It’s my turn to pick a player of the season and I, as an amateur (and not very good) member of the goalkeeper’s union, have plumped for David de Gea. Yes, Van Persie has been magnificent, Carrick has been sumptuous and Rafael has been marauding. However, these three players have, in reality, only done what we expected and what we knew they could/should do. Not one of those players came into this season under the same scrutiny and pressure that our ‘keeper has. In fact, not one of these players has had to endure the same kind of scrutiny and pressure that our ‘keeper has all season! Quite simply, for such a young lad in an old man’s position, De Gea has been on another level. He’s been player of the season.
At the start of the season Ferguson himself seemed unsure of who his number one ‘keeper was and many young men would have crumbled under the pressure of being rotated. My player of the season didn’t though. He simply rolled up his sleeves up his ever growing forearms and biceps and made the jersey his own.
This season he has played twenty three times in the Premier League and kept nine clean sheets as United have won twenty six of thirty two fixtures. He’s made ninety-six league saves this season at an average of just over four saves a fixture. To the untrained this may not seem like anything special. However, when you realise that this is the exact same amount of saves as the media darling’s Joe Hart in thirty one City outings. That’s eight more fixtures to notch up the same amount of saves.
I think one of the things I especially love about De Gea is ability to use his feet to make saves. Some fans struggle with this but the reality is he could stop the ball going in the net with his patchy beard and we shouldn’t care. His feet, in my eyes, are as important as Van Persie’s on occasions. In fact, to compare the two, and away from the league, you have to ask who had the most effective use of feet in the away leg at Real Madrid? Where De Gea threw his feet at Fabio Coentrao’s shot to keep United in the game.
Many people’s player of the season, Van Persie, fluffed his moment of glory by scuffing his foot at a gilt edged chance. Then there was the last minute save he quite frankly had no right to make against Juan Mata in the cup semi final. That elongated leg kept us in the tie.
Sure, he’s made a few mistakes this year but you have to ask yourself who, in all honesty, hasn’t? Van Persie has. Carrick has. Rafael certainly has. The major difference here is that if they make an error it’s very quickly ignored. De Gea gets attacked for the smallest mistake yet takes every criticism on the chin, picks himself up and carries on. How many of pundits criticised him for his part in the dropped points at Spurs this season? Not as many as would dare lambast Van Persie for missing a sitter at the Bernabeau! The lowlight of the criticism for me was Carrick’s woeful back-pass to De Gea against Southampton which led to many criticising the young Spaniard! He deals with an awful amount of criticism and, as United fans, I feel you should vote for him for the player of the season in order to reward him for a great season in which he has truly excelled.
Your choice is a simple one. Vote De Gea!