Can someone please explain De Gea’s overnight decline?

Tom Van Persie

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United fans told themselves he was the best keeper in the world just because he used to be the only hopeful United player in a struggling outside-of-top-4 team a few years ago. Among other elite players (Spanish NT) he looked dodgy even in his prime.

There are many "big fish in small pond" type of players that look great among average teammates and in non-challenging environments but nothing special once they get a move to elite teams that are challenging. That's why we don't prematurely call the MVP of a relegation candidate that avoided relegation thanks to that one player "best in the world" either.
Most oppo fans and pundits were saying it because it was true.
 

Josep Dowling

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I said last season we should have cashed in rather than giving him a bumper contract. He’s been costing us points for the last 3 seasons. The amount of goals we have conceded this season from last minute corners and set pieces. A commanding keeper would come out and catch the ball.
 

TMDaines

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Carragher was spot on about Solskjaer needing to give Henderson a run. It would be farcical to get to the end of the season, have even more confirmation that De Gea is not good enough, but not know whether Henderson could be our #1 next season.
 

Foxbatt

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Who is the goal keeping coach at United now? Keepers will go for the high balls if they have cover on the goal line. We never seem to do that. I would say it's a coaching issue plus the two CBs in front of him.
 

SadlerMUFC

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Who is the goal keeping coach at United now? Keepers will go for the high balls if they have cover on the goal line. We never seem to do that. I would say it's a coaching issue plus the two CBs in front of him.
What are you talking about? I"ve played in goal most of my life and I have never said to myself "Ok, I have cover so I can go punch that now". You just do it. Has nothing to do with "whether or not you have cover"... :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

Maticmaker

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The two season between 2017-19 was probably David's 'highwater mark' in terms of his consistency.

De Gea has always been a good shot-stopper and the saves with his legs are reminiscent of Pat Jennings (for those old enough to remember) at his best; however, he has always had an uneasy relationship, or maybe uncertain relationship with his CB's. David's reluctance to come off his line has always been something of an 'Achilles heel' and confused many of his back four defenders and has at times been ruthlessly exploited by opposition 'bovver-boys' (the two Kevin's, Davies and Nolan come to mind).
The 'out and out' mistakes De Gea made have been few and far between, until relatively recently, but now at least one every game, is losing us points, time for 'Deano' to get his chance, Ole mustn't try to dodge this dilemma, not in anyone's interest, players, manager, club and fans to try to gloss over.
 

Foxbatt

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What are you talking about? I"ve played in goal most of my life and I have never said to myself "Ok, I have cover so I can go punch that now". You just do it. Has nothing to do with "whether or not you have cover"... :lol: :lol: :lol:
I don't know at which level you have played. Certainly my manager was at a later stage, coach of a club that played regular CL football. A regular champions at a decent footballing country. I am not talking of the first round. He would organise the defense in such a way that there is always cover for the keeper in free kicks or corners so he can come out. He gets the keeper to organise his defense.
You don't seem to understand that the first priority is not to concede the goal. No matter what.
 

SeanyC

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The real question is why can’t he command is box and organise the 2 CB plebs in front of him??
 

Sparky_Hughes

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Most oppo fans and pundits were saying it because it was true.
He has never been the best goalkeeper in the world, not once. best shot stopper, absolutely, but never the best keeper. He has always been timid, poor in the air, had little to know organisation of his back line and had suspect distribution.
 

Foxbatt

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He has never been the best goalkeeper in the world, not once. best shot stopper, absolutely, but never the best keeper. He has always been timid, poor in the air, had little to know organisation of his back line and had suspect distribution.
Agree with you and helped by a decent defense. Once you take that away it's showing now.
 

Tom Van Persie

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He has never been the best goalkeeper in the world, not once. best shot stopper, absolutely, but never the best keeper. He has always been timid, poor in the air, had little to know organisation of his back line and had suspect distribution.
I disagree. There was a time where United fans were questioning if he was our greatest GK. His distribution improved a lot under Frans Hoek and yes he was never a commanding GK but whatever weaknesses he had he made up for with incredible saves. There were times when he single-handedly won us games. Arsenal away under Mourinho and Everton at home early in van Gaal's reign spring to mind.

And think about some of the defences he's had in front of him over the years. In LvG's second season, I believe we had one of the best defensive records in Europe and we had Smalling and Blind at the back. He deserved to win more here and it's a shame to see him decline. The contract renewal was obviously a mistake from the club.
 

Foxbatt

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I disagree. There was a time where United fans were questioning if he was our greatest GK. His distribution improved a lot under Frans Hoek and yes he was never a commanding GK but whatever weaknesses he had he made up for with incredible saves. There were times when he single-handedly won us games. Arsenal away under Mourinho and Everton at home early in van Gaal's reign spring to mind.

And think about some of the defences he's had in front of him over the years. In LvG's second season, I believe we had one of the best defensive records in Europe and we had Smalling and Blind at the back. He deserved to win more here and it's a shame to see him decline. The contract renewal was obviously a mistake from the club.
Could it be that Smalling and Blind were better than Lindelof and Maguire?
 

James Peril

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He peaked early - and it’s damn hard to maintain that level for 15 years if the team isn’t challenging. Some goalkeepers turn up when they’re 30, he was barely 22 or something when he was regarded world-class. One thing is motivation for staying a level above and developing, another thing is the lack of motivation playing for a team and manager that is not good enough to challenge. I have no doubt in my mind that he would still be regarded top, top class had he left United for Real Madrid a few years ago - with the trophies and desire that followed.

Saying all that, he is still a very good goalkeeper, more than good enough for this team, much better than Henderson and still capable of world-class saves/displays. He just isn’t.... out of this world anymore, at least not consistently. Who knows if «it» will return, I don’t think so, he just doesn’t seem that personally invested...
 

LoneStar

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It hasn't been overnight, his decline has been pretty steady to be honest. Check out his stats for the last four years. (Ranking among first choice PL goalkeepers only, out of 20)

2017-20182018-20192019-20202020-2021
Shot Stopping (PSxG-GA)2nd8th10th15th
Crosses collected16th17th16th19th
Sweeping (coming out early)14th18th17th17th
Errors leading to goals04 (3rd most)3 (3rd most)1 (Joint 5th)


De Gea is still able to pull off outstanding saves that are good for YouTube and easy to talk about in post-match. Its similar for his mistakes, when they happen they tend to stand out. As a result, arguments about De Gea tend to focus on "this amazing save" vs "that terrible mistake" with fans minutely dissecting each to try and prove a point. In truth the occasional outstanding save or terrible howler are not the real issue.

Three or four mistakes a season might seem bad, but you can live with them if a goalkeeper is otherwise outstanding. Nick Pope for example has made more mistakes leading to goals than De Gea (2 vs 1). But Nick Pope is the best shot stopper, best cross taker and 2nd best sweeper in the country. Based on xG, he's saved Burnley 8 goals that De Gea would have conceded. So mistakes can be a red herring when looking at a goalie. The real issue is that his fundamentals have gone to pot. So far this season, De Gea is among the worst keepers in the league on the basics.

This hasn't happened overnight. All that's really happened is that the fans have kind of accepted that De Gea is world class from back when he was, so they only really question that when high profile mistakes come along. Then when a good performance comes along, they tend to think that the mistakes must have been a fluke and he's back to normal. Slowly though, fans have noticed that the high profile saves seem to happen less and less, and begun to look at his performances more closely. And when they've looked at those performances, they're realised there's a bigger problem there than just the odd howler or two.
Nice analysis, quite shocking that he's beyond 10th rank for most things. Highest paid keeper in the world... Not that that's his fault, but still. Don't think we'd be able to offload him easily as well.

I think it's best for everyone involved if we drop him for a month and play Henderson instead. Maybe that would motivate him and help him focus, if not, well we would know what to do.
 

Raredaredevil

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He peaked early - and it’s damn hard to maintain that level for 15 years if the team isn’t challenging. Some goalkeepers turn up when they’re 30, he was barely 22 or something when he was regarded world-class. One thing is motivation for staying a level above and developing, another thing is the lack of motivation playing for a team and manager that is not good enough to challenge. I have no doubt in my mind that he would still be regarded top, top class had he left United for Real Madrid a few years ago - with the trophies and desire that followed.

Saying all that, he is still a very good goalkeeper, more than good enough for this team, much better than Henderson and still capable of world-class saves/displays. He just isn’t.... out of this world anymore, at least not consistently. Who knows if «it» will return, I don’t think so, he just doesn’t seem that personally invested...
Damn he sounds like the Michael Owen of goalkeepers. A bit harsh with this comparison considering he is rarely injured and longevity at the top. I don't know if he was even that world-class of a goalkeeper to begin with. He was regarded as one of the best goalkeepers at that time due to his ridiculous saves but surely one of the hallmarks of being a top top goalkeeper is to have a good command, a leader in the penalty area and organize his defense well, something I never felt from him. Look at Van Der Sar and Schmeichel.
 

The Brown Bull

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He's had a basket case of a defence & midfield in front of him for most of his United career. That's probably had a bit to do with it.
 

Striker10

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i look at his coaching before anything else. I think our 7 year sleeps effected him and now we are improving he's struggling to match that. Also i think he don't trust the defense. People talk of reflexes but he still has them. I only watch on tv and defenders make me nervous. We should look for a new coach who can refocus and get De Gea bk to basics. He also should accept officials wont protect him and toughen up in the gym
 

davidmichael

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De Gea is basically the same as Casillas was, an outrageous shot stopper who has no other world class attributes and once the reflexes went on the decline it was rapid but the difference is Real are ruthless with zero sentiment (see Ronaldo and Raul as well as Casillas) and get rid whereas we hang on (see Rooney) until it’s so obvious Stevie Wonder in a blacked out basement could see the problem.
 

thesheriffjw

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Just seen some sky stats on ddg

Last 7 PL shots from inside the box have resulted in 5 goals.

says it all

time for hendersons chance
 

Shane88

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Another cock-up. That wasn't a powerful shot and it wasn't in the corner.

Scared of hitting the post, another example of him pussying out.
 

sewey89

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That’s a shit header from Maguire... But it’s a free header on the 6 yard box when he’s under the ball.

Why isn’t de gea catching that and taking all the pressure off him?
 

Kag

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He’s a muppet. A couple of camera saves that weren’t at all difficult and a relentless refusal to come out and catch crosses which inevitably plays a part in the goal (expect some to defend this but hey ho). Don’t forget the obligatory pass along the floor straight to the attacker outside the box to boot. He’s good for this every couple of games, I’d suggest?

Ole is making the same mistakes that Van Gaal made with his handling of Rooney. We could all see it then and we can all see it now.
 

Cutch

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That’s a shit header from Maguire... But it’s a free header on the 6 yard box when he’s under the ball.

Why isn’t de gea catching that and taking all the pressure off him?
Yeah just seen the replay and Maguire was about 4 yards out heading quite a slow lofted cross out. Surely a proactive keeper could be out and claiming that
 

spiriticon

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Is it really that hard to catch a ball slowly dropping down the air? I mean.... Isn't that a basic skill you learn at 7 years old as a keeper?
 

Ace of Spades

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That’s a shit header from Maguire... But it’s a free header on the 6 yard box when he’s under the ball.

Why isn’t de gea catching that and taking all the pressure off him?
This, a loopy ball that is there for the keeper to catch it and this guy is stuck on his line once again.
 

NinjaFletch

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That’s a shit header from Maguire... But it’s a free header on the 6 yard box when he’s under the ball.

Why isn’t de gea catching that and taking all the pressure off him?
Or catching the first shot which is hit straight at him rather than tipping it over for a corner, or saving the shot after Maguire's header.

3 atrocious bits of goalkeeping in the space of a minute to cost us a goal. Again.

It's not even De Gea's fault anymore, he's been shit for three seasons. It's dogshit management not to have sorted the problem out.
 

rooney2009

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What has happened to him
I used to love him
It’s time to give Henderson a chance as I’m afraid that David may have peaked as a keeper
 

sewey89

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Henderson 100% catches it. The shot was more difficult, it came up off the floor at a difficult height, but the refusal to come off his line costs us time and time again.
 

Welbeckham

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Should’ve done better for the goal. Should’ve caught the shot that resulted in corner that lead to goal btw. Should’ve caught the high ball early on. Making easy saves look hard is the only thing he’s capable of.
 

LJJT

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Agree with all saying keeper should be collecting those crosses. A keeper should be demanding and collecting most crosses in 6 yard box. DDG is one of the route causes of the shit defence as they drop deep to protect him. DDG sticks to his line like glue it’s not good enough any more sorry
 

padzilla

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It's just depressing to watch Ole to continue to bottle it and keep picking De Gea.
 

Welbeckham

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He nearly cost Ole top 4 last season but Ole kept faith with him, he’s a massive massive problem again.
Can’t believe he always keeps his spot regardless.
He cost him in every single cup competition. And he almost single-handedly cost the top four in 2019, not to mention his cock-ups against Barcelona that season.
 

Morpheus 7

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He is a keeper based on lightning reflexs and shot stopping. He never was commanding or great with distribution. This was never going to get better with time, especially in prem.
 

GMoore23

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He’s a muppet. A couple of camera saves that weren’t at all difficult and a relentless refusal to come out and catch crosses which inevitably plays a part in the goal (expect some to defend this but hey ho). Don’t forget the obligatory pass along the floor straight to the attacker outside the box to boot. He’s good for this every couple of games, I’d suggest?

Ole is making the same mistakes that Van Gaal made with his handling of Rooney. We could all see it then and we can all see it now.
This is becoming a trademark of his, so annoying.
 

Gator Nate

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Henderson 100% catches it. The shot was more difficult, it came up off the floor at a difficult height, but the refusal to come off his line costs us time and time again.
Or at least punches it out 25 yards rather than let Maguire put his head on it in the first place (which we've seen him do multiple times), spreading out the field and giving the midfield a chance at getting the ball back.

Watching the replay on it, DDG should have stopped that shot.

For what Ole wants to do from the back, he needs Henderson out there. Dean has all the qualities that we know David lacks - command of the box, good distribution, and no fear of coming off the line.
 

RashyForPM

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Could it be that Smalling and Blind were better than Lindelof and Maguire?
That isn’t the only factor. The way LvG set us up was perfect for goalkeepers, tedious and unbelievably cautious. Now, Ole wants us to play a high line, press high and play the ball around much quicker with fewer touches. It feels like this exposes De Gea more, as our games now involve more chances for both us and the opposition. For a declining keeper, this isn’t really ideal.

But yeah, Blind and Smalling are unquestionably better than Maguire and Lindelof.