Former Manchester United goalkeeper Alex Stepney has given his verdict on the club’s greatest goalkeeper.
Stepney made 539 appearances for Manchester United and was part of Sir Matt Busby’s European Cup-winning side in 1968, 10-years on from the Munich Air Disaster. In an exclusive interview he told Stretty News that the disaster was not discussed when he joined the club two years before the European triumph.
Busby signed Stepney from Chelsea were he had a very brief spell. He was a lower league goalkeeper and the Scot, along with assistant Jimmy Murphy, took a chance before eventually getting their man to replace Harry Gregg.
I wanted to know who Stepney thinks is United’s all-time best goalkeeper, so I asked him.
“We have to go in decades because of the way the game has changed,” Stepney said. “I’ll go with the two decades we did well under Fergie.
“Peter Schmeichel came as a raw young goalkeeper and finished up a great keeper. Winning the treble and all that, he could do everything, and then Edwin van Der Sar who was already a made goalkeeper. How I look at when they played for the club, I think there’s nothing between them.
“Fair dos to Peter because he built himself at United into a great goalkeeper, whereas Edwin came along and his record for clean sheets etc, and winning the Champions League again was incredible.”
I didn’t push an argument for David de Gea because I didn’t have one.
Stepney talks with authority and his opinion we appreciated, but is it really one you can argue with?
You look at what Schmeichel and Van der Sar won and it takes some beating. De Gea was the best goalkeeper in the world, but I never felt he was on the same level as the other two.