Top 7 Manchester Untied goalkeepers of all time

      

Top 7 Manchester Untied goalkeepers of all time

Picture: AtilatheHun

Any big club can brag about having the occasional great goalkeeper in their ranks, but for a club of Manchester United’s stature, world-class is the norm. It is they, the goalkeepers, who have shaped the periods of success at the club, starting from as far back as 100 years ago when Harry Moger lifted the club’s first domestic title to modern-day David De Gea on his quest to revive United to old glory.

 Here are the ones that matter in between:

 7. Harry Gregg

Sir Matt Busby owed his life to Gregg, literally. Gregg was a hero when that plane with the whole Manchester United squad went down near Munich. Being fortunate to remain unscathed, Gregg risked his life going back into the burning wreckage to save other people too: all in all five people. George Best later described what Gregg had done as ‘beyond brave’.

On the pitch, Gregg was considered United’s best goalkeeper ever who had not won a single trophy despite being part of the famously successful Busby side. His abilities were unquestionable, and he was awarded World’s Best Goalkeeper during the 1958 World Cup despite his Northern Ireland losing 4-0 to France in the quarter finals.

6. Fabien Barthez

Barthez was the first ‘near solution’ to the Schmeichel problem. Before he joined Untied in 2000, he had already won the World Cup and the Champions League with Marsellie. He had also dominated the French League with Monaco. He was a complete keeper backed with courage bordering on the unsound. Barthez often stuck to the organizational responsibilities of the goalkeeper to an almost an archetypal level – shouting intense orders at confused and hapless defenders and rushing out with an exaggerated sense for territorial possession.

In his four years at Old Trafford, Barthez won two titles which sandwiched a coming-to-age ‘Invincible’ Arsenal side in 2002, and continues to be considered one of United’s more successful keepers.

5. Alex Stepney

Stepney was more in the mould of Van der Sar than Schmeichel. He never stood out with spectacular last-ditch saves but with his reliability, positioning and anticipation. With Gregg’s departure from United in 1966, manager Matt Busby was left a hole to fill between the posts. He signed Stepney from Chelsea despite the player having played only a year at the London club.

Stepney proved his worth almost immediately, helping the club to the title that season. A year later, Manchester Untied faced Benfica in the European Cup final. Stepney would produce one of the finest saves in his career. World star Eusebio rushed one on one against him and unleashed a close-range shot which to his surprise Stepney not only saved but held onto the ball eliminating any further danger. Impressed, Eusebio applauded.

Stepney played at Old Trafford until 1978, helping the club to three more trophies. 

4. David De Gea

A natural-born goalkeeper with sharp instincts and a stable mind, David De Gea is a nice mix of qualities. He sits right in between Van der Sar and Schmeichel because he has the best of both worlds. It would be an underestimation to say he is not world-class. In 2012, De Gea was diagnosed to be farsighted – this is when objects near or right in front of the line of vision are blurry. This might have contributed to him developing stunning reflexes.

De Gea is considered somehow unlucky to play at Manchester Untied in times of transition after Alex Ferguson’s retirement. Despite that, he has helped the club win a Premier League title and the FA Cup in 2016: much less than a player of his quality deserves.

 3. Harry Moger

Looking deep into the Manchester United archives you are likely to find a few gems here and there. United has not always been a global power in football and without figures such as Harry Moger, it might have never been.

Moger joined the club when they were still playing the Second Division in the far 1903. He didn’t shine as the ‘ready’ package but worked his way to the first team spot a year and a half later, helping his team qualify for the First Division for the first time in 20 years. Under manager Earnest Mangnall, United were the hot coal of English football – a young and developing side with bags of potential.

Already a key member by 1907, Moger’s athleticism allowed him to dominate the penalty box aerially as the Red Devils strode to their first ever title and the FA Cup two years later. 

2. Edwin Van der Sar

Van der Sar is the second most decorated goalkeeper, behind only Viktor Baia, having won 25 trophies during his career. His feats with the famous Ajax side of the mid-90s which won the Champions League turned Alex Ferguson’s gaze towards him in 1999. The Scot would have to wait until 2005 to gain his signature.

In the twilight of his career, at 35, Van der Sar would continue to produce top quality performances for Manchester United for five more years, winning Best European Goalkeeper in 2009 and adorning his trophy cabinet with 11 more trophies among which the Champions League in 2008.

A rock at the back, Van der Sar offered more to his team than agile reflexes. His unflinching focus offered team-mates in front of him calmness to tend to their game. He broke many records during his stay in rainy Manchester, among which 1311 minutes without conceding a goal in the Premier League.

  1. Peter Schmeichel

When Ferguson signed Schmeichel from Brondby for 505,000 in 1991, he called him ‘the buy of the century’. Ferguson must have a foretelling dream because Schmeichel went on to dominate the No.1 position at United for the next eight years.

Scooping inspiration from handball, Schmeichel perfected his skills to a point where the ball glued almost unnaturally to his hands. He was particularly famed for his success in one-on-one situation and his vision when distributing the ball forward. He was, in a word, the complete goalkeeper – one that Pep Guardiola, had he been a manager then, would never consider doing a Hart with.

Schmeichel won 15 trophies during his United stay before he suddenly and shockingly announced his intention to leave in 1999. Such was his impact between the goal posts that Ferguson struggled in the following years to find a worthy replacement.

0

Add comment

Load More

Manchester UnitedCantona makes brilliant comments about Barca's historic win over PSG

ArsenalWenger’s values for Arsenal are unfit for competitive football

LiverpoolLiverpool and Arsenal given boost in Aubameyang chase

ChelseaRoma midfielder refuses to rule out Chelsea move amidst interest

ArsenalMonreal: Atmosphere of uncertainty has taken over Arsenal

ChelseaKante impressed by 'exceptional' France teammate Mbappe

ArsenalMbappe v Henry: A breakdown and comparison of their football qualities

Manchester UnitedFerguson to come out of retirement for Carrick’s testimonial

ChelseaCourtous reveals desire to stay at Chelsea long-term

Manchester UnitedManchester United's Schweinsteiger off to the MLS

Manchester UnitedHow Mourinho’s ‘outsider mentality’ has shaped his tactics

Manchester UnitedMourinho slams EPL bosses for ‘not caring’ about Europe

Premier League

P GD Pts
1 Chelsea 28 38 69
2 Tottenham 28 34 59
3 Man City 28 24 57
4 Liverpool 29 25 56
5 Man Utd 27 19 52
6 Arsenal 27 22 50
7 Everton 29 21 50
8 West Brom 29 1 43
9 Stoke 29 -9 36
10 Southampton 27 -3 33
11 Bournemouth 29 -12 33
12 West Ham 29 -12 33
13 Burnley 29 -11 32
14 Watford 28 -15 31
15 Leicester 28 -14 30
16 Crystal Palace 28 -10 28
17 Swansea 29 -27 27
18 Hull 29 -32 24
19 Middlesbrough 28 -13 22
20 Sunderland 28 -26 20
Subscribe
23,424 Subscribers
Select a reason...
Report   Cancel
Select a reason...
Report   Cancel
Select a reason...
Report   Cancel

Delete Post

Deleted posts are gone forever. Are you sure?

Изтий   Откажи

Discard

Discard edits to this post?

Discard   Откажи

Cancel Changes

Your changes will not be saved. Continue?

Yes   No

Reblog Post

Reblog this post to your followers?

Изпрати   Откажи

Undo Reblog
EditDeleteReport
MuteUnmuteReport

Mute Topic

This will prevent any content posted to this Topic from displaying in your feed.

Mute   Откажи

BlockUnblock

Block Member

Are you sure?

Block   Откажи

DeleteReport

Delete Comment

Are you sure?

Изтий   Откажи

Delete Account

All content will be permanently removed from the site. Are you sure?

Изтий   Откажи

RemoveUnbanPermissions




Update   Cancel

Unban User

Remove User

Remove Moderator

Remove yourself as a moderator

Are you sure?

Submit   Cancel

Leaving Moderation!

Are you sure you want to stop being a moderator?

Yes   No

Select a reason...
Submit   Cancel
Select a reason...
Submit   Cancel

By opting in to see NSFW content you certify that you are 18 years of age or older.

Yes   No