As mentioned earlier, this blog will not engage in the 'silly season' untill deals are just about as good as done.
Skysportsnews, which is just about as good an authority as you can find anywhere on the internet and TV, has this morning reported that Ben Foster has agreed terms with Birmingham City and is hence set for a medical.
The thing is Ben has not actually cut at United or to put it better, has not done enough to merit himself a place in the team ahead of Tomaz K aka PIG. He had that magnificent opportunity to convince United that he is the goalkeeper to replace EVDS when he was chosen ahead of TK to fill in for EVDS at the start of the season. Carvalho stole in from a weak clearance by Ben and scored the equaliser in the Community Shield. Then Lampard shot at at him in the same game and he failed to parry the ball away for a corner at least. The thing is that Lampard's shot was poor as it was hit almost straight at the goalkeeper so that for me should have been a routine save.
Sir Alex, in a bid to restore confidence in his keeper stuck with him for the start of the league proper.
Then Arshavin scored that goal. Ben once again parried the shot into his net rather than turning it over for a corner.
If that didn't raise enough eye-brows, then his next howler did. The Englishman tried something which even EVDS wouldn't do at the peak of his powers--- the stage was the all important Manchester derby, he took on Carlos Tevez outside his penalty area. We all know how robust Tevez is so it was heart in mouth when the Argentine crossed the ball for Gareth Barry to aim for an empty net. The result--1-1 at halftime. It hurt going into that break.
By the time Sunderland came to OT, you thought that Ben would have come to grips with his task. Darren Bent opened the scoring with a shot that a number one keeper at United should have been able to keep out. Berbatov equalised for us with a spectacular goal in the second half at the Stretford End and you would have put your house on a bet that United would go on to surely win that game. Then just as United were hitting that top gear, spurred on by our rejuvenated fans, Kenwyne Jones beat Foster in the air to put Sunderland ahead. That was a giant blow to our momentum and we never quite recovered from it. That would be the last time Fergie entrusted Foster with an important game.
That Tomaz K. aka PIG provided better cover for EVDS mid-season with a defence that included Carrick and Fletcher didn't help Foster's cause.
The thing is that Foster is a wonderful goalkeeper and his time at Watford attests to that. Maybe the expectation that comes with playing for Manchester United trimmed his confidence. Hopefully he'll go on to make a better show at Birmingham City. We certainly wish him all the best.