guest columnist Tim Bothroyd feels that Alex should turn to Plan B and give Tomasz
Kuszczak to prove he is a capable understudy in Van der Sar's absence.
Ben Foster has come
in for some stick from United fans in recent weeks, after a series of
questionable performances, but events at the derby has certainly made me
undecided about the guy and whether he is capable of taking the eventual reins
as United No.1 from Edwin van der Sar. In the past few weeks I have defended
the guy and been prepared to be patient, however there comes a point, like
Sunday, when you have to question it.
A lot has been made
about his footwork, with people questioning how slow he is to react with
long-range efforts and how he doesn't seem commanding at set pieces and the
gathering crosses. It is a valid point, however I think his fundamental flaw is
that his decision-making is all wrong and his hesitancy and lack of assurance
is what is causing the defence to look as shaky as it does so often these days,
as there doesn't seem to be an understanding with him and the defence. While
the first goal was clearly down to a mis-communication and decision-making,
then the finger of the blame for the third goal, must also point at Foster. I
accept that Rio's error put him through, but how the hell did Bellamy score
from that tight angle?
There is a train of
thought that you need to persist with goalkeepers in order for them to find
their form, but how long do we wait? Foster's confidence looks shot to pieces
at the moment and I think perhaps the time has come to take him out of the
firing line and give Tomasz Kuszczak the chance to stake a claim for the
No.1 jersey in Van der Sar's absence and while the Pole is certainly likely to
start tonight, I just feel that against a team like Stoke at the weekend we
need a keeper that is prepared to gather crosses and command the penalty box –
something that Foster seemingly struggles with.