Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Everyone talking about de Gea, but for the wrong reasons....

Two competitive games, two mistakes - it hasn't been an encourageing start for David de Gea. According to reports, Ferguson and his scouts studied the Spaniard for up to two years before the manager splashed out £18m when buying de Gea - a club record for a goalkeeper, but following those mistakes some are beginning to wonder if it that money was well spent.

De Gea endured a torrid first-half at Wembley in the Community Shield, when Dzeko scored from long-range as United went two-nil down, but fought back strongly to win 3-2. At the Hawthorns on Sunday, the Spaniard was beaten too easily when allowing Shane Long to equalise, but again United ran out winners thanks to another new signing, Ashley Young.  For the first thirty five minutes, United completely dominated West Brom, but when eventually tested, de Gea didn't look particularly strong on crosses. It was also noticeable that De Gea was tested a couple of times from long-range - again, no surprise, given the former Athletico Madrid  star's stats from La Liga last season.

United's new 'keeper wasn't helped one bit by the inconsistency of referee Jones who made some bizarre decisions when booking players who shouldn't have been booked (Not the disgrace that is Steven Reid who hacked down Ashley Young) and then on other occasions not booking players who should have been booked. Shane Long cleaned out de Gea twice in the second-half with two poor challenges. Shane Long  took his first-half goal very well, but United fans might not be too surprised to learn that in his youth the Irishman played Hurling - a game that combines violence with speed.

There was prescious little protection for de Gea at the Hawthorns and it was pointed out in commentary that the Spaniard, can "expect to be roughed up", as happened to Peter Schmeichel when he first arrived at United. This fact was trotted out as if we should expect this kind of treatment - it was wrong in Schmeichel's day and it is equally wrong now.

Schmeichel is of course United's greatest ever 'keeper  and in a bid to give the critics no further ammunition, the Great Dane has been silenced by Ferguson. As  an aside, you have to wonder why United didn't actually employ Schmeichel to help find van der Sar's replacement...

Schmeichel is a giant of a man, his physical presence was immense, he was an intimidating goalkeeper. De Gea is not an intimidating goalkeeper, his build is slight and during TV close-ups, he appears to have what looks like a nervous squint. The best goalkeepers are the ones who command what used to be known as the 'six yard box' and only time will tell if de Gea is going to be a success and a commanding goalkeeper.

The pressure on new players to make a good impression is always intense, but at a club like Manchester United it is even greater. But for now at least, De Gea has the backing of everyone connected with United. The reaction from the club's supporters, has in the main been very supportive. The mantra is: de Gea will come good.  Guillem Balague, the respected Spanish pundit Tweeted "People doubting David de Gea? Seriously? No, no, seriously?? Hahahahahahaha... it will be a feast of eaten words at the end of the season".

While de Gea will continue to recieve support from the manager and the fans', the reality is, it is down to the goalkeeper to silence any would be critics; it is performances on the pitch that matter and not talk off it. The fans' backed Bebe to the hilt, but he has subesquently been farmed out and it wouldn't surprise this blog if we never see him pull on the famous red shirt again.

Predictably, various newspapers have been drawing up lists of former players who've succeded following shaky starts to their United careers, but here again, there's no gaurantees as far as de Gea future is concerned.

While some players have blossomed following an indifferent start, others went backwards. Take the example of Ben Foster, who came to United touted as potentially the next England goalkeeper; he spent five years with United but only made 12 appeareances, he left the club with his reputation in tatters after failing to live up to expectations.

Those of you with good memories will recall Massimo Taibi: the Italian who the media dubbed the "the Venetian Blind". Taibi made just four appearances for United, but in so doing made two howling mistakes and paid the price.
Having broken the club record for a goalkeeper, there's no way de Gea will not be given ample opportunities to prove his worth and so we can expect to see a lot more of him this season.
With Vidic and Ferdinand likely to be missing through injury for at least one game, it will be a case of all change in the heart of the defence, hopefully, that situation won't bother the Spaniard too much and there's no doubting United have quality cover with Evans, Smalling and Jones to select from.
Whatever happens, it is going to be fanscinating to watch, hopefully, David de Gea will live up to his billing.


  1. I have a good feeling about De Gea, United have had him watched for 2 years and people in the Spanish footballing media speak so highly of him. I'm putting his two mistakes so far down to nothing more than jitters, he's a kid in a foreign country whose just been bought for big money by the worlds biggest football club. There may well be some more awkward moments this season, but he won't be a flop, he'll be our keeper for years and the fans will love him.

  2. De Gea cannot afford to make many more mistakes, if he does then he will be dropped - and if that happens his confidence could be affected and that makes Fergie's decision harder. I wouldn't bet on the outcome. Really hope it works out for the lad but I have my doubts.

  3. De Gea is a Raw Prodigy waiting 4 his definement...Let me ask all red devils doubting fans dis question....How does it feel when u an English man residing in England moves 2 Afghanistan to transact?Are u gonna click with them straight away?..Give dat guy a Chance 4 God sake to Settle.Dat guy has got Reflexes dat make u scream OH MY GOD!!What a save watch out 4 De Gea with TimeDe Gea is a Raw Prodigy waiting 4 his definement...Let me ask all red devils doubting fans dis question....How does it feel when u an English man residing in England moves 2 Afghanistan to transact?Are u gonna click with them straight away?..Give dat guy a Chance 4 God sake to Settle.Dat guy has got Reflexes dat make u scream OH MY GOD!!What a save watch out 4 De Gea with Time

  4. Kenny has a point. Besides, United won in both matches where De Gea made errors.

    If he made errors which resulted in United not winning, then that's another matter. Maybe he's fated to make mistakes in wins, and play well in draws and defeats.

    Or maybe he's got a histrionic personality disorder, and he's purposely making mistakes now so that he can 'prove everyone wrong' and win so much more praises due to his supposed 'major improvement' later on.

  5. NO amount of talking off the pitch will affect the outcome of performances on the pitch: De Gea's United future is very much in his own hands....


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