Analysis Opinion Insight

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Is it time to look in our rivals yard for next goalkeeper?

Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly no Liverpool sympathiser, nor am I fond of the oil revolution going on at Eastlands. What I am is a Manchester United fan and as I sit back and watch us prepare for life without our unflappable Dutch rock at the back, I've been thinking long and hard about who could assume the Dutchman's mantle and keep the ship steady?

I've come up with three options.

Firstly, our own reserve stocks. Whether or not Kuszczak, Lindegaard, Amos or Conor Devlin can make the move up to No. 1 within the next 12 months I don't know but I have my doubts. It's been reported that Kuszczak is looking to leave the club while, to me atleast, Lindegaard is a fairly unknown quantity. The Danish stopper may well be the next Schmeichel, though he could equally prove to be the next Taibi, Bosnich, Van Der Gouw or god knows any other gloveman who tried and failed to fill the gap between the Great Dane and Van Der Sar.

With that in mind, my other two options are experienced glove men, much the same as Van Der Sar himself, who have proven themselves to be high quality keepers and good assets to their respective squad. Option two is Shay Given. Shay Given has been voted time and time again, in so many different sources as the best goalkeeper the Premier League has had in the last decade. He's also been frozen out of the picture at City, who may well feel that offloading him could slash a handy amount of cash off the wage bill.

A proven shot stopper of the highest order, Given has also shown himself to be a very capable commander of the box and leader of the back four in front of him, and let's face it, in Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra and Rafael he'd had a very capable and imposing defensive partnership to work with.

My other option would be Pepe Reina. The 28 year old Spaniard is not only a proven and highly spectacular shot stopper, he's also incredibly young for a goalkeeper. While, much like Given with City, prising him away from Liverpool might be incredibly difficult and he may not come in for immediate support from the more vociferous fans, I think Pepe would fight his way into the hearts and minds of the Old Trafford faithful, much like Michael Owen has.

Another performer of high regard, Reina also has the mental strength and willingness to prove himself at the highest level, plus I'm sure he'd like to have the opportunity to start lining his trophy cabinet with some shiny silverware, which isn't an option on the horizon at Anfield at the moment.

Just some food for thought, feel free to throw up your opinions and comments guys, always up for a discussion.


  1. disagree with you completely, esp on given. He doesn't communicate with his defenders well at all, and isn't a very commanding presense in the box at corners/crosses. Its predominantly the reason why he hasn't gone to bigger clubs than Newcastle and City, where he's been dethroned by a keeper with greater concentration, communication and focus in Hart.

    I'm still hoping for 1 or 2 of Neuer, Adler, Akinfeev, De Gea, Lloris and Rui Patricio.

  2. and with the relative re-emergence of Liverpool under Mr. Dalglish, i don't think Reina ( who just signed a 6 year contract) will move across to United.

  3. reina has the focus to make that once in 30 minute save, given, i believe, does not.