The Conundrum of David De Gea:

Posted: August 18, 2011 in Match Reflections., My best articles


Mark Bosnich, Raimond van der Gouw, Nick Culkin, Massimo Taibi, Paul Rachubka, Fabien Barthez, Andy Goram, Roy Carroll, Ricardo, Tim Howard. Ask these people how they’re recovering from the daunting task of replacing the Big Dane Peter Schmeichel. Roy fuckin’ Carroll. Then came along the Big Flying Dutchman, the Unflappable Rabbit, Edwin van der Sar. And the long wait for the heir apparent to the Old Trafford goalmouth was finally over.

Edwin was signed from Fulham, two years too late than Sir Alex would have originally liked, when he shifted base from Juventus to Fulham. van der Sar went on to have 6 glorious years with United, winning the Champions League with a famous penalty save, and also the Premier League on 4 occasions. van der Sar’s time at Old Trafford also included the record-breaking 14 consecutive cleansheets.

After 6 great years at the Theater of Dreams, van der Sar finally hung up his gloves, leaving Sir Alex the huge task of replacing the big Dutchman. There is no doubt the Sir Alex would have learnt from his previous struggle of replacing Schmeichel and was well prepared to face the task. De Gea was the chosen one.

At 20 years of age, there is no question that it was a mammoth task for De Gea himself, previously having the experience of just 1 full season in the La Liga with Atletico Madrid. Fergie already missed out on signing Petr Cech at 20, thinking a young goalkeeper wouldn’t be right. But Cech went on to have a respectable career with Chelsea, and Sir Alex decided that De Gea shouldn’t be missed out on.

De Gea arrived at Old Trafford with the reputation of being one of the best young goalkeepers in the world. Making his debut in the Community Shield match against rivals Manchester City, and he didn’t know what hit him! At fault at just one goal, the plastics were already writing him off! Come his EPL debut against West Brom, he made a similar mistake for Shane Long’s goal, and people were already predicting him to be a flop!

what I was doing while reading tweets writing off De Gea

Now lets get some perspective here. The lad is 20 years old. He has just shifted to a new country where a different language is spoken, to play for one of the biggest clubs in the world. He has to perform in front of an average of around 60,000 people every week where his smallest move is being monitored. The pressure is enormous. Where were you when you were 20? What was the most terrifying this you had to do under enormous pressure? I guess the biggest thing you can remember is giving a job interview. So cut the guy some slack.

Any new player needs time to settle down into the team. A goalkeeper, even more so. “You need to know which players is going to do at which moment. You need to know when Gary Neville is going to cut inside from the side, or when Vidic is going to dive into a tackle, and you have to make your move based on your judgement. You need to know where every player is on the field.” These are the words of Edwin van der Sar after the famous consecutive cleansheets. To develop such a strong understanding with your defense needs a lot of time, and its difficult to do so when you dont know English. It’s well known that Vidic and Rio Ferdinand spent a lot of time together, to get to know each other personally. And it’s no surprise that they’re one of the best pairs of central defenders in the world. So to judge David De Gea based on just 2 performances is non-sense.

Last season’s hit signing Javier Hernandez explains the importance of knowing the lanuage to settle in easily in the team. “Moving to a new country is always difficult, but the fact my dad and my sister came to live with me was a huge help, but the truth is that knowing English was a massive help, because it meant I could communicate in the dressing room and get to know my colleagues more quickly.” United goalkeeping coach Eric Steele is taking Spanish lessons to help out the lad, and De Gea himself is taking English lessons too.

People have jumped to De Gea’s support though, with the most comforting words coming from club legend Sir Bobby Charlton. “I think De Dea will be okay. I’m not worried about him at all. He’s a fantastic shot-stopper, very agile and he kicks the ball well. He throws the ball well too, so I’ve no concerns about him. We’ve yet to see the best of him. The boy obviously has a gift, and Alex has seen this. He’s a great goalkeeper and that won’t change.” Another reassuring fact is that Sir Alex would have given De Gea a long hard thought before opening the cheque book. If there’s one thing we know, it’s that Sir Alex learns from his mistakes.

If you need any more facts to know that De Gea will be a hit, Alan “You can’t win with kids” Hansen has already labelled him a flop 😉

So all I’m saying is, it’s ridiculous that we even have to defend the lad after just 2 games in charge, and as true fans we should give him all our support. “I pat his head and say welcome to England son!” So do we, Sir Alex!

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Comments
  1. nipath says:

    Hard hitting and true…Well written… 😀

  2. Parth Gawarikar says:

    well we can’t be sure until pele predicts him being sold to a league one side after a season on the bench; then we can be sure that he is going to become the greatest ‘keeper in the world!!!

  3. stefan says:

    “Roy fuckin’ Carroll”… Who the fuck r u to say something like that? Wanker… Go fuck yourself.

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