David, Anders, Ben and the challenge of being the last line of defence for Manchester United. Oh and Bye Tomasz.
David De Gea wears the number one on his back and GTS is not about to start joining the parade of David detractors anytime soon. He is young, he has impressed in matches this season and he has had his moments. He struggles to be Peter Schmiechel (who wouldn’t?) but he isn’t quite Massimo Taibi either. The people who should know about these things tell us that to doubt David is foolish and given time he will become the great we all expect. Guillem Balagué thinks so, as does Iker Cassilas (we needed a second opinion because the former is a Liverpool fan and, well, yknow).
We shouldn’t doubt that it will happen, but given his age and the knocks he has taken for some performances it has been, and will continue to be necessary for David to be rested. Manchester United fans were not really used to this with goalkeepers until Peter Schmiechel retired. When Schmikes owned the nets he seemed only to be replaced for Rola Cola cup matches or matches against tiny little Russian sides in a European Competition or two. Gary Walsh played against Torpedo Moscow, Les Sealey played against Aston Villa at Wembley, Kevin Pilkington, yes well…. and Schmiechel was in the stand with Eric for that men against boys game with Barcelona at the Nou Camp. Hands up who misses the foreigner rule?
Ever changing goalkeepers was something we did get used to thanks to scary tenures of pretenders like Barthez and the aforementioned Massimo. Fast forward to modern times and we are once again replacing a great. Edwin should have been ours earlier than he was, but he got here eventually and the gloves were massive; now that Sir Alex has rightly opted to revolve the keepers when necessary, just who is up for the challenge of pushing David for number one netter?
Anders Lindegaard impresses whenever he is called upon and he is very vocal about wanting to be first choice. If you agree that it’s about proving it on the pitch then the boy makes a convincing argument. He has clean sheets and his name has not often been on the team sheet when United have suffered a blip. He was in goal for the Arsenal, Fulham and Wigan demolitions and he was there for the hard-fought one goal victories. One smudge on that pattern is it was indeed Anders in goal for the Newcastle game at the Sports Direct Arena last month, but that result was as much to do with those around him. Lindegaard seems a confident individual, perhaps he has benefitted from acclimatizing in the shadows, something David De Gea could not do; Lindegaard trained with the squad for weeks before officially being unveiled by Sir Alex and he waited another few weeks after that for his debut. Time is his everything, and he seems sure in himself and his performances. Time will tell.
Ben Amos will have to make do with a Carling Cup matches it seems. All you can ask of the third choice keeper is that they don’t monumentally drop the ball when called upon for something more serious than Aldershot Town. A clean sheet against Stoke would have done his confidence no harm and he will be under the spotlight if he plays against Chelsea today. He is secure in his position as first third choice. Mind you, his competition was Tomasz. Ever the positive, GTS would like to see more in his future than the inevitable departure to a Premier League team, with the change of manager at Sunderland he probably won’t go there and Everton seem happy with Timmy. Realistically he will have to do something amazing to dislodge Anders permanently, but if he sticks around long enough there is always a chance. Match winning display against Chelsea? Anyone, anyone?
We have previously voiced the opinion that the Europa League may give Fergie the chance to ‘Go Kurtz’ with his team selection. It may well be the new Carling Cup in that respect and why not use it to show what some of these lads have in them beyond piddly little League Cup matches. It’s Europe, even if it’s not as we know it, and the experience could be vital, Ben can only benefit from it and Manchester United may reap the rewards of that.
Tomasz Kuszczak looks like Norman Bates in the mother wig. The other choices in his position are better than he is, simple as. As Darron Gibson saw the writing on the wall when we re-signed Paul Scholes, Tomasz should have been getting the passport ready when, with so few options against Stoke, Fergie picked Ben. On Friday it was confirmed that he would be leaving, out of contract in the summer, Sunderland could have been a destination had Steve Bruce not been booted out. Where will Tomasz go next? Well, with the greatest respect, who cares?
Sir Alex officially confirmed Tomasz’s forthcoming departure from Manchester United once this was written. GTS would like to apologise for including him in the image, poor lad isn’t photogenic but we won’t be writing about him again.
Today, Chelsea await at Stamford Bridge. John Terry is victim of a well-timed injury, keeping him out of the spotlight at a fortunate time, and away from the bigger badder Ferdinand brother. Joking aside David De Gea is expected to start in goal, it’s a pressured game in goal for either of the choices though, the focus would be on whoever got the nod. Let’s get on, get scoring, get winning and get home.
In a bit. GTS