Monday 20 November 2017

Old Trafford farewell for Van Der Sar

Edwin Van der Sar. Photo: Getty Images
Edwin Van der Sar. Photo: Getty Images

Simon Stone

Alex Ferguson has confirmed Edwin van der Sar will make his final Premier League appearance in Manchester United's clash with Blackpool at Old Trafford.

Despite fears that Ferguson was going to select a very weak team for the encounter, which Blackpool need to win to give themselves the best possible chance of survival, the United boss intends to pick at least half a dozen experienced players.

And Van der Sar, who retires after the Champions League final with Barcelona on May 28, is amongst them.

"I have players who need a game," said Ferguson.

"Darren Fletcher, Paul Scholes, Anderson, Dimitar Berbatov, Patrice Evra and Edwin van der Sar will play."

If Scholes decides to retire, it would be his last Premier League game for United too.

The 36-year-old has still to tell United whether he is going to accept a one-year contract offer.

But Ferguson thinks he will.

"I don't think this will be his last game," said the United boss.

"We have discussed it and I have encouraged him to stay on for another year."

Blackpool boss Ian Holloway has already been scathing about the threat of a fine being dangled over Ferguson should he field a weakened team on Sunday.

The United manager is not bothered about that. He only has a problem if his team loses, which he does not intend to happen.

"You should be criticised if you lose a game that affects other teams," said Ferguson.

"I remember we played Hull a couple of years ago and played a lot of young players but we won the game 1-0.

"For some reason the previous year, Neil Warnock found it easy to criticise us for losing to West Ham. But if he had seen the game we battered them, so it was a bit unfair."

Meanwhile, Ferguson also confirmed he will give his first-choice line-up some part in Gary Neville's testimonial against Juventus on Tuesday, when former England captain David Beckham will be a welcome visitor to Old Trafford.

"We have to think about that game because Gary has been a fantastic servant to this club," said Ferguson.

"I hope he gets the crowd he deserves."

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