A Goalkeeping Crisis?

A lots been said and written about United’s goalkeeping blunders and the rotation system for our keepers that Sir Alex has currently adopted. Another poor performance from David De Gea at the weekend has certainly brought that debate to the fore once again so its time for United Calypso to post some thoughts on the situation.

Let me start by saying David De Gea will one day be a world-class goalkeeper that I have absolutely no doubt on. He is a superb shot stopper, his distribution is good and he like any good goalkeeper plays the role of a 5th defender and commands his area well.

However I do say one day because right now his confidence is low, he is not accustomed to the rigours of the English league and from all accounts he is to have eye surgery in the summer. Now is not the time to be throwing the lamb to the slaughter which is exactly what Sir Alex did against Liverpool, a club that like to get crosses into the box targeting their giant centre forward who were always going to test De Gea under the high ball, he flapped at a couple his confidence took another dent and it ended up being a difficult day for the young keeper, one that I believe Sir Alex could have protected him from.

For me its simple, goalkeeper is one position that needs consistency and in Anders Lindegaard we have just that. He has shown himself to be very capable, a good shot stopper, good distribution and has handled English football better than his younger team-mate. Give him the number 1 slot until the end of the season, it’s up to Anders to prove whether he is good enough to keep it for the long-term but it gives the team the consistent last line of defence that it desperately needs. In 34 matches this season we have used 22 combinations and that is just too many, sort the number 1 jersey at least for the season and evaluate again in the close season.

As for young David, firstly I would get him in the Gym and bulk up a bit. If he is going to try to mix it with the likes of Andy Carroll then he needs a bit of meat on those bones. Secondly and this may be contentious but I would loan him out to a championship side where he will learn the rough and tumble of English football but wont have the high pressure situation of playing for Manchester United. Learn how to play under the high ball, learn the rigours of English football and come back in pre season a bigger fitter stronger more capable goalkeeper and then prove you are one of the best around and not just a kid with potential.

Do we have a goalkeeping crisis? simple answer is no we are blessed with 2 very good goalkeepers one of whom could be exceptional but the situation needs managing better in order to get the best out of them both short-term and long-term.

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