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15 Years Ago Today, John O'Shea Delivered A Goalkeeping Masterclass For Manchester United At White Hart Lane

Josh Lawless

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15 Years Ago Today, John O'Shea Delivered A Goalkeeping Masterclass For Manchester United At White Hart Lane

John O'Shea is the definition of a utility man. The Irish international played right-back, centre-back, left-back and midfield for Manchester United and won 14 major honours with the club.

O'Shea never really established himself as first-choice at Old Trafford but because of how dependable he was, the former Waterford Bohemians player was loved by Sir Alex Ferguson and the United supporters.


And nothing summed up his incredible versatility more than the time he did a stint in goal 15 years ago.

Against Tottenham at White Hart Lane on 4 February 2007, O'Shea put on the gloves and even kept a clean sheet.

Image: PA
Image: PA

First-choice goalkeeper Edwin van Der Sar was forced off in the second half having broken his nose after being struck by Robbie Keane's knee and United had already made three substitutions; O'Shea being one of them.

As a result, an outfield player had to fill in between the sticks.

Rio Ferdinand, who later went in goal for United in an FA Cup tie against Portsmouth a couple of years later, initially stepped up to the plate but it was O'Shea who actually ended up going in goal and stopping Spurs from scoring in the 4-0 United win.

Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs were in hysterics on the bench but clearly O'Shea was taking it fully serious.

Image: PA
Image: PA

His handling, awareness and overall goalkeeping ability was absolutely top-notch - his performance so good that he joked he deserved half of Van Der Sar's clean sheet bonus.

Reflecting on his goalkeeping cameo on the UTD Podcast, O'Shea said last year: "I might have actually said that but I think the lads would have been confused, but actually the weird bit then, looking back, and you are always sent different things, I came out for a cross and it was the worst attempt at catching it [laughs].

"I got contact on it! I was thinking in my head, 'I will catch this', and then at the last minute I thought I would punch and I absolutely flapped at it.

"Thankfully I kept a clean sheet and I had a one-on-one save with Robbie Keane. We were going on international duty after that as well and Robbie wasn't happy, like, because he was obviously hungry for goals.

"The most nerve-wracking thing was the goal-kick and just turning backwards, where all the Tottenham fans are saying 'nice' things about you as you go to kick the ball. It was strange. A good experience, but I don't think I could have been a keeper. It gives me a unique perspective as a coach and at least I can say I have a 100 per cent clean sheet record in the Premier League, and not a lot of people can say that.”

O'Shea was subjected to "United's number one" chants from the visiting supporters and was able to raffle off the goalkeeping shirt he wore for charity.

Featured Image Credit: Image: PA

Topics: John Oshea, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League

Josh Lawless
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