Is David de Gea's No.1 position under threat?
- De Gea had a game to forget as he made a howler against Watford
Manchester United dropped another three points against a bottom-half team. This time, it was the 20th-placed Watford who had only nine points in their pocket before the commencement of the match. However, a commendable 2-0 victory over Manchester United saw The Hornets seize the same number of points (12) as the 19th-placed side, Norwich City. Although the result of game was nothing new to the United fans as they have seen the same kind of toothless performances over and over against the lower-table teams this season, there was something new which stunned United followers. It was the way United conceded the lead of the match.
United played the game in a slow manner, with no shots on target in the first 45 minutes. Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard got two golden chances where both should've scored, but both attempts were to weak to say the least. While United started to look productive in the second half, they conceded the first goal of the match. The deadlock breaker was conceded in a way that came as a shocker for the fans out there in the away stands.
In the 50th-minute of the match, Will Hughes' delivery was headed on towards Watford's club-record summer singing Ismalia Sarr whose acrobatic volley should have been a routine save for the keeper of the standard of David de Gea. Instead, we saw the ball skid through the Spaniard's gloves and crash into the net. Four minutes later, Troy Deeny extended the lead, sending De Gea to the wrong side and converting a deserving penalty with a bang. Solkjær's men got shown up by another lower-ranked team and faced their fifth defeat of the 2019-20 season.
What did players and manager say about De Gea's mistake?
After witnessing a howler from a very close range, Harry Maguire backed the Spanish international, in the post-match interview with saying,
“David is a top keeper. I have only been here a few months but he is a world-class keeper. We will get round him and on Boxing Day I am sure he will pull off a top save."
The Red Devils boss also supported the Spaniard, stating
"It's one of those things. He's been so good in training and focused. One goal is a mistake and the second is penalty. David's been very confident lately and I don't look at any other way."
What is next for David de Gea?
As per Harry Maguire and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, it doesn't seem like de Gea's reputation as United's no.1 has wilted enough. However, his form could be a matter of concern. They already have another world-class goal-keeper in Sergio Romero on the bench, waiting for his chance. Then there is United's on-loan keeper Dean Henderson who has also done a fascinating work this year, keeping 7 clean-sheets from 17 Premier League appearances for Sheffield United so far. Henderson also has a better success ratio (77.19) in making saves compared to de Gea's (69.86).
If de Gea continues to commit this kind of catastrophic mistakes, which he was obviously guilty of against Arsenal and Barcelona last season, we might see a new no.1 under the bars sooner rather than later.Published 23 Dec 2019, 09:20 IST