Tuesday, 9 June 2009

EDWIN VAN DER SAR 2008/2009!







There are certain people you never want to see leave OT as their presence has almost certainly meant that we win a trophy. For instance, since United lost Roy Keane and spent a load of money on Michael Carrick, we have won the league in each of those seasons that Michael has been with us. Of course the trend is bound to end but you get the feeling that he is one of our lucky charms.
EVDS arrived at United when we could hardly find a keeper who had the confidence to keep a run of clean sheets. Tim Howad started well but a string of blunders,including one that knocked us out of the Champions League, meant he had to follow, Raymond van der Gouw, Fabien Barthez, Tabbi, etc out of OT. The desire to sign a long term goalkeeper at United was clearly failing. In a bid to halt the club's poor defensive record, Sir Alex brought the then 35 year old Dutchman to United and my! my! my! how he regreted not signing him a earlier in his career after when Schemichael had left.
Many still think that the Dutchman has been made to look good by a wonderful defence but I think it;s the player's intelligence that is really what makes him what he is. the United players all agree that EVDS is the most intelligent in the dressing room. Anybody who still doubts this should look at last season's penalty shoot-out victory against Chelsea in the Champions League final. After failing to save the first five penalties, Nicholas Anelka stepped up. The Dutchman used his experience to step out of the goal aand delay Anelka, making him nervous. After being warned by the ref to get back in goal, van der Sar, cleverly pointed to his left, teasing Anelka to go that way. Instinctively, he knew that the Frenchman would take it the other way and that's where he dived to win us the European Cup! Clever! You could say that he cut Anelka's options to just one and hence made it difficult for the Frenchman to score.
Unfortunately for us, the Dutchman only has a season left in him so we have to find a replacement soon. He has looked suspect at times but when you weigh the pros and cons, EVDS is still the best we have in our ranks. If Ben Foster was always fit then he could have given the number 1 some competition.
Having said that, the Dutchman set a new Premier League record for successive clean-sheets--a run that propelled us to the top the league and enabled us to defend our trophy.
The thing about being a United goal-keeper is that you need concentration for 90 minutes. You might not have what to do for almost an entire game but when the other team gets its chance, you must be able to keep it out. I think it's fair to say that Edwin has that ability. That we have won the title with less goals scored is testament to the contribution of the Dutchman to our title triumph. Sir Alex was so pleased with his record-breaking run that he rewarded him with a contract extension. Personally, I wouldn't mind having him between our sticks till he is 40!

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