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He must be one of the top backup keepers anywhere in the world. At a grand old age of nearly 38 he is still fit enough to compete at the highest level, and could be playing first team football every week at another club. Instead he remains at Man U, picking up a few medals when he plays enough games in the season. He stood no chance of displacing Schmeichel - at the time the best keeper in the world, but could have expected the promotion to number 1 once he left. This would surely have been the case if Martin Edwards had not chosen to sign the overweight Aussie. To be fair he had his moments, which can't really be said for Massimo Taibi, but overall was a bit of a failure. Rai was in and out of the team in a bad season for the goalies, and this led to the purchasing of Fabien Barthez. This signing will confine Raimond to the bench for as long as the two are at the club. Barthez has impressed all with his saves and he has had a major impression on the team, motivating them and keeping the peviously shaky defence together. This is a shame for the Dutchman as he has lots of talent. That said, it is odd that whenever he goes in net we concede more, not usually his fault. This could be phycological with the defence not being used to his style. I am a great believer in his ability. He is extremely competent at shot stopping, parrying and catching, and he also has a good kick on him (not quite like Fabien though). I rate him as the second best sub keeper in the Premiership, behind young Paul Robinson. I'd trust Rai in the most crucial of situations but would still prefer him on the bench. He is another example of how strength in depth gives success for United.
Raimond Van Der Gouw has been a goalkeeper at Manchester United for a few years now and I have to say that I don't think he has let them down at all during that time. Yet he still finds himself on the bench for most games. Raimond is coming to the end of his career at the moment and I am sure that if he was a little younger then he would have made a fuss about it. Van Derr Gouw is a top class goalkeeper and he should have won more caps. He is tall so he claims most crosses that come into the area. He is also a commanding player so he organises his defence. Shot stopping is one of his strengths as well. I think he will be around for a while still. He seems fit and has a desire to do well when he plays for United. His attitude is first class and he deserves to be treated better.
I think now the only way taht Van der Gouw is going to play for United is if Barthez is injured, or Ferguson is giving him a rest. I used to believe that Van Der Gouw was a reliable keeper, and although he was not very agile, very difficult to get past, and certainly better than Bosnich. He may not have had the same talent, but this was more than made up for with his sheer workrate. If he was younger, then I am sure he would be commanding a more regular place in the side, and may even have saved United the £8 million spent on Bosnich. He has always had a relatively tough life at United, being understudy to Schmeichel, then Bosnich and now Barthez. He was never going to be as good as Schmeichel, and i feel that putting this sort of expectation on his shoulders was grossly unfair, Schmeichel was one in a million and Man Utd somewhat took him for granted I feel. he has never really been given the chance at United, because everytime he makes a mistake (like in the Champions League), he goes straight out of the side. i think he should be given more of a chance, and at 37 his chances are rapidly fading. I think that maybe he could have been a star at United given the chance, because he is very good at diving, much better than Barthez, who simply relies on his agility. Maybe he would have saved Murphy's free kick on Sunday, who knows. I doubt he will get many more chances for Man U, and will probably performed well, but he has done ok in his limited appearances.
Rai Van Der Gouw has been a great understudy an Manchester United, particularly last season when he proved an ample replacement during the Taibi/Bosnich saga. Alex Ferguson obviously rates him very highly as he plays him ahead of Mark Bosnich. However, this season, Rai has dropped a few clangers. Witness his diplay in the Chmpion's League against PSV and Anderlecht and it is clear he isn't up to that standard anymore. It's time to move over and let Paul Rakchuba come through the ranks. He is a great guy and I've enjoyed watching him in previous seasons. I saw him make his Man Utd debut in a friendly in Portadown years ago and I was well impressed. Rai made a number of good saves from close range and I knew Man Utd had found a great player. Rai remains a good shot stopper, but in the air he no longer cuts it. Mistakes in Europe could prove to be costly and too expensive to risk him. Thanks Rai, but it's time to move on.
When fergie signed Rai in 96, it was clear he was there was cover for Schmeichel and, after a brief spell as #1 following the failings of Bosnich and Taibi, the arrival of Barthez has finally ended any hopes Rai would have of holding down a first team place. However, unlike Bosnich, Van Der Gouw is the type of player a club like you United need. Whenever called upon, he rarely makes mistakes. His handling is assured, he kicks well and he is goos on crosses. In fact, anyone who has seen him during the warm up must rate his chances of starting up front once in a while. Furthermore, he is one of the goalkeeping coaches at old Traford, a role which he will surely continue after his playing days are over. Although Raimond will hardly be an Old Traford legend, he has the distinction of being one of the few United keepers from the 90's who will be remembered for anything other than making mistakes
Raimond Van Der Houw has been very loyal to Manchester United Club. Imagine playing second choice goalie to a number of goalkeeper such as Peter Schmeichel, Mark Bosnich and now Fabien Barthez, he still remains with the Manchester United. Yes, you may argue, his age may be the limiting factor for him to go further, but at this age, he is still a terrific player. Yes, he does not go on football pitch that often... but when he's on football pitch, he has been playing well. It is not easy for a goalie who has not been playing regularly but still can maintain this standard. There is no doubt whatsoever that thus Alex Ferguson name him as the second choice goalie ahead of Mark Bosnich. Well done, MU loyalist....
I swear if Van Der Gouw was 27 instead of 37 he would be Uniteds number one keeper. In his time at United he has made 2 mistakes, and neither cost us a game. He is reliable and solid in front of goal, commands his penalty area well and isnt afraid to tell players off (Roy Keane vs Madrid) Van Der Gouw has a safe pair of hands on shots and crosses, he knows how to make the angles small and his body big to the striker, and his recovery from a save is excellent. I was pleased to see him finally get a medal last year after missing out previously, due to lack of games. He is now goalie coach as well as keeper at United and I think this is good, as he has natural qualities that he can teach to the other young keepers at the club. He is also a splendid personality and a good sport, this is important in the game for obvious reasons, and nice to see. But for the age factor I feel he would be number one at United with Bosnich his understudy, Im not sure they would have got Barthez.
Raimond Van Der Gouw arrived at Man United set to be third or second choice as cover for Schmeichel, but ended up playing quite a few games last season in top games in both Europe and on the domestic scene. However, van derGouw is aging and has only one or two seasons really left in him where he can be anything at Man Utd, but he has said that he does not want to be number 1, why, I know not. Yet, as a number two, he is a good, solid and safe pair of hands.
He's always in the shadows at United ,you never hear him complain, or cause a fuss cause he's not first choice,but not once has he let United down. Brought as Schmeical's understudy, you could see that he quickly learned from the great dane,and whenever Peter was abscent the momentum of the team wasn't disrupted. When Schmeical walked away Raimond must of thought his time had come for an extended run in the first team, but instead Fergie for whatever reason brought in two keepers (one that i don't think he particularly wanted anyway as he was out of the country when Bosnich was unveiled to the press.) Then there was Taibi who started well enough to look the part(at least he can say he played for us when we beat the Scousers)but who's form quickly deserted him, to leave Bosnich and Van De Gouw to fight for the No 1 jersey. To often last season did we swop keepers and you could tell it unnerved the defence who for so long were used to having a rock behind them. Over the course of the season i think Rai proved the most reliable and settled,and the fans certainly warmed to him more so than Bosnich, who seemed to arrive at O.T. with an arrogance about that was off putting. I never trusted him at all and spent many a match cringing in antisipation from my seat in the north stand whenever the ball was played back to him. Will he kick it, or will he miss it? Now with the arrival of Barthez, it's Bosnich thats causing a fuss and wanting showdown talks with Fergie,whilst Raimond quietly waits in the wings for his turn again. Not once has it been mentioned that United are thinking of selling him. Just shows what Fergie thinks of him.
What a brilliant ambassador for the club and indeed the game. Th erstwhile PE teacher from Arnhem joined United as a reserve keeper but primarily it was for his coaching experience. Immediately he joined Tony Coton on the coaching staff and his brief was to keep Peter Schmeichel in peak condition. Rai stood in for the Great Dane a few times too, and not once did he let united down. Since Schmeichels exit and the debacle that ensued, Rai took his chance when given, and bar a howler at Bordeaux was consistency personified. Despite his excellent performances Bosnich still ousted him with too much regularity. No moans at all though, just got on with it, and although I?m a Bosnich fan, the defence seemed a whole lot more confident in front of him.