Rank United's Goalkeepers over the years

FujiVice

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De Gea has amazing reactions, VDS not so much
You can argue VDS could spot trouble coming, this didnt rely on reactions. Ferdinand and Evra have both said that VDS was like a centre half in between the sticks.
 

Ekeke

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You can argue VDS could spot trouble coming, this didnt rely on reactions. Ferdinand and Evra have both said that VDS was like a centre half in between the sticks.
His positioning is better than De Gea, especially when you consider he came out to collect crosses so he needs to switch between covering his goal from a shot and then into timing correctly when to come out and take the ball.

De Gea nails himself to his line so hes just trying to position himself to save a shot
 

Mickson

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schmeichel most definitely was not overrated. Probably the best goalkeeper I’ve seen in my lifetime. He could literally be invincible on days.
From what I remember, and what I've seen after hand now, I feel that he had a lot of mistakes in him and that he was a bit floppy at times. I know he could be unplayable but I prefer more steady goalkeepers.
 

golden_blunder

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Anyone with schmeichel lower than #1 either doesn’t remember, was in a drug/drink coma in the 90s or is too young to have seen him.

he literally commanded his entire box, bellowed at the defenders, plucked every cross out of the air, scared opposing strikers, made impossible saves, mastered the star jump save (hello Zamorano!), when you thought you’d dribble past him a big hand would come out of nowhere, he could throw the ball further and more accurately than most passes, good with the ball at his feet, he could head better than some of our current defenders, he could volley, he could throw Turkish demonstrators of the pitch, he was an absolute leader. Best ever imho.
 

Nickelodeon

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De Gea's also played with top centre halfs for Spain as well. And let them down badly in some big games. Van Der Sar made the defenders in front of him better. There's no evidence that De Gea does. Even with better defenders in front of him, take Van Der Sar out of our 06-11 side and results will certainly suffer throughout the 38 games. Take De Gea out and put Romero in, and to me there's little difference.
If 5 times Team of the Year in the PL and 4 time United player of the year makes little difference, then there's just no point debating further.
 

RedRonaldo

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1) Schmeichel - 10/10
2) VDS - 9.5/10
3) De Gea - 9.5/10
4) Barthez - 8/10
5) Bosnich - 7.5/10
6) Tim Howard - 7/10
7) Romero - 7/10
8) Van Der Geow - 6.5/10
9) Carroll - 6.5/10
10) Taibei - 3/10
 

Skills

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VDS must be the only player ever who's praised for his calmness/organisation and all this other intangible crap, despite the fact he did the following things in the biggest games he ever played in his career:





That's not even including the Messi goal in 2011 which a keeper should be saving. He was lucky his career ended just before the constant analysis/criticism/scrutiny of social media, because that first goal alone would've made him a permanent meme in the current climate. Let alone mistakes in another 3 finals.
 
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MadDogg

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From what I remember, and what I've seen after hand now, I feel that he had a lot of mistakes in him and that he was a bit floppy at times. I know he could be unplayable but I prefer more steady goalkeepers.
Most of Schmeichel's mistakes were in the first half of his last season when he was obviously on the way down. Other than that I would say he did make more mistakes than VDS but that's because he took more risks, but they tended to work more often than not. Basically he'd take risks that would cost one goal but would save three others (obviously I'm just pulling numbers out of my arse here).
 

SadlerMUFC

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De Gea > VDS for me and it isn't particularly close. De Gea's a classic case of United players either leaving as hero's on their own terms or their legacies being shat on by the fanbase if they overstay. Had he left earlier, you'd have half the fanbase crywanking over him and the other half spitting poison at Woodward at failing to keep our best players.

Wouldn't be fair to comment on Schmeichel as his prime is before my time.
De Gea may have a better highlight reel than VDS but VDS was the much better keeper. De Gea has been getting by on pure natural talent but has yet to learn how to play his position properly. If he could become brilliant at the basics he could be the best keeper in the world. Unfortunately he hasn't done that...
 

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Another thread which will turn into pages of abuse for DDG

anyway schmeichel -DDG - VDS

bottom list would be Taibi-Foster - Barthez

I excluded Valdes as he didn’t really play
I thought Foster got some unfair criticism at United. Not sure if he could ever go on to be our long term #1 but he has gone on to have a very good EPL career. I thought he was better than Barthez, Carole and Howard were for us, yet he was never given the chance as our #1 and they were...
 

Nickelodeon

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VDS must be the only player ever who's praised for his calmness/organisation and all this other intangible crap, despite the fact he did the following things in the biggest games he ever played in his career:





That's not even including the Messi goal in 2011 which a keeper should be saving. He was lucky his career ended just before the constant analysis/criticism/scrutiny of social media, because that first goal alone would've made him a permanent meme in the current climate. Let alone mistakes in another 3 finals.
VDS was a key cog in the successful 2006-11 team. However, our success did save him from being exposed especially in isolated moments. Additional ones to your list are the Middlesborough 4-1 win in 2005 and Liverpool 1st goal in a 2-1 loss for us on Berbatov's debut. De Gea hasn't been as fortunate. There was a period in the beginning of 2009 where a lot of the fans were pushing for Foster to be made our number 1 (similar to how Henderson is considered right now).

One thing that does go in VDS' favour is his record in shootouts. He was clearly the best among the top 3 being discussed in shootouts. However, in terms of pure goalkeeping performances, I consider De Gea to be significantly ahead. I have watched almost all United games from VDS and De Gea period. I can't remember a single performance from VDS which can match up with De Gea's numerous individual heroics.
 

The holy trinity 68

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I’d have Romero at number 4 and big Raimond at number 5
Good Shout, I put Barthez 4th because his first season he was great and was just a bit psychotic and eccentric leading to a bit of a calamitous time after that.

Romero has been a deputy and never a number 1, which was part of my decision really.
 
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golden_blunder

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Good Shout, I put Barthez 4th because his first season he was great and was just a bit psychotic and eccentric leading to a bit of a calamitous time after that.

Romero has been a deputy and never a number 1, which was part of my decision really.
I must admit I did not feel comfy at all with Barthez in nets, his decision making was erratic and I prefer taller commanding goalkeepers
 

Carl

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DDG is an incredible shot stopper, I'd go as far as to say one of the greatest ever. Way better then VDS or PS. Having said that I'd choose the others over DDG every single time, and I wouldn't think twice. They were both levels above DDG in my opinion.
 

The holy trinity 68

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I must admit I did not feel comfy at all with Barthez in nets, his decision making was erratic and I prefer taller commanding goalkeepers
He reminds me of Veron but as the GK, bags of talent but not accustomed to the PL at the time. Barthez was a top GK and we signed him after the France EC win. Number 1 for reigning WC and EC champions, he was a good keeper. Just not for us unfortunately.
 

sullydnl

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VDS must be the only player ever who's praised for his calmness/organisation and all this other intangible crap, despite the fact he did the following things in the biggest games he ever played in his career:





That's not even including the Messi goal in 2011 which a keeper should be saving. He was lucky his career ended just before the constant analysis/criticism/scrutiny of social media, because that first goal alone would've made him a permanent meme in the current climate. Let alone mistakes in another 3 finals.
I don't think having made those mistakes contradicts the praise for VDS' calmness and organisational abilities as every goalkeeper will make those sort of errors over the course of their career. Those were still very real strengths.

I do agree that his errors are overlooked though. Partly because there is generally more scrutiny on players now, partly because VDS' mistakes at United occurred in the context of an extremely successful defense and team. Had those mistakes occured in the context of a poor defense or a side struggling to make the top four then they would have been met with heavier criticism, I think.

The VDS/DDG comparison is also skewed by the stages of their career they were at when they arrived here. For example, DDG's recent poor spell has prompted some to argue that he is past his best. Yet VDS had his own nightmare season when he was older again than DDG is now and recovered from it. The difference being that VDS' poor spell came before he arrived at United, seeing him lose his place as Juve's #1 and move to Fulham. Which means a lot of United fans ignore it when assessing him as a goalkeeper, as they only really care about what he did here. Whereas all of De Gea's worst moments since he was 20 came as a Manchester United player and are burned into our memory.

VDS was here for six seasons. I think if you just look at DDG's six best seasons here (during which he was named the PL's best goalkeeper five times and our POTY four times) then he was comfortably at a higher level imo. The problem is that those seasons are bookended by the sort of poor spells VDS avoided while at the club.
 

golden_blunder

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He reminds me of Veron but as the GK, bags of talent but not accustomed to the PL at the time. Barthez was a top GK and we signed him after the France EC win. Number 1 for reigning WC and EC champions, he was a good keeper. Just not for us unfortunately.
You’re right but at the same time he had Desailly, Blanc, Thuram and Lizarazu in front of him
 

edcunited1878

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De Gea may have a better highlight reel than VDS but VDS was the much better keeper. De Gea has been getting by on pure natural talent but has yet to learn how to play his position properly. If he could become brilliant at the basics he could be the best keeper in the world. Unfortunately he hasn't done that...
What basics are you talking about w/DDG? I'm sorry, but you don't become a highly rated GK or any position, at the age of 17 if you aren't highly skills at the basics of your profession. No need to slight a player in order to elevate another.
 

AKDevil

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Anyone with schmeichel lower than #1 either doesn’t remember, was in a drug/drink coma in the 90s or is too young to have seen him.

he literally commanded his entire box, bellowed at the defenders, plucked every cross out of the air, scared opposing strikers, made impossible saves, mastered the star jump save (hello Zamorano!), when you thought you’d dribble past him a big hand would come out of nowhere, he could throw the ball further and more accurately than most passes, good with the ball at his feet, he could head better than some of our current defenders, he could volley, he could throw Turkish demonstrators of the pitch, he was an absolute leader. Best ever imho.
Preach my friend, preach!
 

Mcking

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De gea is the kind of goalkeeper that makes a defence look worse than it is. VDS was solid, commanding and consistent. I'd have him over De gea any day.
 

Cashmore8

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Got to be
1. Taibi
2. Caroll
3. Van der gouw / Lindergaard

No but all seriousness
1.Big Pete
2. VDS
3. DDG
although 2 & 3 could swap and i wouldnt mind
 

Devil81

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Schmeichel makes most all-time greatest lists so he's got to be the best goalkeeper we have had. Edwin and De Gea have been fantastic servants but even they are easy to split in reality, Edwin made the most important save in the club's history against Chelsea. You can argue De Gea hasn't had the same level of the squad but Edwin also broke the record for consecutive clean sheets.

1. Schmeichel (By a country mile)
2. Edwin Van Der Saar
3. David De Gea (His legacy has been blighted by recent mistakes, far too many to be considered better than the other two)
 

a_devil_inside

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Anyone with schmeichel lower than #1 either doesn’t remember, was in a drug/drink coma in the 90s or is too young to have seen him.

he literally commanded his entire box, bellowed at the defenders, plucked every cross out of the air, scared opposing strikers, made impossible saves, mastered the star jump save (hello Zamorano!), when you thought you’d dribble past him a big hand would come out of nowhere, he could throw the ball further and more accurately than most passes, good with the ball at his feet, he could head better than some of our current defenders, he could volley, he could throw Turkish demonstrators of the pitch, he was an absolute leader. Best ever imho.
Could chip in with the odd goal too
 

golden_blunder

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What a man. That save v Palace, 1min 20 into that video is one of his best ever. Ridiculous. Second best save behind the one from Don Hutchinson at Anfield.
Do you remember the ‘banks’ style save away in some euro tie? Also the star jump point blank header versus Inter Milan? Or the save after save versus Newcastle when we won 1-0 away but they battered us?
 

Skills

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I don't think having made those mistakes contradicts the praise for VDS' calmness and organisational abilities as every goalkeeper will make those sort of errors over the course of their career. Those were still very real strengths.
VDS is the only keeper I can remember, who people who go out of their way to praise his 'organisation and calmness'. Especially when that so called calmness habitually let him down in the biggest games of his career.

Neuer for example was far, far more influential in his defence's organisation than VDS ever was - yet it's rarely ever bought up as a strength for him. Yet many of the same people on here, will tell you that Manuel Neuer was some sort of loose cannon who's keeping makes them nervous.
 

FujiVice

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If 5 times Team of the Year in the PL and 4 time United player of the year makes little difference, then there's just no point debating further.
Player of the year in a period where the other one was Luke Shaw. He's a great keeper, but its not like you'd have a major task replacing him. He's essentially a shot stopper, whose defenders tend to shit themselves because he has no command of his area.
 

FujiVice

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VDS must be the only player ever who's praised for his calmness/organisation and all this other intangible crap, despite the fact he did the following things in the biggest games he ever played in his career:
That's like saying the Beatles havent done much recently. The fact he had massive games from the start of his career until his last game should tell you a lot about him.
 

Revan

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Schmeichel was clearly the best. He genuinely did scare strikers and I don't remember many, if any other keeper in the PL doing that.

De Gea = VDS. Both had stand out attributes that were better than the other one but also obvious weakness to their games. Balance each other out.
Schmeichel's main weakness was that he just made too many mistakes. Still, I would likely put him as first. De Gea a close second, VDS a distant third.
 

Revan

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I would place Van Der Sar above De Gea. I feel Van Der Sar was a grown-up, an organiser, a facilitator of good overall defence work in a way that David isn't. I know I may be biased by his form recently not matching up to some truly astounding seasons. I also recognise my bias as Van Der Sar played in a better team, with better players. However, I feel a top keeper also organises their defence, and elevates it, in such a way as to prevent a lot of the issues United have had. Someone like Chris Smalling, for instance, needs constant guidance from behind him, despite having all the physical attributes. In short, I feel Van Der Sar made others better, as well as having fantastic positioning, decision making and calmness.
Not hard to organize the defense, when you have Rio, Vidic and Evra ahead of you, all three of which could have been considered the best in their position. And as RB, we always had good players there, be it Brown, or Rafael.

Fast forward to De Gea, except on his first two seasons (and this season on Maguire), we never had a defender who was top 5 in the league, let the best on his position.

Sure, VDS was a great organizer and De Gea is probably not good at it, but circumstances played as big a role as them. For example, VDS was hardly a great organiser for Fulham, and to be fair, our defense post-Fergie was closer to Fulham's defense than to our defense in SAF's last years.
 

fps

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I don't think having made those mistakes contradicts the praise for VDS' calmness and organisational abilities as every goalkeeper will make those sort of errors over the course of their career. Those were still very real strengths.

I do agree that his errors are overlooked though. Partly because there is generally more scrutiny on players now, partly because VDS' mistakes at United occurred in the context of an extremely successful defense and team. Had those mistakes occured in the context of a poor defense or a side struggling to make the top four then they would have been met with heavier criticism, I think.

The VDS/DDG comparison is also skewed by the stages of their career they were at when they arrived here. For example, DDG's recent poor spell has prompted some to argue that he is past his best. Yet VDS had his own nightmare season when he was older again than DDG is now and recovered from it. The difference being that VDS' poor spell came before he arrived at United, seeing him lose his place as Juve's #1 and move to Fulham. Which means a lot of United fans ignore it when assessing him as a goalkeeper, as they only really care about what he did here. Whereas all of De Gea's worst moments since he was 20 came as a Manchester United player and are burned into our memory.

VDS was here for six seasons. I think if you just look at DDG's six best seasons here (during which he was named the PL's best goalkeeper five times and our POTY four times) then he was comfortably at a higher level imo. The problem is that those seasons are bookended by the sort of poor spells VDS avoided while at the club.
I do agree with a lot of this. I'll be interested to see what happens as DeGea gets a bit older - will he develop these other skills to compensate for inevitable decline of his reflexes? He may end up even better....
 

izec

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I do agree with a lot of this. I'll be interested to see what happens as DeGea gets a bit older - will he develop these other skills to compensate for inevitable decline of his reflexes? He may end up even better....
He won't develop these skills, you have them early or not. De Gea will never be great with the ball at his feet, commanding the area, coming our of the 5 yard box and going for crosses. Once his reflexes go away, he won't be anywhere close to a top 10 keeper. A GK doesn't change his style this late in his career. He can still be a good shot stopper overall, but he won't get better with time, on the contrary. These keepers tend to age badly, while the well rounded keepers can squeeze out something late in their careers and blossom.
 

SadlerMUFC

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What basics are you talking about w/DDG? I'm sorry, but you don't become a highly rated GK or any position, at the age of 17 if you aren't highly skills at the basics of your profession. No need to slight a player in order to elevate another.
His positioning and inability to deal with crosses. In the past he has made up for poor positioning with his unbelievable agility, but even though he hasn't lost much yet, he has lost a little. two examples of poor positioning that come to mind are Messi's first goal last year and Rodriguez's goal this year.

For Messi's goal, he was cutting in from the right from outside the 18. He had a defender in front of him. The only place he could shoot was far post yet De Gea starting position was in the middle of the goal. It was a good shot that went in off the post, but De Gea should have been cheating to his right and it should have been a routine save. I won't even talk about the goal that comes second in this video as this is just a huge blunder. Mind you, these kind of blunders are happening with him more and more often


For the Rodriguez goal it's another that looks like a good shot, which it was, but again, there was only one side that he could have shot but again, De Gea is in the middle of the goal. This really should have been a routine save but De Gea's positioning is absolutely horrible

 

tomaldinho1

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VDS is the only keeper I can remember, who people who go out of their way to praise his 'organisation and calmness'. Especially when that so called calmness habitually let him down in the biggest games of his career.

Neuer for example was far, far more influential in his defence's organisation than VDS ever was - yet it's rarely ever bought up as a strength for him. Yet many of the same people on here, will tell you that Manuel Neuer was some sort of loose cannon who's keeping makes them nervous.
Pretty sure Neuer modelled much of his game on VDS so not sure why you'd praise one but slate the other. VDS was a world class keeper, he set a new clean sheet record for the PL for goodness sake, you can't dismiss his ability to organise a defence because you don't like him.