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  • footballsexrocknroll 22:40 on September 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Anders Lindegaard,   

    The Thankless Task: The Curse Of Being A Manchester United Goalkeeper 

    There’s no denying that we’ve had some ups and downs over the replacements of our long serving goalkeepers over the years, the tirade of goalkeepers that followed in the years after Peter Schmeichel left ranged from promising, to terrifying, to supposedly good until they were hit by what appeared to be a United goalkeeping curse, and sometimes ending in, Fergie, dude, what were you thinking?

    There was Taibi, Bosnich, Barthez, Carroll, Ricardo, Goram, and even Van Der Gouw who had served as second choice to Peter. Now Taibi, despite his dubious moments was brilliant for at least the majority of his debut in the Liverpool game, considering he only played four games for us, that’s not bad going. Yes, Southampton and Chelsea are the ones that stick in your head but the boy did have some talent, the saves he made showed that, but a bit of talent isn’t enough to be a top class goalkeeper. I’ll never for the life of me understand why we resigned Bosnich. Yes he was decent at Villa, but we had already decided he wasn’t good enough. If someone proposes to you and you tell them no; saying yes a decade later because no one else came along really isn’t going to ensure you happiness in any shape or form.

    I’m still assuming that we signed Barthez because he had a really shiny head/world cup winner’s medal. Either that or it was a ploy to finally get Laurent Blanc to sign for United the following season, luring him with the promise of getting to kiss Barthez’ head on much more regular basis. I’m not calling Barthez a bad goalkeeper. He made great saves a plenty for us. But you should never look for an entertainer as a goalkeeper, and Barthez was nothing if not entertaining. The lack of consistency made his reign more painful to watch than the attempts of any other goal keeper, because more was expected of him. After all, he was a World Cup Winner. With, as previously mentioned, a really shiny head. (More …)

    • Jez Evans 22:09 on September 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Really great read!

      Whilst you could argue that De Gea’s lack of first team games could hamper his progression, you could just as easily say that the competition means he won’t rest on his laurels and will work twice as hard thus ultimately becoming better. Look at Tim Howard. Perhaps if he’d been in a similar position as De Gea is now, with someone really pushing him, he’d have turned out better. He arrived like De Gea, young and inexperienced (not as young but still young) but as you allude to in the article, Fergie stuck with him for the first season at least, but you could argue his mistakes were never stamped out because he was undisputed first choice despite them. Now, if De Gea makes a mistake he’s dropped. I reckon this could bring the best out of him eventually. If De Gea kept goal despite his mistakes, we could have another Tim Howard. Time will tell and it could go either way…

      Agree about Foster though, I was really happy to see a young English keeper with massive potential looking set to become our eventual number 1. Complete idiot though as you say…

  • janmetcalf 23:21 on January 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Reds return to winning ways; Manchester United 3 Bolton Wanderers 0 

    Following last weekends FA cup frivolities, United returned to league action with a clash against Lancashire rivals Bolton Wanderers. Having suffered two consecutive defeats in the league, and now lagging 3 points behind leaders City, United knew that victory was essential in order to maintain their title bid. Having returned to action in dramatic circumstances last week, Paul Scholes was handed his first start upon return to the club alongside Michael Carrick, in one of only 3 changes to the United line up. (More …)

  • janmetcalf 13:50 on January 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    United bounce back to knock out City; Manchester City 2 Manchester United 3 

    Following two disastrous consecutive losses, United faced league leaders and rivals Manchester City in the FA Cup third round, looking to avoid a hat trick of defeats, a record United have preserved since 2001. Having succumbed to a humiliating 6-1 reverse scoreline at Old Trafford earlier in the season, the reds were keen to make amends and set the record straight, albeit whilst in their worst run of form of the campaign. United welcomed back Chris Smalling to the defence alongside Rio Ferdinand, with Phil Jones occupying a right back slot after enduring a difficult evening against Demba Ba in midweek. Wayne Rooney was looking to score his 12th derby goal for United, and assure the fans he was committed to club following reports that he is looking to move on in the near future, as he partnered Danny Welbeck in an attacking United line up. Pre match chatter however was diverted towards the shock inclusion of United legend Paul Scholes amongst the substitutes, with news that Scholesy is taking up a playing role with the club for the remainder of the season to avert the current injury crisis. It was to be the first twist in what was a bizarre afternoon of football.

    A crackling atmosphere encouraged the home side to a strong start, controlling large amounts of possession and keeping United pinned back into their half for the opening 10 minutes. It was the red half of Manchester that struck the first blow however, when on 10 minutes, the much scrutinised Rooney bravely met Antonio Valencia’s cross to head United into the lead, triggering a match altering 5 minutes. Minutes after taking the lead, United were handed yet another boost, as City skipper Vincent Kompany was dismissed for a two footed lunge on Nani handing the reds a man advantage for the remaining 70 minutes of the tie. United asserted their dominance on the half hour mark, as they doubled their lead through Danny Welbeck, who pounced upon a loose ball in the City penalty area to volley home into the bottom corner. A dream half was complete for United when 5 minutes before the break, Ryan Giggs’s reverse pass to Danny Welbeck saw the England striker chopped down by a rash challenge from Alexsander Kolarov, handing the reds the chance to take a 3 goal lead from the spot. Stand in City keeper Pantilimon saved Rooney’s spot kick, but couldn’t prevent him from nodding home the rebound for his second of the game, sending the 6000 reds into a delirious celebratory Poznan! (More …)

  • janmetcalf 23:06 on January 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Sorry United succumb on Tyneside; Newcastle United 3 Manchester United 0 

    Following their disappointing defeat at the hands of Blackburn on new years eve, United looked to quickly bounce back with a trip to St James’s Park to face Newcastle United. Having not lost to the Tyneside club since 2001, United were confident of reducing the 3 point gap on league leaders city to merely goal difference, going into the second half of the season. However, with Demba Ba having scored 14 goals already this season, United’s  defensive woes of late would have to subside in order to get a positive result. Rio Ferdinand alleviated some of the pressure by returning to the side along with Wayne Rooney, as Antonio Valencia continued at right back in an auxiliary role. (More …)

  • janmetcalf 00:33 on December 23, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    United run riot at the Cottage; Fulham 0 Manchester United 5 

    United returned to Craven Cottage for the second of their London away trips in a week, as they took on Martin Jol’s Fulham side who have so far disappointed in the league. Late heartbreak last season, and a humiliating 3-0 capitulation the season before meant United were facing a traditionally difficult fixture against the West London side, but having recently found good form were hot favourites to take the three points back up the M6. An injury to Rio Ferdinand saw Ryan Giggs come into the side for a rare start, with Phil Jones dropping back to centre half, in one of only 2 changes to the side who dispatched QPR at the weekend.

    With goals being the only thing lacking from United’s recent performances, the reds looked keen to set the record straight with a scoreline to send out a message to the rest of the league. With just 4 minutes on the clock, United were in front, Nani capitalizing on some tentative Fulham defending before cutting back to the grateful Welbeck, sweeping home his 6th of the season. It was an irrepressible United performance, roared on by the red masses gathered in the Putney End with Antonio Valencia, Nani, Rooney and Giggs all ripping into Fulham with regularity and aplomb. An injury to Phil Jones whilst worrying, did little to dampen United’s momentum, and they were soon 2 ahead after Giggs’s undefendable cross was nodded home by Nani at the near post, putting the reds out of sight. The icing on an almost perfect first half was added by Giggs, who’s deselected shot looped over the helpless Stockdale, handing the Welshman the enviable stat of having scored in every single Premier League season, and condemning Fulham to a long second half. (More …)

  • janmetcalf 01:27 on November 7, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    United deliver on Fergie’s big day; Manchester United 1 Sunderland 0 

    On the eve of the 25th anniversary of Sir Alex Ferguson taking over at the club, United welcomed Sunderland to Old Trafford for a game which would ultimately be remembered for off field events rather than those on the field. Prior to kick off, Sir Alex’s big day was marked in grand style with a guard of honour from both sides, and the surprise news that the North stand would be renamed the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand in recognition of arguably the greatest British manager of all time. With the festivities over, United got down to business with the small matter of the match, as the reds looked to pick up from their excellent victory at Everton the previous week. With defensive frailties dogging United in the early season, it was a welcome relief to see Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic partner each other in the heart of defence, hopefully to provide consistency during the busy spell of fixtures on the horizon. (More …)

  • janmetcalf 14:13 on October 20, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Rooney spot on as United struggle in Romania; Otelul Galati 0 Manchester United 2 

    Fresh off the back of their hard earned point at Anfield, United travelled to Bucharest to face Champions League debutants Otelul Galati. Having only managed two points from their opening group games, only a win would allow United some space to breathe in a group which on paper seemed relatively straight forward. With one eye on the Manchester derby at the weekend, there was some doubt about the strength of United’s starting line up prior to the game, however a strong side took to the field, with Fergie clearly appreciating the importance of three points in this fixture. Nemanja Vidic returned to the starting line up for the first time since the opening day of the season, providing the reds solidity at the back, and a huge boost ahead of the big match on Sunday. (More …)

  • janmetcalf 15:44 on October 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Anders Lindegaard, , , , , , , , Norwich, , , , ,   

    United battle past Norwich test; Manchester United 2 Norwich City 0 

    United welcomed vistors Norwich City to Old Trafford intent on securing 3 points and remaining top of the table with the dreaded international break looming large. Having slightly wobbled after a blistering start, United were looking to eradicate the defensive lapses that had marred the mid week performance against Basel, and which had seen the reds only manage to draw their last 2 games. With Old Trafford bathed in sunshine (and green and gold) an exciting afternoon was in store, as Wayne Rooney was welcomed back to the starting line up following his hamstring injury, to give United the extra composure in the opposition’s half which would relieve the pressure on the under fire back 4. Anders Lindegaard deputized in goal, making his first Premier League start for the club in place of David De Gea, who was rested ahead of international duty with Spain U-21’s. (More …)

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