Archive for the ‘David De Gea’ Category
With Rio urging twits to behave it was poetic to see Giggs remind us there is no substitute for experience in Champions League
While the kids of Manchester United have taken the Premier League by storm with a breathtaking start to the season, it was fascinating to see Sir Alex Ferguson bank on experience in the Champions League opener at Benfica.
It is United’s 16th consecutive season in the world’s biggest club competition and Fergie has always said there is no substitute for experience on the European stage.
When ‘old man’ Ryan Giggs surged forward three minutes before the interval and hammered home an exquisite strike to make it 1-1, you could imagine United’s 69 year-old boss thinking ‘I got it right again boys!’
Minutes earlier, with United looking second best and trailing to a wonder strike from Cardozo, cyberspace was awash with worried fans urging the boss to make changes.
The lone tweeter urging patience was the injured Rio Ferdinand watching back home who told all the twits to behave.
“No need to panic all of you on here. We have been here before. Re-group and play our football and we’ll make chances,” promised Rio. And what do you know, moments later Giggs had the ball in the back of the net, prompting Ferdinand to quip. “Did he just read my last tweet!”
In all seriousness, United fans should know better than to doubt the gaffer – and no one should doubt the strength of this outstanding squad of players.
Only Wayne Rooney, Patrice Evra and Jonny Evans kept their places in the line up that started against Bolton at the weekend, as Fergie made eight changes.
Anders Lindegaard made a couple of excellent second half saves. But Fergie put the mischief makers in their place when he said: “It was a good performance by Anders. But David De Gea will play on Sunday against Chelsea – nothing has changed.”
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FERGIE’S KIDS HAVE A LOT TO DO TO EMULATE THE BOYS OF 92 BUT THE SKY’S THE LIMIT FOR UNITED’S EXCITING YOUNG STARS
When Alan Hansen famously said in 1995 ‘You’ll win nothing with kids’ Manchester United made the former Liverpool legend eat his words by going on to win the League and Cup double with a team of youngsters that included David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and the Neville brother Gary and Phil.
Sixteen years later Sir Alex Ferguson is threatening to prove him wrong all over again with another crop of outstanding youngsters that could dominate the Premier League for years to come.
Pundits have always argued that United could never again emulate the Boys of 92 who won the FA Youth Cup and laid the foundations for Fergie’s incredible dynasty that is now in its 25th year. But just when the noisy neighbours across the City are threatening to turn wealth into trophies and challenge United’s supremacy, along comes another crop of kids with all the right credentials.
United’s starting X1 in last night’s 3-0 thumping of Tottenham was the second youngest side the Red Devils have fielded in the Premier League, with an average age of only 23 years and one month. Only skipper Patrice Evra was over 30 – and the rest were younger than Ashley Young, 26, and Wayne Rooney who is still only 25.
There has been a proud tradition of giving youth its chance at Old Trafford ever since the Busby Babes back in the 50s. And Fergie, obsessed with tradition, will take great pleasure from last night’s spectacular coming of age of Danny Welbeck (aged 20), Tom Cleverley (22), Chris Smalling (21), Phil Jones (19) and a clean sheet for David de Gea (20).
Six of United’s starting line-up were English last night and that can only be good news for the national team too. Meanwhile, it is going to be fascinating to see the kids growing up at The Theatre of Dreams.
DAVID DE GEA: DODGY HAIR, GREAT KEEPER . . . AND HOW ABOUT SOME RESPECT FOR GREAT GOONER ARSENE WENGER
On the eve of the second weekend of the Premier League season, I wonder how many football fans have been jumping on the band-wagon and disrespecting rookie keeper David De Gea and veteran boss Arsene Wenger?
I make no apologies for stating that no breed is more fickle than the average football fan . . . and the abuse dished out for Manchester United’s 20 year-old goalkeeping protege and Arsenal’s best-ever manager is nothing short of scandalous.
It was great to hear United’s 1968 European Cup winner Alex Stepney spring to the defence of De Gea earlier this week when he declared: “At 20 years of age he can only learn and get better. And when I say get better, he’s blooming brilliant now. He can reach the standards of Peter Schmeichel and Edwin van der Sar.”
The young Spaniard may have gifted Manchester City a couple of soft goals in the Community Shield at Wembley and then allowed a weak shot to go under his body in his Premier League debut at West Brom. But United won both matches and writing off the kid who cost £18 million after one week is pure madness.
Every goalkeeper who ever played has dropped a clanger or two. But it’s how you come back after you make mistakes that separates the ones with potential from the greats. Chris Smalling spoke for everyone at United today when he said: “He has trained really well this week. You can see his agility and kicking. He will be a great goalkeeper for us.”
Personally, I have no doubt that De Gea will prove to be one of the world’s top goalkeepers. I just wish he would do the decent thing and get rid of that dodgy facial hair.
Meanwhile, the criticism Arsene Wenger has been getting at Arsenal is even more ridiculous. The departure of Cesc Fabregas and the immenent loss of Sami Nasri, following six trophy-less seasons has put the Gunners boss under increasing pressure from supporters. But the Frenchmen who has worked miracles and turned ‘boring, boring Arsenal’ into one of Europe’s most attractive teams deserves more respect.
David Dein, the man who took Wenger to North London in 1996 and urges fans to stand by their man, told the BBC: “People talk about ‘Has his time finished at the club?’ That’s a very dangerous thing to say because it’s easy to get rid of people and then what?
“People talk about buying players. Well, you’ve got to get players who are better than the ones you’ve got at the moment.”
He added: “I don’t know why he hasn’t bought at the moment, only time will tell. Maybe he thinks that this current squad has got the ability to win trophies. Only time will tell whether he’s right or wrong but I think it’s very early to say, ‘He’s lost the plot.’ He hasn’t lost the plot.”
Manchester United fans used to give Arsene Wenger more stick than anyone – but he won a lot of new fans at Old Trafford when he was sent off for kicking a plastic bottle and ended up on the roof of the dugout. Pure class from Arsenal’s living legend.
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