United duo praise keeper
Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs paid tribute to Edwin van der Sar after he set a new Premier League record.
By Richard Bailey
Last Updated: 28/01/09 5:02pm
Manchester United duo Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs have paid tribute to goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar after he set a new Premier League record.
The Dutchman broke Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech's record for the most minutes without conceding a league goal during Tuesday's win at West Brom.
The Chelsea keeper went unbeaten for 1,025 minutes of league football in season 2004/05 under Jose Mourinho but now has to make do with second place.
United achieved the record with their 5-0 drubbing of West Brom taking the number of league games without conceding to 11, another Premier League record.
Ferdinand, who played in only five of those 11 games due to a back injury, returned earlier than expected against the Baggies and hailed his 38-year-old team-mate.
"Edwin is the best keeper I've played with. It's as simple as that," the England international said.
"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."
Meanwhile Giggs believes the former Juventus and Fulham man is getting better with age.
"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," he declared.
"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.
"Is he as good as Schmeichel? They are both great keepers," he added.
"You can't really compare them. They are both brilliant, both international keepers, both who have had great characters."
Giggs is quick to point out that all the defenders that have played during the run must take credit for the achievement.
The record is made all the more impressive when you consider how many defenders have actually played in the 11 games due to the amount of injuries suffered.
"You've got to credit the defenders, the keeper and the whole team for the way they have defended," Giggs highlighted.
"In a way, to achieve the record is an even better achievement because we have not been able to have a settled back four recently.
"Credit to the people who have come into the side, like Fabio and Rafael and Jonny Evans. It's been a big squad effort."
Meanwhile United have signed 16-year-old starlet Etzaz Hussain from Langhus in Norway after he impressed during a trial.
"I will do as well as I can and be as good as possible," the youngster told Ostlandets Blad.
"It is nothing I have dreamt about or planned."