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Counting Down

Monday, August 06, 2007

This blogger wasn't able to watch Chelsea v Man Utd: the rematch this past weekend. Not that we're too bothered, because by the sounds of it (and itermittent glances at Sky Sports News while having tea with the parents), the game was just a repeat of the FA Cup Final of a few months ago.

Thanks to the wonders of YouTube, we were able to watch the goals, and can conclude that both were fairly good. Giggs demonstrated incredible composure and technique, and Malouda demonstrated speed, strength and skill in holding off Rio Ferdinand, but it was the skill and sheer size of Edwin "Super-Double Save" Van der Sar which won the game for the Reds.

All 3 of his penalty saves were excellent, not purely a product of luck, but a combination of the agility and height which has served the dutch-man well throughout his career. The Telegraph mentioned in passing that Alex Ferguson's ommision in hiring a true world class goalkeeper would be telling over the coming season -- they were wrong.

Classically a legendary performance in a penalty shoot-out isn't enough to save a 'keeper's career, as demonstrated by Jerzy "bench-warmer" Dudek following his mesmerising performance in the 2004-05 CL Final. Jerzy has moved to warmer climes, where he will no doubt perform a similar bench warming task to that of Woodgate during his times in Real Madrid.

So what of Man Utd's goalkeeping prospects? Kuszczak's loan move from West Brom has now been made permanent, and Ben Foster needs surgery on a cruciate ligament problem. Obviously Van der Sar can't last forever, and when he does go, United face the same problem they experienced after Schmeical's departure -- however, Ben Foster looks likely to be one of the best keepers in the game.

Elsewhere, Rooney was up to his old tricks. The boy who wouldn't grow up has failed to live up the promise demonstrated in the Euro 2004. He was largely eclipsed by Ronaldo last season, and this season, the arrival of Nani and now Tevez promise to be more exciting, and will perhaps be the elixir that Rooney needs to return to his form of old. A spell in the England u-21's wouldn't hurt the boy.

All that remains now is to wait for the weekend, for the thrilling encounter that is Sunderland v Spurs. We can hardly wait.

posted by teedoubleyou


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