23 Jan 2013 17:50

TV's own brother of Phil Neville had some robust criticism of Manchester United's cat De Gea after his flapping at Tottenham. Gordon not amused.

Blooper: Clint Dempsey of Tottenham celebrates scoring after David De Gea's poor punch Blooper: Clint Dempsey of Tottenham celebrates scoring after David De Gea's poor punch

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Manchester United's goalkeeper David de Gea has come under fire for a moment of disastrous flapping at White Hart Lane on Sunday – but legendary England cat Gordon Banks has sprung to the youngster's defence.

Banks, 75 years old, a World Cup winner, and FIFA goalkeeper of the year five years on the trot between 1966 and 1971, didn't take to pundit and former Old Trafford star Gary Neville's damning assessment of De Gea's contribution against Tottenham.

Banks told the Press Association: "I was very upset to hear Gary Neville talking about how the players were disgusted with him (De Gea), how they were looking at him, after he hadn't punched the ball quite clear enough.

"I thought to myself, 'hang on a minute, it's not just the goalkeeper that makes mistakes, everybody makes mistakes in football matches'.

"I couldn't quite believe that, because if anything he would've liked a bit of a lift: 'come on, get your head up'.

"I found that a bit strange that he (Neville) was saying they'd go back in the dressing room and give him a telling off."

Bit awkward: A chance meeting between Gordon Banks (centre), Bobby Charlton, and Eusebio at the Matalan sale Bit awkward: A chance meeting between Gordon Banks (centre), Bobby Charlton, and Eusebio at the Matalan sale

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"De Gea's got very good reflexes, makes excellent saves you think other goalkeepers probably wouldn't have got.

"He's got lots of years left yet. What he needs to do is to practice on the crosses as much as he possibly can.

"I used to practice on my weaker things as much as I possibly could and it certainly did help me.

"It's much more difficult for a goalkeeper playing in today's game. The ball is moving all over the place.

"For me, that ball has taken a lot of the art of goalkeeping out of the game. I do feel sorry for goalkeepers today."

Filed under: Euro 2012

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