The concept of a ‘cup goalkeeper’ has been around for a few seasons now.
When done correctly, it’s a good way for an elite club to keep a second choice of the correct standard happy.
The dilemma for managers comes when the business end of those competitions approaches the temptation to reinstate their number one intensifies.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gave in to that temptation in the three semi-final clashes United have had this season – a two-legged EFL Cup clash with Manchester City and the Wembley meeting with Chelsea.
It didn’t stop United losing to City and backfired badly last month against the Blues.
Reds need no reminding about what happened that day.
De Gea was slow to get to Olivier Giroud’s opener, before letting Mason Mount’s timid shot squirm under him early in the second half.
There were failings elsewhere that day, but Solskjaer’s selection went a long way to costing United a meeting with Arsenal in the final.
Romero deserves it
As United gear up for yet another semi-final, Solskjaer must learn from his mistakes.
At present, Sergio Romero is actually the more reliable goalkeeper.
Making a change would only put the limelight back on de Gea. Romero hasn’t put a foot wrong this season and deserves to keep the gloves on Sunday night.
Romero gives a quiet confidence to the defence. Jose Mourinho played him throughout the successful 2017 Europa League campaign and the Argentine didn’t let him down.
Solskjaer must resist any temptation to bring de Gea back in.
- Bruno Fernandes kept up his high quality even if United teammates did not
- Warning signs over Victor Lindelof have been there for Manchester United
- It’s time for Jesse Lingard to move on, but £30m seems too good to be true
- Luke Shaw calls for Manchester United to sign more players
- Solskjaer praises Donny van de Beek as midfielder sends message to fans
- Manchester United’s season feels over before it has really begun
- Six things learned as Manchester United lose to Crystal Palace
- Confirmed Manchester United line up v Crystal Palace
- Teden Mengi could have early season chance to impress for Manchester United