Saturday’s game at Anfield was always going to be a high-pressure difficult affair for the United team, as the pre-match hype, the occasion and the whole Suarez/Evra affair had reached a boiling point.
It was not a game for the faint-hearted and although, United ultimately controlled much of the possession and kept Liverpool quiet for the vast majority of the game, the home side managed to snatch an underserved victory mainly due to a rare lapse from the one player on the pitch who more than anyone didn’t deserve to be on the losing side.
It wasn’t Evra who received most of the criticism following United’s loss, although he did get more than his fair share, it was the latest in a long line of whipping boys, who both ‘pundits’ and ‘fans’ alike love to stick the knife in.
Michael Carrick, Jonny Evans, Dimitar Berbatov, the list of players who seem to attract blame whenever things don’t go United’s way has now lengthened to include one who’s arguably the most popular whipping boy since Max Moseley had one of his ‘parties.’*
David De Gea was not only blamed for the first goal, by many United fans and Roy Keane, but also blamed for the second goal by some for getting beaten at his near post- from about eight yards out?!
It’s easy to blame DDG, as he does struggle with crosses sometimes, let’s not pretend he doesn’t, and is in and out of the side, giving him that added air of ‘unreliability.’
Then there’s build which has been labelled as ‘too skinny’ and again added to the conception -or should that be ‘misconception’ that he’s not strong enough for the physicality of the Premiership.
First of all let’s look at his difficulty with crosses, sell correct me if I’m wrong but is the lad not 21? Surely he’s not beyond the age of coaching. Now I’ve not got my UEFA badges but it strikes me that perhaps if he was to work on dealing with crosses then this aspect of his game could improve.
The main problem with DDG for me is the way his United career has been handled, he’s been thrown in for tough games, City, Chelsea Arsenal, Liverpool and dropped for seemingly easier ones: Norwich, Sunderland, Wigan -all at Old Trafford. When his replacement Anders Lindegaard has done well he’s been praised as more ‘reliable’ well, put the big Dane behind nine men against a rampant Manchester City side and see if he can pull off a miracle. It’s double standards by a lot of pundits and Reds when it comes to the treatment of DDG. The Spaniard has been thrown in well and truly at the deep end, then been dropped again, then thrown back in, its a very poor way of handling any player, let alone a young man in a foreign country trying to cope with replacing a legend in the toughest league in the world, behind a makeshift defence for most games.
“Ah, but De Gea’s played in easy games an made mistakes” I hear you cry. Well that may be the case but let’s look at some of those so-called ‘easy’ games. Take Blackburn for example. DDG was behind a defence that had only Patrice Evra as a natural defender in its line up for the first half. Yes De Gea could’ve done better but he could have done with an Evans, Rio, or a Vidic, in front of him, then maybe we wouldn’t have gotten ourselves into the situation where every time Blackburn went forward- admittedly not very often- they looked like scoring.
Let’s not forget in some of the other so-called ‘easy games’ Bolton away, Swansea away, Everton away, Spurs at home- actually are they even that easy- the young keeper kept clean sheets.
The trouble is De Gea, makes a mistake ala Blackburn and even his own manager will mention it in the post match interview, then he’s dropped and the media, fans and rivals all blame him for the defeat and seem to even revel in his problems.
I’ve long advocated giving De Gea a run- even before he’d played for us, I wrote an article stating how we had to be patient keep playing him and accept that he was bound to make errors – he’s young and he’s a keeper- thats what they do- even Schmeichel and Van Der Sar.
Nothing has made me change that view, but it was asking a lot for a player who’s been dropped for four games to be brought back in at Anfield. Personally I don’t even blame DDG for either goal, I though Agger was given far too easy a job for his header and Kuyt was always going to score from that position.
I just feel Sir Alex Ferguson hasn’t been too kind on the young stopper and should now stop with the goalkeeping merry-go-round and make him the first choice for every game, its the only way he’ll improve.
The lad is class that’s why we bought him, he’s played in big games against the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona, he’s not inept, he just needs time. Too many fans expect instant glory and success, well as someone who remembers the days of Chris Turner (just) and Jim Leighton- never mind Massimo Taibi Barthez,etc, let me say we don’t know how lucky we are to have a young keeper like David De Gea, given time he’ll come good, let’s just hope Fergie gives it him.
*Disclaimer only joking absolutely nothing like that happens at any party Max Moseley has and nor would we wish to insinuate it does. -especially after he won damages from the News of the World.
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