Monday 30 January 2012

Owen backs keeper De Gea

Striker dismisses Anfield criticism and says Spaniard will become a 'top keeper'

David de Gea was beaten by Daniel Agger's header as Liverpool took the lead at Anfield

Manchester United striker Michael Owen has backed goalkeeper David de Gea to become a "top keeper".

The 21-year-old De Gea was blamed by some pundits for Manchester United's 2-1 FA Cup defeat against Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.

But Owen said on Twitter that the Spaniard was not at fault for either goal and added that he expected the keeper to win over the critics.

"Admittedly [David] has made a couple of mistakes this season but listening to some people you would think he had a nightmare [at Anfield]," he wrote.

"The lad will be a top keeper, he is only young - it's harsh to blame him for everything"
- Michael Owen

"I'm not having either goal was his fault. He couldn't do much with the second goal either. Is the problem not just a case of us not winning the first ball and not picking up a runner?

"In my opinion [they were] two bad goals to give away but to blame everything on the goalkeeper is totally wrong.

"The lad will be a top keeper, he is only young. It's harsh to blame him for everything."

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson agreed the keeper was not to blame for the opening goal at Anfield - which saw Daniel Agger head in after De Gea failed to claim the loose ball from a corner.

He said the United defenders created the problem, adding: "They didn't give him [De Gea] enough room to deal with it."

Owen also praised United fans who have stood by De Gea this season and urged them to continue to show support.

"I've watched a lot of home games this season and the support from behind both goals for him has been brilliant," he said.

"The fans know he needs their support, his confidence needs boosting. I'm sure he will repay that support for years to come."

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Key Points

  • Striker Owen backs Man Utd's Spanish goalkeeper
  • Says De Gea was not to blame for goals conceded against Liverpool
  • Tips 21-year-old to become a 'top keeper' in the future