January 20, 2011

Lindegaard want to be the best at United

Anders Lindegaard is making a habit of proving people wrong. Manchester United’s new £3.5m goalkeeper has suffered the hurt of being told by the club he loved he wasn’t good enough to make the grade.

He has been mocked by his own nation and publicly told he wasn’t good enough for United by his idol Peter Schmeichel.

But the 26-year-old Dane has forced Odense to eat humble pie. He has turned the jeers of the Danish public into admiration and he admits that getting recognition from his hero and Old Trafford keeper legend Schmeichel would complete the set.

In the process of achieving that he would have to become United’s established number one and banish the notion that he’s been signed from Norwegian club Aalesund as a deputy rather than Sir Alex Ferguson’s potential back-up to a big name keeper signing this summer if Edwin Van der Sar retires as is expected.

Lindegaard would also have to prove that he has the capabilities to help the Reds avoid the post-Schmeichel mess and make the potential transition from the Van der Sar era into a new keeper chapter as seamless.

But it is not a prospect that fills Lindegaard with dread at all.

“It is very important always to remember why you play football,” Anders told M.E.N. Sport.

“Why do I play football? It is because I find it amazingly amusing and fun. I really enjoy it and I am not playing football because I think it is scary. I am not scared about the future. I don’t get scared about playing a match, I look forward to it. That is the way it should be and I look forward to the Old Trafford challenge.

“I want to be the best. I want to be first choice here. I am not here because I want to be on the bench.

“My father taught me to support Manchester United and it has been my dream since I was four to represent this club weekend after weekend in goal. I am not here just to be here. I am not here to sit and pick my nose and earn my money. That is not why I am here.

“I am here because I want to be the best. This is the place where you can be the best and be respected as the best.

“I am not thinking about Edwin’s situation. I only focus on things I can do something about and that is me. I am completely ignoring all the speculation and talk about other goalkeepers and that I am here just as a number two.

“I cannot do anything about that so I don’t think about that. It won’t help me to be thinking about what if this and what if that. I cannot do anything about it. That would ruin my focus.

“Being number one at United is a goal far out on the horizon. It is not something I think about when I go to sleep at night. The only thing I think about then is tomorrow’s training. But it is always there on the horizon that reminds you of where you want to go and what you want to be.”

Schmeichel, however, dismissed Lindegaard’s chances of that ambition when the Aalesund’s keeper’s move to Old Trafford was announced towards the end of 2010.

When asked whether Lindegaard was good enough to be United’s number one the Big Dane was quoted as replying, “No. We are talking Manchester United here.”

Schmeichel dismissed young talent claiming that the highest quality and experience was needed. Clearly, he didn’t believe Lindegaard came into that category.

“Peter Schmeichel was the hero of my life,” said Anders. Read more..