First things first, go and buy your significant other a present right now. It may not be a birthday, or an anniversary and it’s not Christmas yet I know. Go and do it for the hell of it. Don’t wait for a pre-ordained date in the calendar to make him or her feel so special, don’t wait until you’ve had a falling out and you don’t even know what you’re supposed to have done. And definitely don’t wait until he or she comes back from work late, a couple of sheets to the wind, and starts saying what a laugh that new guy or girl is who’s joined their department. When you’re arguing over who owns the Matt Cardle CD (hopefully it’s theirs and not yours) as they collect their stuff it’s too late, go and get them a present now!
Anyway, to United! A few years ago, when I watched United lose to Liverpool in an FA Cup Fourth Round tie, the pain of the United goalkeeping situation was possibly stronger than that of the defeat itself. Being in the company of a scouser wasn’t ideal either but sometimes you can’t help who your mates are. As I finished my pint and decided which pub we should go to for the next miserable pint, the scouser turned to me and said, “You watch, Fergie will have him quietly shipped off back to Spain in the summer for a million quid.”
David De Gea was having trouble for sure at that time and my post-watershed reply to my “mate” was said more in defiance than belief that he was wrong. The No 1 shirt has been a real problem for us in the past and it could be argued that had De Gea been a lesser man he might have crumbled and departed. However, as shown by our article here, as well as the news that he has just been named PFA Player of the Month for November, the Spaniard has proved just how strong he really is. Unfortunately, with that there is the danger that the situation has been stood on its head – we’re in very Real danger, excuse the pun, of losing him, rather than shipping him out.
David Beckham, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Cristiano Ronaldo have all taken the path to the Bernabeu before (albeit not all in the same circumstances) and Real Madrid rightly believe they can run roughshod over us and take who they want when the time comes. Tottenham Hotspur at least extracted every last cent they could over the Gareth Bale deal but that’s not something that we’ve ever been good at and the Ed Woodward regime gives me no confidence that our strategy will change. Even if we got a decent fee there aren’t many likely candidates out there, although I will look at what there is in tomorrow’s piece. We can’t all do a Chelsea and have Petr Cech for over a decade and then make the seamless switch to Thibaut Courtois. For whatever reason we have a history of either buying duds (you know who I mean here) or turning decent ‘keepers like Howard and Foster into jelly.
Iker Casillas would have been a great signing for us in his prime, in the unlikely event that we could have got him, but it is his decline now which we should be worried about. It may not happen immediately, but sooner or later Real Madrid will look to safeguard their future between the sticks and it may be at our expense. If David De Gea fancies a move to Spain, as some of those mentioned above did, then of course there’s not a lot that we can do. Sadly we have no history of being able to repel Madrid’s advances but while he’s ours let’s show him all the love we can.
We need to let him know now what he means to us before the phone call from +34 91 comes. And you never know, when Real Madrid do get in touch, he might just think back to the OT crowd chanting his name, he might think back to the ‘David We Love You’ flyby that surely someone must arrange, he might think of all the good times past, and the good times to come, or that box of chocolates he received by surprise one cold December evening. And maybe, maybe, he might just tell his courters to do one and stay with us.