OPINION: Time for United to bench bungling De Gea
JOHANNESBURG - Catastrophic blunders by Manchester United’s ace goalkeeper David de Gea are proving costly for the Red Devils and it is time to drop the beleaguered shot-stopper.
This past weekend, the Spanish keeper committed two elementary mistakes that cost the Red Devils a place in the FA Cup final.
United are going through a barren run of three years without silverware. They were looking to equal Arsenal’s record of the most FA Cups triumphs.
Arsenal are currently the most successful team in the history of the FA Cup with 13 titles, while the Red Devils have 12.
They were thus two games away from matching the Gunners.
But the Spanish No 1 had other ideas this past weekend against Chelsea in a blockbuster encounter at Wembley Stadium in London.
Life hasn’t been the same for United since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013. The Red Devils are no longer as dominant as they were under the tutelage of the majestic Scottish manager.
Ferguson was a serial winner. Winning was in his DNA. His record spoke for itself.
After his departure, success has eluded the Manchester giants. David Moyes and Ryan Giggs couldn’t propelled the club to greatness.
Louis van Gaal won the FA Cup in his final season as United boss, while José Mourinho delivered an early success in his tenure by winning the League Cup and Europa League, but failed to kick on.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has shown the potential to restore the United to the pinnacle of English football, but elementary errors by De Gea have halted that progress. It’s been the story of De Gea all season long but he keeps getting away with one mistake after another.
How long will it take for Solskjaer to bench De Gea? Some of his errors have contributed to United dropping crucial points in the Premier League.
They are fighting diligently to break into the top four so that they can qualify for the Uefa Champions League.
The Red Devils are languishing in fifth position with two games to go. They have to beat West Ham United and Leicester City and hope that their rivals will drop points along the way.
If it wasn’t for those blunders from De Gea, they would be been comfortable in the top four.
It may sounds harsh but that’s the reality. In football you are as good as your last game. Period.
Yes, no-one can’t take away the fact that he has been a pillar of strength for the Red Devils for the past five years.
His exploits in that period have seen him winning the Players’ Player of the Season three times. That is remarkable for a goal-minder.
In life you need competition. De Gea knows that he owns that United No 1 jersey, hence he keeps repeating the same mistakes knowing very well that in the next game he will be in goal again.
The last two years have questioned suggestions that he is the best goalkeeper in the world. The Spaniard hasn’t been the same since the Fifa World Cup in Russia in 2018.
Maybe not moving to Real Madrid, who were really interested in his services, hurt him. Obviously he can’t become a bad goalkeeper overnight. He is still among the best but currently he is not on top of his game and therefore he should be dropped. Now, it is time for Sergio Romero to prove himself between the sticks for United.