4318: Manchester United: Foster Dese
by : Paul Grech
Jay BothroydBothroyd is an extremely talented forward who, unfortunately, has never really settled at any club largely due to his inconsistency. Currently at Wolves, he had one bitter-sweet spell with Perugia and a disappointing period at Coventry.
Jerome ThomasFrustrated by the lack of first team opportunities at Arsenal, Thomas moved across London to join Charlton Athletic where his is now a regular.
Craig HollowayTook over from Stack between the posts for the second season, Holloway was eventually released by Arsenal. He moved to Farnborough but subsequently went on to play for Gravesend. Unfortunately for him, he’s missed the current season due to injuries.
Alex BaileyJoined Chesterfield immediately after being freed by Arsenal in 2004 and has stayed there ever since.
Sebastian SvardDanish defender Svard was something of a prodigy when he signed for Arsenal from FC Copenhagen in 2000 having starred for all the Danish teams at youth level. However, he never maintained that early promise. After spells on loan back home with FC Copenhagen, Brondby and Stoke, he was released by Arsenal in 2005 immediately moving to Portuguese side SC Vitoria. His stay in the Iberian country lasted one year as he moved to Borussia Moenchengaldbach soon afterwards.
Ryan GarryStill at Arsenal but that is probably due to a series of injuries that have kept him out for the past three seasons.
Nicky NicolauA loan spell at Southend was made permanent at the end of the 2004 season but his stay there didn’t last long eventually moving to Swindon. From there he moved on to Barnet where he has remained as an important player.
Moritz VolzStrong and determined, Volz has quietly gone about building a reputation at Fulham as one of the best right backs in the Premiership.
Jermaine PennantPerhaps the most successful players of those two sides even if not with Arsenal. Pennant looked as if he had lost his way but a spell at Birmingham seems to do him an awful lot of good and earned him a move to Liverpool for over 7 million
Jeremie AliadireSigned by Arsenal as a 16 year old, this is his eighth year at Arsenal and hasn’t yet made the expected break-through. Has had spells on loan at Celtic, West Ham and Wolves without showing that he was anything special. However, he was one of the star players as Arsenal swept their way to the Carling Cup final this season.
Jutin HoytePerhaps the only player of those two cup winning sides to really make it at the club, the England U21 international has proved to be an able deputy for Gael Clichy at left back although Hoyte is more at home on the right.
Carlin ItongaLeft Arsenal and dropped down into non-league fooball. Itonga currently plays for Kettering Town.
Manchester United: Foster Deserves United Chance
For a goalkeeper, there is nothing more embarrassing then being beaten by the opposite number one. It is the sort of incident that can mark one’s career: whatever he does in the future, people will still recall that moment and that goal.
Seeing how Ben Foster will respond after conceding from Paul Robinson’s hopeful ninety metre punt up field should therefore be interesting. Watford manager Aidy Boothroyd will be doing his best to ensure that Foster doesn’t dwell on that incident and the enforced break due to international commitments will ensure that Foster is kept out f the spotlight. By the time Premiership football returns, there will be other arguments pressing on the media’s minds thereby easing the pressure off Foster.
Yet, given his elevation to England’s number two keeper, there will still be plenty paying special interest to determine just how mentally strong Foster is. The best keepers aren’t necessarily those who make the best saves but also the ones who can focus entirely on the game at hand. Being able to make keep concentration after conceding a goal, for instance, is vital as is the ability to concentrate in games where your team is dominating. It is keepers with those qualities that will interest the big clubs.
And it is what Sir Alex Ferguson will be looking out for. Ferguson bought Foster almost by chance: he had dropped in to see his son Darren playing at Wrexham when he saw this confident young keeper play. It was Foster, who had been loaned there by Stoke City. United promptly paid £1 million for him.
Now they’ll be looking for a return, either playing wise or else financially.
Moving to United is, however, easier said than done. Edwin Van Der Sar still has a minimum of one season at the top in him meaning, as Tomascz Kuszcak has found out this season, plenty of games sitting it out on the substitutes bench.
Having played virtually regularly for the past two seasons, a year spent watching Manchester United from the sidelines will be of no benefit whatsoever to him. Neither will be staying with Watford, however, especially if they go down. Indeed, Foster’s biggest achievement to date has been that every time he’s had to raise his game, he has done so.
Given an opportunity to do so at United, Foster will surely show that there are English keepers capable of playing at the highest level.