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United outcast has a point

Kuszczak makes his case

By | 8th November 2011

Tomasz Kuszczak’s recent declaration that he is being treated “like a slave” at Manchester United is certainly a dramatic overstatement but the goalkeeper’s situation also warrants sympathy.

Many have countered that if being a slave is training everyday and picking up a hefty paycheck, more than a lot of people make in a year, then they would happily accept the hypothetical shackles the Pole is chained to with Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.

But then again, Ferguson has completely frozen out the long-time number two, and his refusal to allow a player who has proved his loyalty to the cause to go to Leeds on loan is a bit baffling.

Kuszczak is facing a pivotal moment in his career, completely aware of the fact that he must move on for the sake of his club career, and to safeguard any future with the Polish national side.

With David De Gea and Anders Lindegaard both showing real quality this year, and Ben Amos as a capable third goalkeeper, the man who has been capped 10 times for Poland finds himself fourth choice; even Amos has appeared in the Carling Cup this year, while Kuszczak has yet to suit up for United.

After his failure to secure a move from Old Trafford in the summer, things looked quite bleak for the reserve keeper.

But Simon Grayson’s Leeds United side have been the polar opposites of United; rather than an embarrassment of riches in the goalkeeping department, they have experienced extreme difficulties.

Paul Rachubka was so poor in the last match for the Whites that he was unceremoniously hauled off a half-time, and Grayson knows a solid, experienced keeper will be a necessary component of a promotion push that could finally see Leeds back in the top flight.

Maybe it was due to animosity because of the club, but Ferguson’s block on the move has potentially killed any chance of Kuszczak lining out for his country at this summer’s European Championships, of which Poland is of course co-host.

He has not been called up in the past year due to his lack of consistent playing time at club level, and the presence of Arsenal stoppers Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski mean that a lot of work will need to be done to sufficiently impress Francizek Smuda of Kuszczak’s abilities and worth to his country.

There is no doubt that Fergie is the best manager of his generation, and arguably of all time. But his treatment of a player who doesn’t figure into his plans, and whose only desire is to drop down a division and play, is a rare mistake from the Glaswegian legend.



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