Van der Sar not thinking of retirement
Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar has stopped worrying about how long his career will continue as he approaches his 40th birthday.
Van der Sar will reach the landmark in October, by which time he hopes to be well on the way to another fine season for the Old Trafford outfit.
When he arrived from Fulham in a cut-price deal, it was supposed to be a stop-gap for Sir Alex Ferguson, who was still struggling to find an adequate replacement for Peter Schmeichel.
Now in his sixth season, van der Sar remains as reliable as ever, with Ben Foster becoming the latest to abandon to quest to battle with the veteran Dutchman when he left Old Trafford for Birmingham this summer.
Age must catch up with Van der Sar eventually.
But on recent evidence, there is plenty of life in the former Ajax man yet. And he certainly is not naming the day when he hangs up his gloves for the last time.
"I don't worry about when that day arrives," he said.
"I am now exceeding my own expectations so it doesn't bother me.
"When I was younger I thought maybe I would finish in my mid-30s. But that is a normal time to be thinking about it when you are younger and for players at this level.
"That would have been the obvious time to finish but I only came to United late in my career and maybe that is why I am still enjoying it.
"Coming to Old Trafford probably gave me a new lease of life."
With each passing season Ferguson must question why he allowed Van der Sar to join Juventus in 1999 when he was first giving serious thought to making the keeper a Red Devil.
Of all Schmeichel's successors, he is the one who has come closest to matching the great Dane's extraordinary achievements, a feat Ferguson is quick to acknowledge.
"The club have to be happy," he said. "If they are not happy with the quality you are producing then there is no need to keep on going.
"I broke two fingers in pre-season last year and then got another knee injury later on but every time I was fit I was picked again so that was a good sign for me.
"It proved he still had confidence in me and my qualities and ability.
"It is always nice when you work hard to get back and then the first opportunity to put you back in the team he does it. It is important to know he has that faith."
Although Van der Sar retired from international duty after the last European Championships, there was some talk that Bert van Marwijk might call on him again this summer for the World Cup.
As it turned out, the man who won a record 130 caps for the 'Oranje' watched the tournament at home, desperately wanting Holland to overcome Spain in the final, whilst knowing there would have been a nagging knot in his stomach if Giovanni van Bronkhorst and his men had come through.
"You make a decision in life, sometimes you go back on it and sometimes you stay with it," he reflected.
"I would have been really happy if Holland had won the World Cup but I suppose then I would have missed something on my list.
"But I have achieved a few other things so I cannot complain."
Current Premiership Table