in at the deep end; hence why he has seemed a little green with his performances for us this season and why he has now dropped down the pecking order with England.
I don’t know what other United fans feel about Foster and whether he will prove the ideal successor to Van der Sar, but for me I believe he needs to be playing regularly in order for us to make that judgment. If Edwin does decide to hang up his gloves at the end of the season, isn’t the last thing we need is throwing Foster in, when he would have only had months of mundane reserve team football and the odd 90mins here and there. Wouldn’t Fergie be better off sending him out on loan and just promote Kuszczak to No.2 for the time being? Wouldn’t this be the best way for Foster to restore his confidence and make the transition in replacing Van der Sar a damn sight smoother.