Rank United's Goalkeepers over the years

Grande

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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.
Like all keepers, Schmikes made mstakes, and like all proactive and daring keepers, quite a few of his mistakes looked very bad (nothing like WC winner, EC winner, CL winner, PL and La Ligue winner Fabien Barthez, though).

One particular thing I noticed as he played for Denmark in 90, 91 already, and that almost always bore out: He made a lot of seeming errors rushing out to catch ambitious crosses in the box and losing them, giving him a rep as sometimes error prone. What I noticed, though, was that his frenecy in retrieving the lost ball ensured that only a tiny amount of these errors led to goals against. While his active court protection made it hard to produce a lot of clear headers etc against Brøndby, Denmark and later United. Once discovering this feat of his play, it was a great joy to watch him flailing about, while mates and pundits crticized, world class strikers like Davor Suker, Jean-Pierre Papin, Dennis Bergkamp, Marco van Basten and Jürgen Klinsmann stood paralyzed and the weakest Danish team in two decades won the European Championship.

It turned out it wasn’t a fluke, most of his mistakes in the box paid off in the end.
 

Skills

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Like all keepers, Schmikes made mstakes, and like all proactive and daring keepers, quite a few of his mistakes looked very bad (nothing like WC winner, EC winner, CL winner, PL and La Ligue winner Fabien Barthez, though).

One particular thing I noticed as he played for Denmark in 90, 91 already, and that almost always bore out: He made a lot of seeming errors rushing out to catch ambitious crosses in the box and losing them, giving him a rep as sometimes error prone. What I noticed, though, was that his frenecy in retrieving the lost ball ensured that only a tiny amount of these errors led to goals against. While his active court protection made it hard to produce a lot of clear headers etc against Brøndby, Denmark and later United. Once discovering this feat of his play, it was a great joy to watch him flailing about, while mates and pundits crticized, world class strikers like Davor Suker, Jean-Pierre Papin, Dennis Bergkamp, Marco van Basten and Jürgen Klinsmann stood paralyzed and the weakest Danish team in two decades won the European Championship.

It turned out it wasn’t a fluke, most of his mistakes in the box paid off in the end.
The opposite happens quite a lot in sports these days. Worst of all is basketball, where players stop competing for dunks/shots on defence because they don't want to end up on a poster/meme ultimately to the detriment of their own team.
 

Grande

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The opposite happens quite a lot in sports these days. Worst of all is basketball, where players stop competing for dunks/shots on defence because they don't want to end up on a poster/meme ultimately to the detriment of their own team.
Ach. Passive defending. It’s a shame.

By the way, in my less previous post, I forgot to mention Les Sealey.

So: Les Sealey!
 

Fitchett

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Schmeichel
De Gea
Van der Sar
Stepney
Gregg
Bailey
The first three are absolutely world class, the next three are all outstanding top class keepers. All played a helluva lot of games for us.
 

Web of Bissaka

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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.
Weird, you're only focussing on his mistakes, slips and poor plays (yes it happened)... while ignoring the opposites -- the good plays and saves he made in big games. Also selective moments.

Selective Nitpicking. You can easily do that with Schmeichel and DDG as well or even Buffon, Neuer etc. Any players really. I don't see the point of doing this.
 

Nickelodeon

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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.
Even if you don't consider United player of the year award to be significant, what about the 5 times he's won the best GK in the league award?

I understand if you want to consider Schmeichel or VDS to be better than De Gea, but blaming Smalling, Jones, Rojo etc. to be shit because De Gea doesn't command the area is one of the stupidest things I've read on the Caf.
 

fps

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Weird, you're only focussing on his mistakes, slips and poor plays (yes it happened)... while ignoring the opposites -- the good plays and saves he made in big games. Also selective moments.

Selective Nitpicking. You can easily do that with Schmeichel and DDG as well or even Buffon, Neuer etc. Any players really. I don't see the point of doing this.
So easy to nitpick as if top top players never make mistakes, a very odd way to look at things, since the greats are the ones who do things right the most!
 

fps

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Like all keepers, Schmikes made mstakes, and like all proactive and daring keepers, quite a few of his mistakes looked very bad (nothing like WC winner, EC winner, CL winner, PL and La Ligue winner Fabien Barthez, though).

One particular thing I noticed as he played for Denmark in 90, 91 already, and that almost always bore out: He made a lot of seeming errors rushing out to catch ambitious crosses in the box and losing them, giving him a rep as sometimes error prone. What I noticed, though, was that his frenecy in retrieving the lost ball ensured that only a tiny amount of these errors led to goals against. While his active court protection made it hard to produce a lot of clear headers etc against Brøndby, Denmark and later United. Once discovering this feat of his play, it was a great joy to watch him flailing about, while mates and pundits crticized, world class strikers like Davor Suker, Jean-Pierre Papin, Dennis Bergkamp, Marco van Basten and Jürgen Klinsmann stood paralyzed and the weakest Danish team in two decades won the European Championship.

It turned out it wasn’t a fluke, most of his mistakes in the box paid off in the end.
Really interesting analysis! I love Schmeichel, partly a time of life thing but he's definitely my favourite GK of all-time. So many summers pretending to be him, star jumps, madly attacking crosses and all.
 

edcunited1878

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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

His positioning is actually something that is underrated and allows him to make saves that others cannot, in addition to his reflexes. I agree, he's the worst among the three goalkeepers to deal with crosses because he doesn't always want to get into a physical duel, however his catching is actually quite good from crosses, very good from shots. He does have the tendency to punch at times when you think catching may have been better.

Messi's shot went in off the post as you said, that's precision on Messi's part because the angle that DDG was covering. Any shot off the post like that is pretty harsh to judge as an error on positioning or whatever on a GK. The Rodriguez shot was a banger off the underside of the crossbar that was arrowing towards the roof of the net, not sure how that's a routine save when nothing about that was routine.

Those were class hits that didn't really expose his positioning. His positioning isn't suspect. More so DDG's concentration at times the past year has been off and he was down for whatever reason.
 

SadlerMUFC

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His positioning is actually something that is underrated and allows him to make saves that others cannot, in addition to his reflexes. I agree, he's the worst among the three goalkeepers to deal with crosses because he doesn't always want to get into a physical duel, however his catching is actually quite good from crosses, very good from shots. He does have the tendency to punch at times when you think catching may have been better.

Messi's shot went in off the post as you said, that's precision on Messi's part because the angle that DDG was covering. Any shot off the post like that is pretty harsh to judge as an error on positioning or whatever on a GK. The Rodriguez shot was a banger off the underside of the crossbar that was arrowing towards the roof of the net, not sure how that's a routine save when nothing about that was routine.

Those were class hits that didn't really expose his positioning. His positioning isn't suspect. More so DDG's concentration at times the past year has been off and he was down for whatever reason.
They are both routine saves. A shot from outside the 18 should never beat a top keeper like that. Like I said, there is only one place Messi could shoot that as the defender had the other side of the goal covered, so De Gea should be cheating to his right. If he does, he makes the save easily.

As for the Rodriguez goal, that was absolutely horrible. He has about 5 feet of net to shoot at because of the defender. De Gea should be off his line cutting off the angle. It should have been straight at him and easily tipped over. It looks like a good goal because De Gea is too close to the middle of the goal and standing basically on his goal line. I might not have saved Messi's (my diving isn't what it used to be) but I would have easily saved Rodriguez's goal...
 

Spaghetti

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Obviously you didn't see Alex Stepney.
Nope. I could have included Leighton and Sealey at a push but that would have been unfair as I was too young to really understand. I’ve only included players that I’ve properly seen and having been born in 1985 that doesn’t include Stepney.

My mum loved Stepney but said he was highly inconsistent (and often dropped) but ‘keepers weren’t scrutinised so much back then and he’s generally remembered with high regard.
 

golden_blunder

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Les Sealey, what a mad bastard he was
 

Rossa

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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.
For me, it's a bit of a toss up. I would have preferred VDS with the team we are now building. As you also argue, he facilitates a stronger defense by being more of a leader and organiser at the back. For those four years when DDG won player of the year, I think DDG was a stand out world class goalie, and he played to his strengths. Both are top, top goalies, and both were/are great in their own ways. Schmeichel, for me, edges it by being just as much a match winner as DDG in terms of shot stopping, but better than either one on one, far better at commanding his box, and a true leader at the back. Just look at what Keane said about him when picking his best United XI - he didn't like him, but there was no denying he was a world class goalie that made the defense better.
 

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Goalkeeping isnt just about spectacular saves. Van Der Sar was like a coach from behind the back four. A carming influence, talking the defenders through their positioning and helping their concentration. When it comes to shot stopping, De Gea is ahead of VDS. When it comes to just about every other aspect of goalkeeping, I dont think De Gea is anywhere close to Edwin.
What do you mean by anything close? Usually, when talking about elite players, things are never that far apart. I would argue that VDS had better positioning and better distribution. The latter being arguably far better. He also appeared to be a stronger, better leader at the back, but he also played with Neville, Rio, Vidic, Evra at their peaks - all of whom were leaders and some of the best in their positions in Europe. Heck, I'd argue that at one point, we had the two best CBs and the best LB in Europe. DDG didn't enjoy that peak defense as VDS did. I'm not saying that VDS wasn't a better leader at the back, as I think he was, but it may not as great a gulf between them as one might think. Overall, both were/are top class goalies, and saying they are far apart in overall level is misguided. They are close overall, but with different strengths. I say different strengths because I don't think VDS had any clear weaknesses in his game. He may not have been as commanding as Schmeichel in the box - but very few are, and he may not have been as great a shot stopper as either of the other two, but he was still a darn good one. I think that is what elevates VDS into top class territory; he was remarkably consistent both in terms of performances and overall abilities.
 

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Nope. I could have included Leighton and Sealey at a push but that would have been unfair as I was too young to really understand. I’ve only included players that I’ve properly seen and having been born in 1985 that doesn’t include Stepney.

My mum loved Stepney but said he was highly inconsistent (and often dropped) but ‘keepers weren’t scrutinised so much back then and he’s generally remembered with high regard.
Stepney was very consistent. Like any keeper or striker, for that matter, would have his lean spells. Certainly wasn’t often dropped.

Bailey? Good when he first broke through but didn’t like getting his shorts dirty. We had some disastrous keepers after Stepney and I think that made Bailey look better than he actually was.

Loved Harry to bits. Courageous and brilliant but prone to the rush of blood spoiling his day. Les Sealey reminded me a bit of him; a bit madder but not as good.
 

always_hoping

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For me.

1. Schmeichel
2. Van Der Sar
3. DeGea


Best 2nd choice keepers

1. Romero
2. Van Der Gouw
3 G Walsh
 

norm87cro

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I'm not going to goo into keepers I don't remember. So having that in mind:
1. Big Pete










2.Vds
3.Ddg
4. A decent mention to Howard who was a good keeper who's career (with us) was sealed by one mistake against Porto.
5.Barthez




6. The rest of the dross we called first choice keepers.
So this would not include the likes of Romero, Foster and van der Gouwn obviously.
 

pauldyson1uk

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Seem many good keepers in my 50 plus years. Big Pete is far and away the best keeper I have watched, VDS second and for me 3rd is Alex Stepney, better than DDG who is 4th on my list.
Dare say not many on here remmber him never mind watched him.
 

Mr. Christian

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Schmeichel and DDG are maybe better on paper, but VDS played a very important part in arguably the best defense in English football history. His communication with the defense and general understanding of the game was gold.
Schmeichel
Van Der Sar
De Gea
 

simplyared

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Anyone remember David Gaskell? Very spectacular gk. He could make the easiest of saves look spectacular. Stood in for Gregg on a number of occasions. Not so tall 5ft 10in, good physique and agility. Don't think I've ever seen anyone with so little shorts.
 

PSV

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I've always rated VDS first and then been saying there's not much between Schmeichel and De Gea.

Some stats (PL-era, 10 or more games / source: transfermarkt.com):
Code:
David de Gea         394 games, 406 goals conceded (1.03), 138 clean sheets (35.03%)
Peter Schmeichel     362 games, 300 goals conceded (0.83), 162 clean sheets (44.75%)
Edwin van der Sar    266 games, 202 goals conceded (0.76), 135 clean sheets (50.75%)
---
Fabian Barthez       139 games, 136 goals conceded (0.98),  50 clean sheets (35.97%)
---
Tim Howard            77 games,  71 goals conceded (0.92),  31 clean sheets (40.26%)
Roy Carroll           72 games,  46 goals conceded (0.64),  38 clean sheets (52.78%)
Tomasz Kuszczak       61 games,  45 goals conceded (0.74),  27 clean sheets (44.26%)
Sergio Romero         58 games,  25 goals conceded (0.43),  38 clean sheets (65.52%)
Raymond van der Gouw  56 games,  48 goals conceded (0.86),  26 clean sheets (46.43%)
---
Mark Bosnich          35 games,  36 goals conceded (1.03),  14 clean sheets (40.00%)
Anders Lindegaard     29 games,  33 goals conceded (1.14),  13 clean sheets (44.83%)
Gary Walsh            29 games,  31 goals conceded (1.07),  12 clean sheets (41.38%)*
Ben Foster            23 games,  20 goals conceded (0.87),  10 clean sheets (43.48%)
To be fair de Gea's a bit shit isn't he? (I joke of course).

Judging stats alone Carroll comes out on a more positive note than I recall.
 

alexthelion

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It will be a very unpopular opinion, but I would rate

1) Vds
2) Pete
3) Ddg

I just feel Vds was slightly more reliable than Pete as much as I love him too.
Same order as I would have them.

VdS was just so much more consistent than the other two, whilst Schmeichel had higher highs he also had lower lows. DdG just not on the same level as the other two.

All imo of course.
 

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David and his reflexes and distribution - the goals he's conceded are because he didn't have the level of defence the other two did have, simple as.
Love the cool / calmness of VDS and my person fav from what I'd like in my keeper as a defender
Leadership / feistiness of Pete and fear he puts in all

All three have different qualities and traits.

For me, the question you should ask is...if you had the choice of Rio / Vidic / Evra in their prime for 4 years, which keeper would you have in their prime behind him for the perfect defence...I'm leaning towards David
 

dalriada

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Stepney was very consistent. Like any keeper or striker, for that matter, would have his lean spells. Certainly wasn’t often dropped.

Bailey? Good when he first broke through but didn’t like getting his shorts dirty. We had some disastrous keepers after Stepney and I think that made Bailey look better than he actually was.

Loved Harry to bits. Courageous and brilliant but prone to the rush of blood spoiling his day. Les Sealey reminded me a bit of him; a bit madder but not as good.
Stepney would be my fourth, after Schmeichel, Van Der Sar and De Gea (in that order). He was pretty consistent, but there's a perception he was dropped a lot - maybe based on the 70/71 season when he shared the games pretty well 50-50 with Jimmy Rimmer and his last season when Paddy Roche played a lot of the games. He'd probably rank higher if he hadn't been keeper during United's worst period in my lifetime, whereas the "top three" in most peoples rankings are from United's very successful period (and are more recent). He was certainly better than Bailey and Roche (except for his last season) and later keepers like Barthez and Howard.
 

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I've always rated VDS first and then been saying there's not much between Schmeichel and De Gea.

Some stats (PL-era, 10 or more games / source: transfermarkt.com):
Code:
David de Gea         394 games, 406 goals conceded (1.03), 138 clean sheets (35.03%)
Peter Schmeichel     362 games, 300 goals conceded (0.83), 162 clean sheets (44.75%)
Edwin van der Sar    266 games, 202 goals conceded (0.76), 135 clean sheets (50.75%)
---
Fabian Barthez       139 games, 136 goals conceded (0.98),  50 clean sheets (35.97%)
---
Tim Howard            77 games,  71 goals conceded (0.92),  31 clean sheets (40.26%)
Roy Carroll           72 games,  46 goals conceded (0.64),  38 clean sheets (52.78%)
Tomasz Kuszczak       61 games,  45 goals conceded (0.74),  27 clean sheets (44.26%)
Sergio Romero         58 games,  25 goals conceded (0.43),  38 clean sheets (65.52%)
Raymond van der Gouw  56 games,  48 goals conceded (0.86),  26 clean sheets (46.43%)
---
Mark Bosnich          35 games,  36 goals conceded (1.03),  14 clean sheets (40.00%)
Anders Lindegaard     29 games,  33 goals conceded (1.14),  13 clean sheets (44.83%)
Gary Walsh            29 games,  31 goals conceded (1.07),  12 clean sheets (41.38%)*
Ben Foster            23 games,  20 goals conceded (0.87),  10 clean sheets (43.48%)
To be fair de Gea's a bit shit isn't he? (I joke of course).

Judging stats alone Carroll comes out on a more positive note than I recall.
I defense of DDG he's played behind shite back fours after SAF. None of our current defenders would have been even close to a starting spot in the great teams of the 90s and 00s. On the other hand it might explain why I rate VDS ahead of him.

For me it's Schmeich and VDS quite a bit ahead of DDG. I always thought RvdG, Carroll and Kuszczak were decent GKs for us. Barthez and especially Bosnich are the worst in my lifetime. Bosnich was such a weird signing.
 

Beanz

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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.
This. Put my thoughts into words
 

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Schmeichel > Van der Sar > De Gea. I've not seen anyone before big Pete. Barthez, Howard, Bosnich etc weren't good enough to be anywhere near these guys.
 

Beanz

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Goalkeeping isnt just about spectacular saves. Van Der Sar was like a coach from behind the back four. A carming influence, talking the defenders through their positioning and helping their concentration. When it comes to shot stopping, De Gea is ahead of VDS. When it comes to just about every other aspect of goalkeeping, I dont think De Gea is anywhere close to Edwin.
how much talking through did rio and vidic really need though? I felt like everyone in that backline was a leader in their own right
 

Synco

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how much talking through did rio and vidic really need though? I felt like everyone in that backline was a leader in their own right
From quotes I read, part of it seems to be the GK providing an extra pair of eyes, scanning the big picture from further behind & feeding this info to his defenders by giving directions.
 

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1. Schmeichel - I don't have my rose-tinted glasses on here - Schmeichel was definitely prone to an error and in general, standards do go up all the time, so in that respect De Gea is probably the better technical goalkeeper. That being said, Schmeichel was a real standout in his era and was such a dominant presence at the back he gets the nod for me. Both keepers where capable of match-winning performances but Schmeichel was a much braver, more aggressive goalkeeper.

2. De Gea - see above. My biggest problem with De Gea is that whilst his reflexes and shot-stopping are usually world-class, everything else is pretty much non-existent. Game after game I see Maguire heading crosses away that are basically under the crossbar. This adds immense pressure to the back line, must be horrible for them to have to be defending crosses that close to their goal. You lose a header there and it's a goal.

3. Van der Sar - actually thought he was overrated at United. Certainly past his best. I will give him credit for steadying the ship in between two world-class goalkeepers and was obviously at the end of his career when he came to us so we probably didn't see his very best

4. Barthez - can't really argue with his pedigree. Capable of the sublime and the ridiculous in equal measure. Actually remember his first season or two he barely made a mistake but towards the end, they became far more regular occurrences.

5. Romero - would be number one at most clubs in world football based on what I have seen over the last three seasons. Excellent shot-stopper.

6. Howard - steady enough but just not quite the level required. Can't argue that he hasn't gone on and forged a decent career.

7. Foster - had the talent but not the presence in my opinion. Seemed overawed at OT.

8. Bosnich - perhaps had the talent but not the application. I do remember him being brilliant in a 0-0 draw with Madrid which showed he had ability.

9. Carroll - average goalkeeper who basically performed to his level

10. Van der Gouw - your classic backup goalkeeper. Did little right or wrong really.

11. Lindegaard - I actually thought he was very poor, although clearly some remember differently! I actually don't think I remember him making a save of any significance and he just looked 'off' to me. I agree with Gary Neville that the worst keepers aren't necessarily the ones that make mistakes, it's the one's that don't save run-of-the-mill shots. See Utd 5-4 Reading.

12. Taibi - no need to say much about Taibi, a handful of games riddled with errors and a 5-0 defeat is not a good look! Did get MotM on his debut vs Liverpool though....

13. Riccardo - not very good! Just seem to remember him giving penalties away whenever he played!

14. Goram - need I say anymore?

Not really worth going into the rest. Haven't included Henderson because he hasn't played for us yet