Why Fergie should go hammer and tong for Neuer

by Ben McAleer

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Last night belonged to Manchester United. Their 2-0 victory over FC Schalke 04 in Germany was masterminded by the back-in-form Wayne Rooney as the England man and United legend Ryan Giggs both struck in the space of three minutes to take a vital win away from the Veltins Arena and begin to set-up camp on the Wembley porch.

However, as good a 2-0 result was to take back to Old Trafford for the two-time Champions League victors, to put it simply, it could have been more. And perhaps it should have been had Manuel Neuer not been in between the sticks for the underperforming German outfit. The Schalke captain was in superb goalkeeping form keeping the United frontline at bay until Giggs’ opener in the 67th minute.

Denying Javier Hernandez, Park Ji-Sung, Rooney and Giggs, prior the latter two’s goals, in the first half game the home side hope that they may be able to overcome the current Premier League pace-setters courtesy of a one-man resistance from Neuer. The players, fans and, most notably, Sir Alex Ferguson all cast a frustrated figure upon the culmination of the opening 45 minutes. The look of relief on Fergie’s face when Giggs finally broke the deadlock midway through the second half perhaps summed up United’s evening.

It also gave the United manager a chance to gain some first-hand experience at the keeper who should be replacing Edwin Van Der Sar at the end of the season. It is no secret that the former Dutch international will be hanging up his gloves at the end of the season and, with Ferguson desperate to replace the outgoing keeper with someone of a similar ilk, he would be foolhardy to overlook Neuer as the man to take the number one role at Old Trafford.

His actions and performances are similar to former United great Peter Schmeichel and it has been made no secret that Van Der Sar was the keeper that finally replaced the great dane, six years after the formers retirement. The likes of Tim Howard and Fabian Barthez came the closest to replacing Schmeichel but it wasn’t until Van Der Sar joined United that Ferguson found the man to take the reins at Old Trafford.

It is pivotal that Ferguson acts quickly to replace his outgoing number one and even more so that is Neuer in between the sticks. At 25, he has shown considerable maturity on the big stage and at such a young age will only see him improve as time wears on. The German number one has already stated that he is leaving at the end of the season and, while reports suggest he has agreed to remain in the Bundesliga with Bayern Muchen, nothing has been confirmed as of yet and, if the chance to sign him is there, Fergie must go all out to secure his signature thus ensuring that an apt replacement for Van Der Sar is ready for the new campaign.

Follow Ben on Twitter @BenMcAleer1

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  • billy

    done deal I reckon. he was going to Bayern but they fell out over the deal

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