Tony Coton's keen insight on the Man United post-Schmeichel goalkeeper problems

Team 33:The ex-Man City, Watford and Birmingham City goalkeeper was a goalkeeping coach at Man United

BY Raf Diallo 15:00 Wednesday 4 October 2017, 15:00 4 Oct 2017

Tony Coton with Man City in 1992. Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

Massimo Taibi. Tim Howard. Mark Bosnich. Fabien Barthez.

The four names above are just some of the names that Alex Ferguson looked to fill a Peter Schmeichel shaped hole in the Manchester United goal.

After the great Dane had left Old Trafford after the treble success of 1999, finding a replacement proved tricky until Edwin van der Sar arrived from Fulham in 2005.

Indeed, this week's Team 33 interviewee Tony Coton was largely responsible for bringing Van der Sar to Old Trafford - which would pay dividends as Man United reclaimed league titles and Fergie's second Champions League trophy.

The ex-Man United, Man City, Watford and Birmingham City keeper has told the story of his career in his excellent autobiography There To Be Shot At and joined me for a chat about the key points in his career as a top level goalkeeper and then goalkeeping coach.

You can listen to full interview with Tony Coton on the podcast player or stream/download on iTunes:

Recent interviews on Team 33 include Chelsea legends Bobby Tambling and Paddy Mulligan, Dutch legend Johan Neeskens, ex-England striker Darius Vassell, former Ireland midfielder Mark Kinsella and former Everton forward Tomasz Radzinski. Plus our in-depth chats with Packie BonnerNobby SolanoRon Atkinson and Alan Curbishley are still available on iTunes. You can find them all in one place by subscribing to Team 33 on iTunes.

Coton, who had briefly played at Man United after leaving fierce rivals Manchester City (more on why that move happened on the podcast), during the 1995-96 season, would later return to United as a coach where he worked closely with Schmeichel, Bosnich, Howard, Taibi and Barthez.  

In the podcast, he explains why Barthez's form declined and also gave an insight into the reason why he feels Howard could not cut it at Man United, referencing the USA international's reaction when Coton looked to point out a few changes to his game.

Also in the full chat, he talks about finding out why he was overlooked for an England cap even when he was in squads during his ex-Watford boss Graham Taylor's tenure, as well as entering the Guinness Book of Records with his first touch in professional football with his first club Birmingham City in December 1980.

And he recalled his own inadvertent role at City in the early '90s during a match with Derby County which led to Ireland legend Niall Quinn going in goal and making a penalty save.


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