All it took was one gaffe 25 minutes into Manchester United’s first game back, for the critics to round on David de Gea.
Led by former United captain Roy Keane, the nation’s media pundits turned up the heat on the Spaniard, and called for United to sell him and replace him with Dean Henderson.
But since that error, De Gea’s record in goal has been unblemished. He even recovered well in the Tottenham game to keep United in the game to claim a draw.
Admittedly United have played so well, he has not had much to do in games against Sheffield United and Brighton.
When he has been called upon, he has stepped up. Last night he silenced his critics further with a magnificent diving save to deny Aaron Connolly a second half consolation.
Back to normal
Of course errors against Watford, Everton, and Tottenham have led to concerns over De Gea.
His manager has not flinched. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told the press that De Gea was the best goalkeeper in the world, and his backing appears to have given United’s number one the support he needed, when everybody was writing him off.
So lets show some appreciation for De Gea, whose save has barely warranted a mention in the press since United’s demolition of Brighton.
To praise the Spaniard does not fit the media agenda.
His critics have gone eerily quiet, while there has also been a dip in form for on loan Dean Henderson at Sheffield United.
Henderson conceded a goal to flop Newcastle forward Joelinton, and was then beaten at his near post by Dani Ceballos in the cup tie with Arsenal.
The loanee is no sure bet, any more than De Gea, and that is before you even factor in the adaptation required to withstand the pressure of playing for United, which Henderson would have to adjust to.
De Gea has now kept two clean sheets in a row. And to go further back, seven in his last nine games.
It is the little moments like his diving save at Brighton which go under the radar, which should be celebrated.
The attention given to his error against Spurs and the lack of it to his save at the Amex is disproportionate. Let’s give the Spaniard the plaudits he deserves.
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