Big Pete: De Gea is worthy of breaking my record
Peter Schmeichel has praised David De Gea for his longevity at Manchester United and believes the Spaniard has plenty of years still ahead of him at Old Trafford.
Our no.1 will also move to second in the all-time appearance list for United goalkeepers - bettered only by Alex Stepney (539 games) - and will become the overseas player (non-UK and Ireland) to have represented the Reds most often.
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“He’s been tremendous for us, there’s no doubt about that,”Peter said in the latest MUTV Group Chat.
“He stuck it through in the most difficult period of modern-day Manchester United history. It’s been up and down and, basically, he has been our best player. There’s no doubt about that. Four out of five years being our Player of the Year. That just tells its own story about his performances for the club.”
There was criticism of our no.1 after the draw at Tottenham recently, but Schmeichel was keen to offer his support for the 29-year-old.
“It’s easy to just blame the goalkeeper, but I’m not going to,”he said.
“I’m trying to make a case that every goalkeeper needs to be protected and there’s no doubt that the way the team is playing now, as opposed to when a team plays more defensively, the type of chances that you concede fit into David’s best skills.”
“Those kind of saves we've seen came from chances created by being defensive. At the moment, we are attacking a lot and that leaves strikers man-to-man. It becomes like a counter-attack. These are the kind of goals we are conceding now.
“I think he needs a bit of time to adjust to the way we are playing. If you’re a goalkeeper that has been busy for three or four years, and now you’re not busy, you have to change your game a little bit. You need to find new ways of keeping your concentration, of staying with the game. Everyone has to adjust and I think that’s the same for him as well.
“David is our no.1 - he’s still a young lad, by the way,”he added.“He could play on for another 10 years. Let’s back him. We should support what we have because we know what we have is really good.”
“My basic philosophy about goalkeeping is it’s impossible to say who is the best goalkeeper in the world,”he said.
“You have to look at the team that they play in and the style of play.
“I always use the two Manchester goalkeepers as the example. Man City kept the ball and they need their goalkeeper to be far out of his goal and, anything that came over the top, he would deal with that. Also, he needed to be someone who could build up the game, even outside the box.
“If you swapped them over - the way we played under Jose Mourinho, could you see that Ederson would be a good goalkeeper for us? I can’t see it. He’s a different type of goalkeeper and David couldn’t play the game that Ederson was playing.
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“I really do believe that a goalkeeper needs to fit the style of play that the team is playing in. For me, I hated being under pressure. If we were playing against teams - and it didn’t happen very often - that were keeping us in our own box, that was the worst situation for me. It was definitely not my forte; it wasn’t my skillset.
“But I loved when we attacked and I was dealing with whatever was breaking out. I loved dealing with counter-attacks. All that was brilliant for me, but the four or five years when we were under pressure a lot, I wouldn’t have been a good goalkeeper. I just didn’t like that.”
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