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Aug 10, 2011

Schmeichel slams critics

Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel has hit back at critics of David de Gea.

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De Gea, 20, endured a mixed debut for the club in Sunday's Community Shield, taking a share of the blame for both of Manchester City's goals in what was ultimately a 3-2 win for Sir Alex Ferguson's men.

As a result De Gea was the subject of some immediate criticism for his performance at Wembley but Schmeichel, who spent eight memorable years at the club, believes the rush to judgment is foolish in the extreme.

"I think it is absolutely ridiculous listening to people criticising him after one game," Schmeichel told The Mirror. "Everyone in this country always gets a chance so what is the point of doing that now?"

Reluctant to comment further about the £20 million summer signing after a request from Ferguson himself, Schmeichel believes the reigning Premier League champions are still the team to beat even after a summer of retirements and reinvestment.

"People tend to forget that United are the champions, they have spent a lot of money this summer as well as other clubs," Schmeichel said. "Big players have retired and have to be replaced but there has always been so much youth and talent in that United squad."

One of those summer additions is former Aston Villa winger Ashley Young - who Schmeichel believes is already showing the benefits of moving to a big club with the sort of ambition and resources available at Old Trafford.

"Ashley has had a good career with Villa and England and done well, but now he is at United he is 25 per cent better," he said. "His work-rate, contribution and confidence are all better - everything he does is right.

"I think once you step into that environment, you become a better player."

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