Is David De Gea’s time now up at Manchester United as the club’s number one goalkeeper?

He has been Manchester United’s number one goalkeeper for a number of years and is seen as one of the best goalkeepers in Europe, but David De Gea is no longer at his best and is regarded as a player who still has that one big error in him. For sure, he has saved the team on a regular basis during the side’s horrible decline, though, he is simply not doing enough at this moment of time.

Over the last two seasons, the Spaniard has conceded seven huge mistakes that has led directly to a goal in the league, which is the same amount as Bernd Leno, and one less than both Jordan Pickford and Martin Dubravka have conceded, who are nowhere near the level or quality of the 29-year-old.

De Gea’s unfortunate downfall had began at around the 2018 World Cup, where his individual mistakes and lack of leadership in his own penalty box had cost him severely and most importantly for his country, as they were kicked out of competition in the Round of 16 by Russia. Including all the penalties he faced, he only managed to save one of the 11 shots he faced on target. Not only that, Kepa Arrizabalaga is now preferred over him by the national coach Luis Enrique, as the former’s passing ability is superior and more suitable to Spain’s style of play when compared to the latter.

Focusing back to De Gea and his situation at Old Trafford, there are a lot of mixed feelings and opinions on the 29-year-old between the Manchester United supporters, as some will believe he is the most overprotected player at the club whilst others will feel he still one of the best shot-stoppers in Europe but is being constantly let down by the inconsistent defenders in front of him.

The former Atletico Madrid goalkeeper was once upon a time, seen as an influential individual that can help the team by saving the Red Devils 10 to 12 points a season. However, when you look back at the nine seasons David De Gea has had at Old Trafford, you could argue that he has had three to four top notch campaigns in goal, while the rest of the time, he has been poor and unconvincing.

Now, he is facing a lot of high pressure and he is not the type of football player to overcome big expectations, as both Dean Henderson and Sergio Romero are waiting patiently to try and become United’s number one goalkeeper. Solskjaer has been calm regarding to the goalkeeping situation and is expected to give the Spaniard his final chance, who will have to up his game to make it count.

Dean Henderson had spent the 2019/20 season on loan at Sheffield United, where he proved to be an important and consistent player for the Blades, who went on to finishing in 9th place under Chris Wilder. The Old Trafford faithful and their opinions on the 23-year-old is straight down the middle, as half of them feel he is in need of more Premier League experience before he become a regular starter at Manchester United, whilst the other half believe that he is ready to takeover from De Gea.

Overall, the goalkeeping dilemma is a win-win situation for Manchester United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, as they will either experience one of the following; a short term revival from David De Gea or Dean Henderson stepping up to the big occasion and becoming the club’s number one goalkeeper for the next five to ten years. In the end, the club will not be required to spend any time in the transfer market for a goalkeeper, and can focus on the other areas, such as the defence or midfield.

Who will be Man Utd’s number 1 next season?

David de Gea has just completed his ninth consecutive season as Manchester United’s first choice goalkeeper.

The Spaniard has won the club’s Player of the Year award on four separate occasions, the Premier League Golden Glove award for most clean sheets for the 2017-18 season, and been named in the PFA Team of the Year five times.

However, his performances have dropped off incredibly over the past two seasons that many fans were calling for his head before the end of this recently finished campaign.

The 29-year-old has made numerous errors leading to opposition goals during the past two seasons and will face stiff competition next month to earn his right as Manchester United’s number one for their season opener.

That is because Dean Henderson has confirmed he will not be extending his stay at Sheffield United beyond this season.

The Englishman has been on loan at Bramall Lane for the past two seasons, helping the Blades gain a surprise promotion to the Premier League in 2018-19 and then playing a key role in their surprise top half finish.

Henderson confirmed his departure from Sheffield United on Twitter earlier today:

It is up to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to decide whether to stick with David de Gea or give Dean Henderson a chance when the new top flight campaign starts on 12 September.

Continue reading

Manchester United have just kissed goodbye to Champions League football next season


Manchester United could only draw 1-1 against Chelsea and that should be the final nail in their coffin of what has been a miserable season for the Red Devils.

It started off in pre season when Jose Mourinho seemingly moaned about everything from missing out on transfers, not feeling the support of the board and not having all of his players on their American tour, and it has never really let up.

Yes his sacking was needed even if by and large certain players were not pulling their weight- a new a manager had to step in and at first Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looked like that man. The team went the next 3 months unbeaten and flirted with the top 4 when in December it looked impossible.

Confidence cannot be underestimated and the happiness and let’s face it love that the Norwegian brought to the club even extended outside of the Premier League when they stunned PSG in Paris to knock them out, with some luck, in the Champions League. And then it all went wrong.

Now in the quarter finals of the Champions League and top 4 of the Premier League, United gave Solskjaer the job full time, and the results started to go stale. Wolves knocked them out of the FA Cup and Barcelona made light work of them in the Champions League. Wolves also beat United in the league, something was wrong and the mood in the camp was back to five months ago.

This was brought to a head when Everton slaughtered United 4-0 and then they lost the derby to Manchester City. This Chelsea match was seen as the final roll of the dice and even though ex Chelsea player Juan Mata put his side in front, Chelsea struck back to earn a draw.

United have won just 1 game in their past five and people are searching for scapegoats. This is unfair of course, because surely you win and lose and draw as a team. However the spotlight has been shone on two players. Romelu Lukaku who rarely scores now and looks unfit and David De Gea one of the best goal keepers in Europe who has been poor in the clubs last four games. De Gea isn’t just having bad games, he is making blunder upon blunder which is completely unlike him, but his performances are mirroring United’s season.

The Draw against Chelsea will most probably mean United will not be playing Champions League football next season. With 2 games to go Tottenham are 5 points clear of United and home and dry. Chelsea are 3 points. It just seems too far a stretch to come back from now.

United will play Huddersfield next and that should be 3 points and Cardiff could make it two wins. But it seems too much to ask to see both Chelsea and Arsenal simply collapse in their final two games. Having said that Arsenal are experiencing their worst form of the season and much like United have imploded at the final jump.

One thing for United is sure- none of this latest form should be blamed on Solskjaer- the Norwegian needs a summer transfer window and a full season to be judged properly.

Though it is clear that the roses have been tossed in the bin, and the gloves are off.

This weekend’s predicted lineups for all EPL games

EPL Logo

With just a couple of weeks left in this Premier League season, it’s time for you to start making that final fantasy EPL push up the table.

Here are our predicted lineups for those EPL fixtures so have a read in preparation for another EPL fantasy football round.

Liverpool v Huddersfield Town

Liverpool XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Keita, Salah, Firmino, Mane

Huddersfield XI: Lossl, Smith, Schindler, Kongolo, Durm, Hadergjonaj, Mooy, Stankovic, Bacuna, Lowe, Mounie Continue reading

EPL Game of the Weekend – Everton vs Man Utd


The late Jerry Reed once released a song entitled “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot” – and no truer words could possibly be spoken about Marco Silva’s Everton of late. Just a few weeks ago, Silva’s position at the club seemed questionable, and the Toffees faced a nightmare run of home fixtures against Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd – not the type of fixture list a manager under pressure would be hoping to see! Having now emerged from that run of games with three wins and one draw – and without conceding a single goal in the process – Everton fans will be delighted with the football their team has been playing against some of England’s top teams. Everton have been the club of the week several times in the last month or so, and beat Man Utd 4-0 this weekend.

Continue reading

How Barcelona will beat Man Utd

Screenshot 2019-04-04 at 17.31.29

They might be favourites to win the tie over two legs, but there’s no way that Barcelona will be taking Manchester United lightly, particularly at Old Trafford.

Playing at the Camp Nou for the second leg may seem to afford the Catalans an advantage of sorts, but Ernesto Valverde and his team will want to make that a formality.

In order to do so, they’ll need to take the game to the Red Devils and quieten the expected 75,000 crowd.

But just how are they going to manage it?

Continue reading

How many Manchester United players would get in Manchester City’s matchday squad?

Jose Mourinho Paul Pogba

One of the biggest matches of the 2018-19 Premier League season so far takes place on Sunday when Manchester United make the short trip to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City.

Jose Mourinho’s United have had a resurgence of late but their tally of 20 points from 11 games is still below expectations, while Pep Guardiola’s table-topping City have continued their fine form from last season and remain unbeaten in the league.

Every time two of the Premier League’s elite go head-to-head, you can expect to see people comparing the teams by putting together a combined XI from both squads.

Continue reading

How many Manchester United players have actually improved under Jose Mourinho?

Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho’s third-season crisis has kicked into gear extra early in 2018-19, with Manchester United currently sitting 10th in the Premier League table after losing three of their first seven games of the new campaign.

The club’s below-par start to the season, which has included defeats against Brighton, Tottenham and West Ham, as well as a League Cup exit on penalties to Derby, has led to intense speculation about Mourinho’s future at Old Trafford.

Continue reading

David De Gea deserves more appreciation and gratitude from Manchester United


Unlike the old days under Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United do not have a large number of world-class players within the squad compared to the likes Barcelona, Juventus, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain. However, if there is one individual within Jose Mourinho’s team that stands out the most and is always there for when his side need him the most, its goalkeeper David De Gea.

The Spaniard has been at Old Trafford for seven years and counting. And in that time, he has gone from a player with huge prospect and potential to one of the best goalkeepers within the world. Without his brilliance between the goalposts, it is more than fair to say that the side would struggle to finish in the top four of the Premier League as well as seriously challenge in any competition.

Despite his rise from being an error prone goalkeeper to one of the best shot-stoppers in Europe, his early days at the club were moments to forget for De Gea and the Manchester United supporters, as he was seen as a weak individual when up against physical strikers that were dominant in the air. He started to lose confidence in himself and it unfortunately led to a number of fans turning on him.

In his second season at the club, he started to work harder off the pitch in terms of improving his physicality and strength which allowed him to become effective and superior in the air. On top of that, he ended the 2012/13 campaign in incredible fashion as he played a crucial role in the side winning their 20th English league title whilst being nominated as the Goalkeeper of the Season.

Furthermore, the 27-year-old finished the same season on 11 clean sheets and 84 saves produced in 28 league appearances, clearly showing that he was consistently there in the right place and at the right time. Although the end of the campaign was more focused towards the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson and how Manchester United cope, the rise of De Gea was slept on for quite a while.

The new and short era under the likes of David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal did not end well, as both managers did not have the mindset and the style of play that was required to manage of one of the most successful clubs in England and Europe. Also, if it was not for the influence and presence of the former Atletico Madrid goalkeeper in net, then the club would have suffered an unfortunate decline.

Not only that, but De Gea was seconds away from joining Real Madrid in the summer of 2015, when all of a sudden the paperwork was not submitted before the transfer window had closed due to a fax machine that was playing up at a surprising time. However, since that moment, the Manchester United supporters had learnt to cherish and treasure the devotion and loyalty of the player.

Looking back at the last couple of years, the defence and most importantly the club have been more or less saved by the brilliance of the Spaniard, someone who has never complained about the managerial changes that happened in the past or asked about the direction of which way the club is heading. One simply cannot imagine the situation of the club without Spain’s number one in goal.

Overall, David De Gea has been at the club through thick and thin. His dominant displays on the pitch alongside his pure loyalty and professionalism off it should be rewarded with a huge wage rise that allows him to be paid a figure similar to what the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Paul Pogba earns.

Lucas and Spurs Provide a Feast For Fantasy Managers


Our match of the weekend goes to a weekday game at Old Trafford which featured Tottenham Hotspur slipping into an interesting dimension of youthful spirit and togetherness waltzing with mature English grit and determination that has many Lillywhite loyalists dismissing the perception of a two-legged title race. A back four of Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, and Rose did the job as well as was needed, keeping a clean sheet away from home and earning a boatload of points between them.

Further up in the midfield, buyers of Christian Eriksen will rejoice as he puts some much needed returns on the board, assisting the first of Lucas Moura’s goals. Dembele rejoined the starting 11, seeing his stock increase with the first clean sheet of Spur’s season. Elsewhere,  Dele Alli’s number of goal celebration finger displays has now outpaced his goal tally, even though he had a few chances of his own, including a gilt-edge one on one with De Gea who was out of goal.

However the real winners of this week’s Fantasy EPL round were the owners of a diminutive and unproven Brazilian, unto whom the always-vindicated manager of Tottenham Hotspur granted a third consecutive start. Lucas repaid his manager’s trust by taking some of the strain off the shoulders of the normal star man, letting Kane know there would be no need to stay late at the office that night.

He put the poorly-constructed United back line to the sword and finished with a brace. If you haven’t watched his second goal, do yourself a favor; it hearkens back to a time of static center-halves stumbling over their feet trying to stop the speedy superstars of years gone by. More importantly however, it hearkens back to a time when a select group of fantasy managers spent 7 million on an unproven goal-scorer, and were rewarded with a point haul which places the young Brazilian among the best in the league so far.

On the other side, one noticed some obvious and much needed changes from the Brighton game among Manchester United’s starting lineup. Jose opted not to stick with what he bought, but rather what was there when he arrived – replacing Lindelof and Bailly  with Jones and Smalling. I’ll admit I thought Smalling did a good job of marshaling the obvious threat of Kane during what was a resilient first half for United, who looked on the whole, from Smalling, through Pogba, and up to Lukaku as if they were really trying to turn the ship around.

Unfortunately for those who picked the ladder, he missed or was denied every opportunity the enterprising United left-flank provided him. Owners of Luke Shaw, who started brightly at Leicester on the opening weekend, might be puzzled to see the lack of points he accumulated during his third consecutive ninety minute spell. But as unfortunate as the United attack proved, woe unto those who selected the ragged defensive unit which Mourinho trotted out onto the field, who were bested and bullied for most of the second half by the aforementioned tactful and mature Lost Boys of north London.

Manchester United in the meanwhile seem rooted as firmly as ever in the post-Ferguson limbo they’ve been in for years now. Jose Mourinho, who once had players breaking down walls for him, can’t quite get the best from a group  who shouldn’t look this mediocre. I don’t blame Jose for anything more than the football, but even concerning that, it must be an immense challenge when such a giant chunk of world football fans are wondering whether or not you will get the sack before Christmas.

Navigating the waters of the Manchester United squad in relation to lineups and who might score or provide from here on out is above my pay-grade you understand, so I can’t offer much advice for those looking to try. Away from home at Burnley is not an ideal place to start silencing the already enormous amount of critics, but the Special One needs some results to get the fan’s support back – and the quicker the better.

Play the newest EPL Fantasy game here