Manchester United can no longer rely on goalkeeper David De Gea as he is no longer the player he once was, according to Gary Neville. The former United right-back and captain and now Sky Sports pundit is worried about the form of the Spanish goalkeeper after yet another error led to an opposition goal in the 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur.
Spurs player, Steven Bergwijn’s hit his near post shot which De Gea tried to punch clear, the ball hitting the back of the net instead. At the time it happened, former United midfielder and captain, Roy Keane was not best please, suggesting that he would be ‘throwing punches‘, which was just the way Keane was. He even said De Gea should ‘get a taxi home’.
It is worrying seeing De Gea struggle with form, especially at a time whereby United needed a strong pair of hands in goal and seeing this mistake, of which there has been three of them so far this season, is not what we want to see. That said though, De Gea has put in a few brilliant performances, so just needs consistency in the right direction.
Neville was kinder that Keane in his discontent to De Gea’s fall from grace but is just as worried. The player will be seeking to win the praise of his teammates, the manager and the supporters as United ready themselves for a visit from Sheffield United on Wednesday evening where another mistake will be costly. Neville speaking on his podcast, said:
“He was the one player United could rely on for the last four years but he’s not the same.
“He hasn’t been the same for some time. When form drops for six months it’s a blip but when it goes on for a year you start to worry.
“When it goes over two years it becomes more permanent. That is now a fair representation of what De Gea is as he’s making lots of mistakes.
“Ones he would never make – he was always somebody you could completely rely on.
“It can only be a confidence thing. The arms, legs and body are the same – it’s got to be the mind.
“The reception he’s got in Spain has affected him. He’s even been booed by Spanish fans when he’s wearing the Spanish shirt.
“In the World Cup in 2018 he really struggled and from that he’s doubted himself. Mentally he’s not quite the same.”
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have a big decision on his hands this summer with the form of on loan goalkeeper Dean Henderson, who is not eligible to play against United on Wednesday, flying high at the Blades and De Gea performing so badly, compared to his former self. Could this be the beginning or the end, or the end of the beginning?