Spaniard David de Gea has taken a lot of abuse from English football fans in his short time at Manchester United but is he slowly winning people round?
When he first joined Manchester United in June of 2011 he was much hyped as his task was to replace the retiring Edwin van der Sar, he was also not helped by his price tag (rumored to be close to £18 million) but with youth on his side United fans looked at it as a more future squad rebuilding by then manager Sir Alex Ferguson. In his first few games for United he made a few errors that most connected to the club put down as nerves, however fans of other teams decided thet had seen enough of the young Spanish keeper to label him as a dodgy gaff prone keeper (Although name me another team who hasn’t had one). He also had a few issues off the field including a penchant for a certain brand of doughnuts that landed him in trouble. What is often forgotten about his first season at Manchester United is the fact he finished the season with the highest saves to shot ratio in the league with 78% and also some terrific saves he made in the game against Chelsea & Athletic Bilbao at Old Trafford.
Last season he continued to grow and put in some game winning performances but still the errors creeped in and he was dropped by Ferguson for a few games to be placed by Anders Lindegaard but instead sulking de Gea knuckled down and regained his place and kept it thanks to some more impressive performances. He also found his way into the PFA’s Player of the Year team and ended it with a league winners medal. So far this season de Gea has been a shining light in a slow start for United under new manager David Moyes. In the last two games he has made some great saves that have been the difference between one point and three, indeed his save against Sunderland earned him the highest praise for a Manchester United keeper which is a compliment from legend Peter Schmeichel who called it “one of the best saves in Premier League history” .
So what is is about de Gea that people like to jump on? Well as we have said he is prone to the odd mistake, as is any keeper and its unfair to judge him on his errors but not praise his faults. Other point out his fondness for using is feet but surely the keepers job is to keep the ball from going in with whatever he can? The other criticism levveled at him is that he doesnt command box very well and is reluctant to come and claim the ball. Spanish keepers have always had the reputation for letting the defenders win the aerial battles and de Gea’s reactions have to be some of the best in the league. He also has a great sense of positioning and is alive to balls over the top of his defence coming to mop up and clear the danger. Another aspect of de Gea’s game that is overlooked is his quality in distributing the ball, he can easily ping passes half the field into his wingers feet if need be to start a quick counter.
So is de Gea really a bad keeper. vote below and let us know your thoughts?