This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Speaking to Sky Sports, Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea has insisted he is “happy” with his performances last season.
The Spain international had a below-par campaign by his standards last term, making four errors that directly led to goals in the Premier League – a figure that is more than his five previous seasons put together.
Despite the apparent drop in form, De Gea remained bullish about his displays, and suggested people spend too much time focusing on the closing stages of the campaign.
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He said: “I think people, when they look back on last season, they are thinking about the last few months. If you focus on the season as a whole and, in particular, the first seven months of that season I was quite happy with my form.
“You can say the contract is there in the background – it’s not even in the back of your mind – that’s put to one side. The day-to-day training, going out on the pitch, that’s what you’re focusing on – and helping the team, of course. Talking about the odd mistake, form can come and go with any player, but you are more under the microscope when you’re a goalkeeper. It’s not easy to keep up very high standards.”
Having signed a bumper new deal after a campaign that objectively speaking was one of the worst in his United career, De Gea must be rubbing his hands with glee. The Spaniard remains the Red Devils’ undisputed number one, and the lack of competition undoubtedly had an effect on his performances last year.
This season, the 28-year-old cost his side a point by letting in a soft winning goal from Crystal Palace’s Patrick van Aanholt at Old Trafford. What the goalkeeper needs to do – particularly after putting pen to paper on a mammoth new contract – is simply do his talking on the pitch.
The fact he wasn’t able to acknowledge his poor displays last season is concerning. Is it a case of egotism? Blind belief? Whatever the case, De Gea needs to put up or shut up for United this year.