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Van der Sar, Superstar, Won More Medals Than Petr

I like Edwin Van der Sar. So do Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs.

“Edwin is the best keeper I’ve played with. It’s as simple as that,” said Rio. “The record stuff we’ve won together, the assuredness that he transmits from himself to the back four is great. I also don’t think I’ve seen a better keeper with his feet to be honest either. He’s got an extra year in terms of his contract and I am sure he’s got the capabilities to go and do it again.”

Ryan Giggs has also spoken extremely highly of our goalie.

“Is he as good as Schmeichel? They are both great keepers,” added Giggs. “You can’t really compare them. They are both brilliant, both international keepers, both who have had great characters. Edwin just gives that calming influence right throughout the team with his calmness on the ball when we play back passes to him, and his general goalkeeping is sound really. That calming influence goes right through the team. He is getting better with age. Obviously he has got great players in front of him but, when he is called upon, he never makes a mistake. With the clean sheets, Edwin has done brilliant over the last two or three months.”

The Welshman, who again impressed in the middle of the park at The Hawthorns, refused to compare United’s current No.1 with perhaps the Red Devils’ greatest goalkeeper of all time.


About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. manufan32 says:

    i dont know about calling peter schmiechel the best we have had… i always thought that having him screaming at u all the time wont really assure the defenders who played in front of him…. i mean i am not saying that he was’nt good…. am just saying that i feel van der sar makes a better job out of it….

  2. rob the red says:

    Yes, I rate him as the best in the country at the moment, My only regret is we didn’t sign him earlier.

  3. Wiggsman says:

    Thats rubbish – Schmeichel is the best keep we ever had and best in the premier league

  4. swurv on says:

    Schmeichel is the best we’ve had but VDS is a close second, special mention for Massimo Taibi too ha ha…

  5. United4Life says:

    Edwin is just superb, but looking at the topic… and one sad rant boy called Obi Mikel… how many medals does he have? Hope he regrets his move now.

  6. costas says:

    Giggs once again has said the most correct comment.You can’t compare them.Different characters and in different eras.I will say this though.What has impressed me about VDS is that 4 years ago he career was struggling big time.He was playing at Fulham and i don’t think he was a regular.He picked himself up and even though he was “past his prime”,signed for United and has produced performances he hasn’t produced for 10 years.Whereas Schmeichel after he left United he never picked himself up again.

  7. clj7 says:

    they’re both crap

  8. swurv on says:

    scouser alert

  9. clj7 says:

    ONLY JOKING!!! CALM DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You can’t compare them, they’re both good in different ways. But I think Van der Sar is more proud to be a RED than Schmeichel was. Cause Schmeichel was a bit like Ronaldo, he wanted to try another club. Van der Sar doesn’t wanna quit Utd

  10. clj7 says:

    By the way, I wasn’t a scouser lol

  11. swurv on says:

    heres a question, who will replace VDS, I don’t think Foster or Pig are up to it, who else is out there that could work?

  12. costas says:

    Swurv personally i would like it if we made Foster our new number 1.I think that he has got the tools,he just needs a run in the side to build his confidence.His heroics against Derby last season proved that he has got it.By the way,why are we calling Kuszczak pig?

  13. swurv on says:

    Costas, fair point and hope your right, would be good to have an english keeper especially when Platini screws the english clubs with the foreigner rule again in europe.

    Pole In Goal

  14. edwin says:

    They are both the best keepers we ever had. I love ‘em both.

  15. OMelhorDoMundo says:

    Schmeichel was such a charismatic figure. The three reasons I fell in love with United were Cantona, Beckham and Schmeichel. Schmeichel’s purple shirt with the checked sleeves was the first shirt I ever bought. van der Sar might not be the same figure but he is the epitome of consistency and assurity. The stats will say van der Sar is a better keeper but as Giggs said, it’s really hard to compare

  16. micheal says:

    I can’t say he is the best ever man utd keeper because I am not decades old only the real old man utd fans can say if he is the best ever, but there is no question peter schmeicheal is by 100 universal miles the greatest keeper of united under the era of sir alex ferguson, he made an ordinary defence after Bruce and pallister were getting old and left look good, he was the roy of the rovers he was a monster a leader of men and he was always telling others off, which is something a keeper should always have in his locker. He dominated his area like no other keeper and his performance against Newcastle away in the 95/96 season and the cl final with johnsen and stam at the back without keane and scholes was the best individual gk performances I have ever seen , his saves were has vital has goals scored by cantona and co. Do not ever use stats to say vds was the better then big pete because you are looking like a right idiot, have a look at the personal that was infront of schmeicheal, the great dane never had Ferdinand vidic at the back, let’s see vds cope with Johnson berg may a flimsy jaap stam an aging bruce and pallister at the back then we will say vds is better.

    shut up no seriously shut up do you watch united and have you ever listened to big pete, the great schmiechel just could not do it at the very top anymore he was complaining about the gruelling schedule he had to endure in his final season when he knew he was getting on a bit, he had no time for intense training in terms of special training he needed, he was suffering from back injuries and his form suffered allot in his final season at united and he went out on top, I have no problems on how he left he did the club prowd, schmicheal in his prime was a monster of a man in terms of presence and sheer physical power he was the best and he really put the fear into strikers and his own defenders, and he was far bigger then van der saar, schmeicheal was a diehard man utd fan it was his dream to play for this club and to compare schmiechel with ronaldo shows what an idiotic statement to make, big pete has never ever put doubts in uniteds minds about him wanting to leave and for starters schmiechel has spent more time at united then van der saar 9 years I recall, how many for van der saar been here 4 years.

  17. Bag'o'Crack says:

    @OMelhorDoMundo – Hells yeah! I made that purple jersey (plus the blue one with the lime green sleeves/shorts) for my keeper kits on Pro Evo.

    After VDS retires I’d like Foster to step up, but if he doesn’t cut it, the only keeper I’d like us to buy in is Jaaskelainen.

  18. Drabik says:

    I agree that they’re both great keepers, but I don’t think VDS was as important as Schmiechel was in terms of winning trophies. As people above have said, the stats don’t tell the whole story. Re-watching the games/highlights from the 99 season shows Schmiechel in brilliant form. I didn’t think we could ever replace him when he left … Bartez and Howard were ok, but nowhere near the standard of Peter (I’m not typing his name surname everytime) or VDS.

    However, if he was a diehard united fan, he would have not gone to play for city afterwards. I’m sure you have all seen the clip where Gary Neville refuses to even acknowledge him before a game, when Peter tried to shake his hand. (As I’m typing this, I realise he’s not the only play in recent years to play for city…I’m looking at you Andy Cole). Oh, and of course Sparky, who is trying his hardest to win City the championship next year.

  19. clj7 says:

    sorry my bad. it was back then that I came into watching Utd, and I was quite young. I can only remember him wanting to leave, but now I understand why :)

  20. boolman says:

    For me,’The Great Dane’ is the bes goalie ever. He loves United very much just like RVN. I will not forget the tripple save he made against arse (forgot the match though).

  21. SULLY [South Africa] says:

    To question Peter Schmeichel’s credibility, never mind compare it with Edwin Van Der Sar is sheer idiotic and childish and utter rubbish. The Big Dane was undoubtedly the best keeper of ALL time. Schmeichel commanded the area like no other. And with Schmeichel, one on one’s were never a certain goal. But then again, make no mistake, I’m not trying to take anything away from EVDS. But Shmeichel was just sheer class. Simply sublime. RESPECT Schmeichel

  22. Giles Oakley says:

    Tough call between Van Der Sar and Schmeichel, and the final judgement should wait till Edwin has retired. In the meantime I’d put in a plea for the great Harry Gregg, not just as a Munich hero but because he was great goalie (voted best in the 1958 World Cup). I remember him once stopping a shot with one hand while simultaneously catching his cap as it fell off his head with the other ( against Bolton around 1961). I know Harry never won more than a FA Cup loser’s medal but he really was fantastic, agile, fearless, a bit crazy, used the ball well in the counter attack, throwing well, also probably the best puncher I’ve seen. When it comes to the best (double) save I’ve ever seen I’d have to mention Dave Gaskell against Leyton Orient, also in about 1961. He blocked the first ferocious shot at close range, battering it down straight into the path of the oncoming centre forward who volleyed it high up towards the roof of the net. Gaskell was then on his way down, with the ball already behind him but he somehow managed to bounce up on his arse in a sort of jack-knife movement and flick the ball over the bar. Beats Banks v Pele any time, but of course there’s no film and no-one would remember it as was not much of a glamour fixture. Gaskell on his day was good but he used to like to take the piss with his own defenders, putting spin on the ball as he threw it out, to make them fumble their control as it broke away from them, just for the laugh. Not one to challenge Edwin or Peter, but he did OK as a Cup Winner in ’63.

  23. King Eric says:

    Giles: Wish you would post on here a bit more often as your blogs or stories are very interesting. I have been a United fan for almost thirty years but it is good to hear from someone who was watching them way back in the day.(No offence about your age there Giles).
    As someone else says we can’t really compare till Edwin hangs up his gloves but in my opinion the Big Dane will take some beating. An amazing keeper throughout his career. If i had to go for anyone other than Foster (who I think will make it given more time) it would have to be Shay Given. However it looks like the bitter massive club are gonna get him. I like the way Foster gets the ball and throws it out over halfway line to get an attack up and running. Somewhat reminiscent of the Dane.

  24. Haakon says:

    Comparing Ronaldo to Schmeichel? Bollocks. Man United and Sir Alex Ferguson made Schmeichel – he came from Brøndbye. He left Man United because he felt he didnt have what it took to play at the highest level due to too much matches. He didnt have the time to recover between the games. He was on a decline when he left United, no doubt about that. He didnt play his best when he left us – cos he hadn’t more to give. Schmeichel was a figure, a character – where as Van der Sar is not.

    But Van der Sar is a great goalie. He dosen’t pull of the stunning saves like Schmeichel did, but he sure do command our defence well. Nor KitKat or Foster is good enough to replace him. Foster has let in two goals per game. He’s too unsure, and he’s a typical error-prone english goalkeeper. We should look abroad. Kuszack is a good goalie. But not good enough for United. He’s Howards class. His command of the area is poor, but his reflexes are excellent. Just like… Howard.

    We need to sign a new goalie. Soon.

  25. Marq says:

    Schmeichel and Van der Sar are different types of keepers. Schmeichel was one of the best shot stoppers of all time, chrismatic, very vocal, and an absolutely nightmare for strikers in 1-on-1 situations, what you would call an offensive goalkeeper. While Van der Sar is more of an all round keeper, steady, assuring, good with his feet, and controls the defence better. Rightly both will go down in our history and the history of football as one of the best keepers of all time. But to us, Schmeichel sort of screwed his name by going to City, hence the disgust from some of us here. But hey, if it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t have won the treble, much has been said about Giggs goal against Arsenal, but it was Schmeichel who got us there, with half a leg left for that matter! He also made a stunning point blank save against Inter that year en route to our CL win. So give credit where credit is due, both are amongst the best in history

  26. Drew Vader says:

    I love in that Arse game at Villa Park, after Peter makes the absolutely brilliant save on the PK, some of the lads, Becks springs to mind, go running up to Peter to jump on him and celebrate, and he lets em all have it!! He screams at Becks and shoves him to get him the hell up the field. LEGEND!!

  27. Usman says:

    Scott, by ‘Petr’ you mean Cech right? not Peter Schmeichel of course?

  28. Giles Oakley says:

    Thanks for kind comments King Eric. Glad you enjoy my old geezer memories.Agree about Schmeichel and what a legend he was. Not just his Arsenal penalty save in 99, what about his one-man-show against Newcastle in 96 when (the other) King Eric snatched the winner with a breakaway goal (which he slightly mis-hit into the ground)? Newcastle had been totally dominant but couldn’t get past the Great Dane.That defeat was the beginning of the end for Keegan. In some ways it’s true that Schmeichel was already past his best by 99, and he knew it. I remember he had a poor run in the autumn of 98, including a dodgy game against Bayern Munich in the group stage and Fergie gave him a week’s holiday in the sun somewhere to take the pressure off him. (Typical great man-management) Schmeichel came back refreshed and returned to his best . It does grate a bit, to say the least, that such a massive keeper should have sunk to joining the massive club, but then Billy Meredith (no, I may be wrinkly but I didn’t see him play) and Denis the Menace both went back to City. I’m sadder about Sparky being there though. He was always a big favourite at United but now I can’t stand that pinched ‘managerial’ way of speaking he’s developed, as if to show he’s now a real grown-up.

  29. Radio Deadon says:

    Alex Stepney

  30. Klauq says:

    Giles Oakley thank you for that great story. If only you had a digicam at that time..

    Me too can only recall as far as Schmeichel’s era. And I cant forget him, he was such a great gk and leader. If VDS gives the calming effect, Schmeichel gives a motivational, sense of urgency boost. But that is as far as i would compare them. I am really thankful that we had both at them at our club. And in the future, there will be another great gk who will be compared to this two hero. Glory Glory Man United

  31. suhayl says:

    Both great keepers…both very very differing styles though. For me VDS is class and we love him. But the Great Dane was the best, the best keeper in prem history.

    Giles…you know my feelings..we have sooo many fan on here from this genearation or a little beyond. I can only go back to the early 80′s….so its always a pleasure to hear the tales from you from the 50′s 60′s 70′s.

  32. micheal says:

    how do you know foster cant make it, so what he has let in goals and that is your logic that he is not good enough rubbish, the goals foster has concieded have been unsavable goals not awful mistakes, when ever I have seen foster I have never seen foster make a number of errors he has actually made some great saves and looks a calm cool customer in goal, if it was not for him in 2007 watford would have been relagated in december 06 and oh yea vds has never made mistakes has he, he was the main reason why we lost at anfield, keepers make mistakes they are not perfect. that is so lazy we should look abroad who for another dodgy gomaz type goalie, foster is a fantastic keeper and he need’s the confidence to be given a run in the team.

  33. SteRDLK says:

    Schmikes is a different class to VDS, which is saying a lot when VDS is possibly in the Top 5 all time Premiership goalies.

    Schmikes had to do it with a weaker defence in front of him, which again says a lot that it was Irwin, Bruce, Pallister, May, Parker, and later Berg, Johnsen, Stam and Neville. They just can’t compare with the likes of Evra, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evans, Neville, Da Silva Twins, even Heinze.

    Even though I am only young, I have seen many clips of Schmikes, especially from the Treble season, like the save against Inter Milan from Ventola I think it was, and the Bergkamp penalty save. He was a different style of keeper from VDS.

    It’s like comparing Eric with Berba, you only realise the differences in their style once you have seen them play many times. Both Schmikes/VDS and Eric/Berba are very similar, yet very different at the same time.

  34. Giles Oakley says:

    Thanks Klauq & Suhayl. I ‘ll try to drum up some more memories. But just think, hopefully you’ll one day be able to tell your children & grandchildren that you saw…well , take your pick! My daughter Kat’s proud boast is that she saw United in the flesh at a younger age than I did (away at Charlton, Nicky Butt sent off, Cantona scored, 1-0 to United…)

  35. reddevilsforever says:

    how many trophies has sar won???


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