Manchester United Squad Review 2012-13 Part IBy: Ian | May 27th, 2013
David De Gea
Summary: Possibly the position most questioned upon entering the 2012-2013 season, however it is safe to say De Gea has defied critics in the most defiant way. Despite a shaky first season, that nevertheless saw the Spaniard come top of the shots-to-saves chart of any keeper in the league at 77.9, De Gea has made the number 1 position his own after a previous campaign of rotation with Anders Lindegaard. It is important to remember that his actual shot stopping was never questioned, more attention was brought to his slight build, his decision making – particularly in situations of high ball and his youth for such a important position. In response, De Gea has clearly put in the physical work, which has helped considerably in the command he holds over his own area, and although there have still been a few occasions of worry, it is nowhere near that of last season and excusable for a player of only 22 years of age. Particularly impressive in important matches, notably against Madrid in the Champions League and against Mata in the FA Cup. He still has much to learn but has made remarkable progress in a short space of team, culminating in his presence in the PFA Team of the year, as voted for by fellow professionals. A remarkable turnaround in circumstance, with even more potential.
Verdict: Absolutely no change. The number 1 position is his. May be a little upset that goalkeeping coach, Eric Steele, who has worked so closely with De Gea, has now left.
Season Score: 9
Summary: A limited campaign for the Dane. Achieved a run of games in November, due to dentistry issues with De Gea. The occasion culminated in a memorable (though perhaps not for the best reasons) encounter with Reading, where three goals were conceded in relatively quick succession. This saw Lindegaard receive some heavy criticism, especially regarding his authority in his penalty area. Has sat on the bench pretty much since then, managing just one more appearance before the run in, achieving more column inches over an admirable highlighting of the issue of gay football players. Returned to the squad from a promise of completing ten games, Lindegaard didn’t win many new plaudits and performed poorly in Sir Alex’s crazy finale, the 5-5 with West Brom. Has expressed the view that he did not come to Old Trafford to test out the world-class facilities, including the Michael-Owen-endorsed Old Trafford bench arse warmer, so has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford; West Ham has been mentioned as a possible destination. In any case, if looking at ‘tinkering’, this is perhaps one of the more likely areas for change. An alteration in second-choice goalkeeper will hardly be a transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo standards, but an alternative is an upgrade for third-choice keeper Ben Amos.
Verdict: Relatively likely to leave. If he stays, unlikely to be able to change his predicament, and at 29, may look elsewhere for playing opportunities.
Season Score: 3
Part 2 soon: Defence.