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Finding his Successor might not be so easy

Siddarth Saturday, September 11, 2010
Edwin van der Sar is easily the oldest professional footballer playing at the highest level, and surprisingly is still just as good as he was 5 years ago, actually he’s better than he was when he first joined United. Now almost 40, he’s still playing every week for United and he isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. He is one of the most technically gifted GK’s around, just as comfortable with the ball at his feet as he is with it in his hands and is still considered one of the best GK’s in England and also Europe.

Edwin’s career has spanned an incredible 22 years so far, beginning in Holland at Ajax, from where he moved to Juventus and then Fulham before signing for United. He’s played an incredible 575 league games over his career and also scored 1 goal during his time at Ajax. Since his move to United, van der Sar has been pivotal in United’s return to the top, including a hat trick of Premier League titles, a Champions League title and the Club World Championship. He’s been the Dutch no. 1 since his debut in 1995 and has since amassed 130 caps for them before retiring from international duty in 2008.

Edwin joined United from Fulham in the summer of 2005 and United were finally able to find a worthy successor to the great Peter Schmeichel, after going through 6 years of trial and error with various GK’s, we had finally found a GK worthy of the no. 1 spot at United.

Edwin is an ideal role model for youngsters and is an excellent professional; he seems to have saved his best for the last and has easily been the best GK at United this decade. As he nears the end of his career at United, he will surely be in United’s annals as one of the best GK’s to play for Manchester United.

Most people now think about how are we going to replace Paul Scholes or Ryan Giggs but the big question many haven’t considered is “How will we replace Edwin van der Sar?”

His current understudy in the team is Tomasz Kuszczak and not many people are convinced that Tomasz is good enough to succeed Edwin. From what I have seen Tomasz is excellent at shot stopping and has great reflexes but his seeming susceptibility at collecting dangerous crosses in a crowded penalty box is a worry, but given that Tomasz hasn’t seen much first team action, one can only assume that he’ll improve with experience.
Once Edwin does hang up his boots and retire from the club, hopefully we won’t see a repeat of the start of this decade with United trying Gk’s out like they were a pair of sneakers, which unfortunately last longer than some GK’s have at United.

I’m sure many will name the likes of Neuer, Akinfeev, Lloris, De Gea, Adler, Asenjo, and etc. but can any of them really take over from Edwin?


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