THE fact Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has to defend David De Gea tells you something is very wrong.
The Manchester United goalkeeper, 29, has come in for huge criticism of late, with many fans believing his time as No1 must be over.
Dean Henderson has been in sublime form for Sheffield United and could return to take over the gloves from blunder-prone De Gea.
Once the Red Devils’ perennial Player of the Year, the Spaniard could now be left to rot on the bench, or even sold.
But he’s been given more chances than any other goalkeeper in recent Premier League history.
We’ve taken a look at FIVE times De Gea was given the backing of Solskjaer when perhaps he shouldn’t have…
1. JUNE 2020 – Tottenham
IN the first game back from lockdown, De Gea allowed Steven Bergwijn’s near post shot through to give Spurs a 27th-minute lead in North London.
Addressing his blunder, Solskjaer gave the Spaniard his full backing by calling him the “best goalkeeper in the world”.
He said: “He makes great saves, he wins games for us and I still think he’s the best goalkeeper in the world.”
2. MARCH 2020 – Everton
JUST before lockdown came into force, De Gea dawdled on the ball and his delayed clearance hit Everton’s Dominc Calvert-Lewin’s outstretched leg and went in.
Again, his boss protected him in the media, saying: “It’s something that happens in football once in a while if you take too long on the ball”
3. DECEMBER 2019 – Watford
MAN UTD slumped to a 2-0 loss against Watford earlier this season, with De Gea strongly at fault.
During the defeat at the Hornets, the Spaniard spooned one in that was easier to juggle on his head.
After the game, Solskjaer said: “It was a mistake, it happens in football and it is what we train for every day to make sure they don’t happen again.
“David has been very good lately, it is just one of those things that happen.”
4. MARCH 2019 – Arsenal
LAST year, Arsenal ace Granit Xhaka scored with a low shot that left De Gea wrong-footed.
Yet again, Solskjaer leapt to the defence of his stopper, saying: “He’s disappointed every time he concedes a goal because he is a top keeper.
“The ball moves so strange it looks like it goes to his left and changes direction.”
5. JUNE 2018 – Spain vs Portugal
ON the biggest scene, the World Cup, De Gea allowed a Cristiano Ronaldo shot to bounce off his left hand and go in.
The gaffe ensured the points were shared, with Spain drawing 3-3 against rivals Portugal.
Then-Spain boss Fernando Hierro was this time left to leap to his defence, saying: “We don’t have any doubts about De Gea and he doesn’t have doubts about himself.”
SO as you can see, there were doubts then… and there are doubts now.
It seems De Gea has enough in the bank to have been afforded these defences but more and more he is proving costly.
Eight errors from the Spaniard have led directly to goals in the league since the start of last season…
That’s more than any other goalkeeper in the English top flight.
His reputation is being tainted.
At 29-years of age most goalkeepers are at their best but De Gea is looking past his peak.
A blunder, or soft goal at his near post, is not such a surprise any more.
Perhaps the travails of keeping United’s heads above water since Sir Alex Ferguson retired are finally taking their toll.
He was named the club’s Player of the Year three years out of four for a reason – because he simply had too much to do, but did it very well.
He deserved the accolades and the title of the greatest goalkeeper in the world.
Solskjaer claimed he still was as he defended him after allowing Steven Bergwijn’s shot to deflect in off the back of his right hand at Spurs on Friday.
He is not.
His reputation alone may keep him between the sticks at Old Trafford for another season, but the call for Dean Henderson to return from his loan spell at Sheffield United is growing.
The 23-year-old is in top form, De Gea isn’t.
Sir Alex Ferguson had tough decisions to make when he felt legends had past their best – Roy Keane, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Jaap Stam, David Beckham, among many star names who suffered an ignominious exit.
Now it may be time for Solskjaer to open the door for De Gea too.
By: Dave Fraser
Title: The 5 times De Gea was let off for horror blunders proving Man Utd should drop him amid Dean Henderson competition
Sourced From: www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/11936947/man-utd-de-gea-five-blunders-drop-henderson/
Published Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2020 18:29:09 +0000