Aston Villa legend who tried to replace Peter Schmeichel and failed

Mark Bosnich
Mark Bosnich / Michael Cooper/GettyImages

Some replacements carry burdens too heavy to bear. Such was the case for Mark Bosnich, the audacious Australian tapped to fill Peter Schmeichel's imposing gloves at Manchester United.

1999 marked the end of an era. Schmeichel, the 'Great Dane', departed Old Trafford after an unforgettable treble-winning season. United turned to Bosnich, a talent well-known to them from his Aston Villa days. His return heralded the potential for a seamless transition, a continuation of dominance at the back.

Despite contributing to United's Premier League victory in the 1999/2000 season, Bosnich's tenure was short-lived. Challenges arose, and his performance failed to meet the high standards set by his predecessor. Subsequently, Bosnich was replaced by Fabien Barthez, marking the end of his time as United's goalkeeper.

Bosnich's departure from Manchester United was not without controversy. His omission of Sir Alex Ferguson from his acknowledgments upon joining Chelsea hinted at underlying tensions. Ferguson's criticism of Bosnich as a "terrible professional" further added to the complexities surrounding his time at the club.

Following his exit from United, Bosnich's career took a downward spiral, culminating in a failed drugs test in 2002 during his stint at Chelsea. This event led to a ban from football and a period of hiatus before his eventual retirement in 2009. The once-promising goalkeeper's legacy was marred by personal issues and a decline in performance.

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