Manchester United - Does 'That' Save Make Van Der Sar A Hero?
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Does 'That' Save Make Van Der Sar A Hero?

There is no doubt that Edwin van der Sar is United's best goalkeeper since Peter Schmeichel - though sadly that's not much, seeing that we had some truly horrible ones.

The papers ran a story about him vowing that he'll fight to keep the number one shirt despite the emergence of Ben Forest. It was one of those usual things, not much to comment on, really, we get these all the time.

But there was one sentence in one of these stories that caught my eye. I can't remember which site carried it but it went like 'Van der Sar will be considered a hero by United fans because of his penalty save from Anelka in Moscow'.

Well, is that true? Is it enough for us to declare him a hero? I don't know.

Many people, ignorantly, believe that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is a legend because of that goal in Barcelona. Of course it's not due to that only, his loyalty, his personality, his devoted service are taken into account. He's adored by us but not just because of one goal.

So, one penalty save in itself does not make Van der Sar a legend. But is it enough for us to declare him the hero of the final? Not really.

I'm a big fan of Edwin: his commitment is unquestionable, he's got a great, commanding presence and he's a usually reliable keeper. But really, saving one penalty out of seven is not enough to turn someone into a hero: there were many more players who made more heroistic contributions to that game.

Why I feel it important to talk about this? First, I dunno, second, probably because I'm annoyed by the constant media hype which, apparently disregarding that it's a team sport, always seeks to appoint heroes and villains. As if we were some belching sub-humans who can't appreciate fine distinctions.

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The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday July 30 2008

Time: 9:39PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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lol - you are hanging on to some dream there mate!
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30/07/2008 21:43:00

he's been past it for two season's!
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30/07/2008 21:43:00

Made some incredible saves whole season, ones that come to mind....saves away against Sporting and Roma in CL and at Old Trafford against Arsenal in our 2-1 win, made some UNBELIEVABLE saves. in my books he is already legend like
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30/07/2008 21:46:00

best keeper since the great dane
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30/07/2008 22:08:00

Edwin is a fantastic keeper, has been for a long time.
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31/07/2008 05:58:00

I don't think he is a very good keeper.But certainly a good keeper.
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31/07/2008 09:21:00

I'd say he was better than me, and i'm terrible.
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31/07/2008 11:32:00

Ben Forest?!?!?!?!?!??!
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31/07/2008 13:30:00

You haven't heard of Ben Forest? Man, that guys wicked bad!
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31/07/2008 13:42:00

I noticed the Ben Forest thing right away too. VDS is a hero, but not because of that game. He did save the penalty that won us the CL, whether it was a bad take from Anelka or not he still went the right way and stopped it. And for those that say isn't very good, put your heads on straight, the guy has been a standout his entire career, dating back to the early 90's with Ajax(UEFA Cup Winner, CL winner and runner-up in CL). There are few keepers that can match or better him, I'd put him top 3 in the world with Buffon and Casillas. He's had a couple of shaky games(I can only think of 2 or 3), but I think we paid 2millGBP for him, money well spent?
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31/07/2008 14:33:00

Definately well spent, if I were a buxum young lady with nutcracker thighs i'd certainly share some affections.
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31/07/2008 14:44:00

van der saar has pulled off saves tht hav won us the prem , CL and not forgetting the charity shield =P, i think he is a hero but sadly his time is nearly up! i think he has one more season as uniteds' number 1!
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31/07/2008 20:09:00

His kicking got really bad at the end of the season, other then that brilliant season.
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31/07/2008 20:42:00

I think the defence in front of him has helped. Another year or two at the most then you'll need another keeper.
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31/07/2008 20:57:00

I think he is a hero for us. Yes, he saved 1 out of 7 but it was extremely rainy andhe was unlucky not to get at least 2 of the other six. Plus, he was so consistent throughout the season with so many ever-so-important saves. Obviously the defence helps him sooooooo much, but think about it. He's been with us for 3-4 years now and he's been great every year. he is 38 i think and his reflexes are second to none. His judgement is superb and general performance better than any other keeper. Every now n then he migh scere us with a bad exit on high balls, but everyone has such moments. Cech is definately not the best one anymore. Ever since that knock he got, he's been a bit different. Buffon is overrated. Casillas is NOW considered great because of the euro, but as soon as La Liga starts, he'll do his normal blunders. VDS was superb at the Euro as well. He puts consistent performances in all competitions and that counts a lot i think. Thank youD:
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02/08/2008 13:24:00

I hadn't noticed him getting particularly hyped up. Of course a keeper who saves in a big penalty shootout is going to be on the news afterwards but I haven't seen any more than you'd expect. Van Der Sar is a very good keeper but not a great one in my view.
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02/08/2008 18:35:00

van der Sar has done exceptionally well this season (as have all the team, I must say) but one save doesn't make him a hero, no. To be honest, it was as much Anelka mucking it up, well as Edwin did. If he'd have done what he did in the Community Shield, however (saving all three penalties) then that would have been different...
Man utd champions
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07/08/2008 14:50:00


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