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Barclay Refuses To Acknowledge De Gea Mistake

When Manchester United signed 20-year-old goalkeeper David de Gea for £20m you could more or less predict what was going to happen. His first mistake would be magnified, he’d get ripped apart in the press and would be under the spotlight from then on.

So, the script had been written and de Gea complied, letting in two soft goals against City at the Community Shield at Wembley. The team came back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 but a lot was made of his mistakes.

On the opening day of the season, de Gea let in a shot he should have saved against West Brom and the papers went to town on him.

Whilst obviously not the finished article, our young goalie has started to win the press over now (The TelegraphDe Gea passes Anfield test, The GuardianDavid de Gea shrugs off his dodgy mantle to rise above the occasion) following fantastic saves in our games against Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool.

Even Patrick Barclay from The Times, who had probably been the most damning of all, came round to seeing what a top talent we have between the sticks.

Whilst it’s nice to see some of de Gea’s fiercest critics come round to him, it’s cringeworthy that Barclay can’t just acknowledge that he got it wrong. To write de Gea off after one league game was a ridiculous thing to do but everyone can make dodgy calls at times.

The fact that he had been the first choice keeper at one of the best teams in Spain for two years previously, winning the Europa League and Super Cup as their number one as a teenager, should have been a big clue that we weren’t wasting our money. Still, nobody is perfect, even if Barclay’s criticism was excessive and too hasty.

“The goalie is like a jelly,” he said.

“He isn’t physically capable.”

“He’s Heurelho Gomes without the shot-stopping. I can’t see what he’s got. That’s what he is.”

“I have to say, I’m looking forward to Man United Stoke, when is it?”

“How on earth could Ferguson and all his millions of goalkeeping [scouts]… is Tony Coton still there? Whoever. He’s had Alan Hodgkinson over the years. How on earth they could have watched this boy, week in week out, and then signed him for the first team. I just don’t know.”

Clearly Barclay forgot all about this episode otherwise he wouldn’t have been so foolish as to claim that he had never questioned de Gea’s ability, just his form. I’m not sure whether just two games can count as “form” but in claiming he had no idea why United had signed him, after watching him regularly, Barclay is clearly criticising the lad’s ability.

We’ve seen the U-turn on his opinion, it’s just a shame that a journalist who is generally regarded fairly highly isn’t big enough just to admit he got it wrong.

Listen to Barclay’s criticism of de Gea on The Game podcast (Episode 2 – 8/14/11)

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Lovin' United says:


    He played for Ajax. You know? The Eredivisie. The Dutch League? Ring any bells?


    From what I know, he speaks Dutch.

  2. Zelh says:

    Sandeep – Well Rio pointed at Welbeck’s No. 19 after FT :lol:

  3. sandeep1878 says:


    yeah mate a great gesture after what had happened with him :P

  4. dazbomber says:

    Barclay needs United we dont need him, he does not give a fuck what he says they dont answer to anyone best ignore him.

  5. wiuru says:

    All our Journo’s from the supposed top to the younger element seem to feel the need to say you seen it here first . Patrick Barcley ? who reads his drivel . The end of the season we can all look back and we will all remember PB in the years ahead any mention of his name will recieve the revues we are reflecting here today .

  6. MG says:

    Morning Cedars!!!

    I hope your sleep was as productive as mine ;)

    Let’s also hope that the Red machine fires up and gets going again today


  7. sandeep1878 says:


    hello mate,

    we can always rely on our red machine, its fucking incredible

  8. kanchelskis says:


    Reckon anyone guessed Fergie’s lineup for L’pool? Not bloody likely. Not sure what he’s gonna go with tonight either. We know Rooney will start, and presumably Nani will too? No Ferdinand… will Vidic play?

    I reckon:





    The Berbatov bit is probably wishful thinking, but jeez, if the guy can’t get a start against Otelul Galati, I really don’t see a future for him at the club.

  9. Jeet says:

    The point is, can Cedars rely on his red machine? :lol:

  10. Jeet says:

    @kanchelskis: I think either of Nani or Young will start on the bench. would love to see Berba start and Evra get a rest, but not going to happen methinks

  11. Jeet says:

    Also, I think Vida’s gonna start…he needs matchtime before Sunday, and it’s not like asking a box-to-box mf to play 2 matches in a week, you know…

  12. Balaji Sivaraman says:

    Good Morning MG, Sandeep and ROM!

    Today is just one of those days for me. I know we should win and I know Sir Alex will hammer the importance of this match into our players’ heads in the pre-match talks. I also know the players will be up for it given it is the most important match of the season so far as it is most definitely a must-win. I also have the confidence in our players to go out there and do the business which I know they will.

    But… you cannot help but feel the ‘what if’ butterflies in your stomach. I know I am not supposed to and I feel guilty and shameful for doing so, but I do. :(

    Anyways, when something is a must-win for us as this game is, I know the boys will come out with flying colors.

  13. kanchelskis says:


    Yeh, presumably Young, as he started against Liverpool and Nani didn’t. I’m sure Valencia would appreciate a chance to remind us what he can do on the wing!

    I think the Evra rest is more likely than a Berba start. Evans at LB? Or Fabio at LB, with Smalling RB?

    I’m sure he’ll go two up front. Just a question of who partners Rooney. As you say, I’d love to see Berba start, but think Hernandez far more likely.

  14. kanchelskis says:


    Morning pal.

    I know what you mean. I’m just getting that sick feeling associated with the bad old days of not really getting to grips with Europe and labouring to get out of the group.

    But this team are beyond small-fry. They have to be the most minnowy of minnows we’ve ever faced, and it takes a huge leap of nervous imagination to see anything but a Untied victory. Fergie won’t mess around with the lineup. The team against Liverpool I do believe was with half an eye on this game. He’s not taking any risks.

    Like you say, it’s actually the biggest game of our season so far, which is odd given we’ve faced Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs, Liverpool and Benfica. But we’ve made this group difficult for ourselves, and need comfortable back-to-back victories against these guys to take control of the group. A couple of draws between Benfica and Basel wouldn’t go amiss either!

  15. manc_sam says:

    BELIEVE its what we do.

  16. Clint-iamyourpapii says:

    My Line up for a must win Galatski game is;


    Fabio Smalling Vidic Evra
    Valencia Carrick Anderson Nani
    Rooney Hernandez

    Subs; De Gea, Jones,Evans.Young, Giggs,Welbeck,Berba

  17. RedHound says:

    because am not an avid follower of the MLS, i’ve been doing some internet,youtube,press-report “scouting” on this 20-yr old brek shea kid and while i obviously know youtube compilations only show the best of someone and will make Donavan look like Messi,Brek seems the genuine thing. This kid is 6’3 tall, with pace,pace and pace that he can use devastatingly, really puts in those crosses, has an obscenely powerful shot and always tries the impossible. Modern-day proof(and Barca’s current dominant spell) has generously fed the stereotype painting the midgets as the best dribblers, with the best control and all that,and the extremely tall players as the awkward guys more likely to put in a header, but this guy’s height appears to be well utilised across all aspects of his play.Of course i could be entirely wrong but if indeed those reports of United interest are not unfounded then someone at OT is obviously on to something

  18. RedHound says:

    Suitably pleased after the game, Ferguson wasted no time belittling City. “We’ve faced all the top sides really now, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and now Liverpool …” Ferguson told the BBC.

  19. daemondada says:

    Hi all,
    what’s with d bust up and name calling on this thread?I hope this doesn’t happen on d regular in RoM?
    @KE,congrats bro on ur wife’s expecting!hope d spartan can hold out a couple more weeks and join us on Christmas day thereby saving football as Cantona did save the PL on utd’s behalf!
    @RoM,super day today for 3 points @ galati.virtually full squad to pick frm.thank God for small mercies.GGMU!!!

  20. MG says:

    Good Morning sandeep1878/ Morning Balaji

    Morning All ;)

    This Red machine is one hell of a ride…

    Balaji – seriously you have butterflies in your stomach?

    Mate you need some of that Dubai sunshine in you ;)

    Get out of that office!


  21. sandeep1878 says:

    League goals in 2011:

    Ronaldo – 30 goals in 25 games
    Mario Gomez – 26 goals in 25 games
    Messi – 24 goals in 26 games
    Van Persie – 23 goals in 25 games

  22. sandeep1878 says:

    Hello Balaji,

    good afternoon,

    yeah you nailed it, Sir Alex will surely bring the importnace of this game to the players.

    Good to see jeet back..

    Hello Kanchelskis,

    how are you pal?

    our debate on danny and hernandez, one did the assist and the other scored :P

    stalemate eh :P


    Hello pal,

    as usual our Sir Alex the best,

    just when city thought they would enjoy the lime light, Sir Alex reminds them we are already done with Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool and stoke away and still UNBEATEN :)

    that is what you call media handling at masterclass best :P


    hello pal, what name calling you talking about?

    Hello Papii,

    good line up that and i will be once again thrilled if Lindergaard plays tonight..

    i m longing to see the lad perform, he is terrefic..

  23. kanchelskis says:


    Alright pal. I’m good ta. Hope you’re good.

    Yep – well observed! I think they both did well. Danny worked so hard alone up front, though he never really looked like scoring. Hernandez came on and you just kinda knew what was gonna happen! His reactions are something else.

  24. CedarsDevil says:

    Hello all….. Cannot wait for the game tonight, should not be anything but three points to be honest…Rooney to bag a couple.

    Jeet – How are you buddy? I do keep my red machine well oiled and ready for action! hahahaha

  25. bobbycharlie1968 says:

    Patrick Barclay is a cunt of the highest order. Right on the top shelf with Sir John of Terry, Luis “What the fuck is going on with my teeth” Suarez, and Carlos “Can’t even put the kettle on properly, then again can’t even be bothered to do the thing I’m paid for” Tevez. I’ve read a lot of the absolute shite he comes out with, and it is the most thinly veiled, under handed attempt at anti United journalism. As has been pointed out already, it is slanderous. Not only does he have an agenda against Fergie and United, but he’ll try anything to wind us up, he tips City to win the league, denounces Fergie and crawls into Wengers french arsehole, denounces United and praises Liverpool. It is the same old bollocks, week in week out. How can that standard of journalism be tolerated? In essence, he is a man who clearly is not capable of objective journalism. In a national newspaper that is read all over the country, that is a requirement. On here, an independent blog, Scott can write whatever the fuck he likes, it’s his blog, it’s clearly a United blog and so objectivity is not always a requirement. It’s usually in your posts Scott and I’m glad it is because the standard of journalism here is very high indeed and it is always a pleasure to read your thoughts. In a national newspaper however, you can not spew personal opinions that extreme. Yes it is an opinion column and yes it’s every mans right to say what the fuck they like, but when he clearly has an agenda against someone (Fergie) or something (United) he shouldn’t be Chief football commentator at a national newspaper. If those are his personal opinions, fair play to him, he’s a deluded bitter gooner worthy of the bitters. But the churlishness and petulance shown by using his column to weekly slag off United and Fergie should not be tolerated. Then again, we have to put up with this shite from all quarters so it;s just another no mark cunt trying to wind us up. We have bigger fish to fry as it were, we have trophies to win and history to make. He has an abusive slanderous column to write every week. I know what I’d rather be involved in.

  26. CedarsDevil says:


    Took me a few minutes to recover after having fallen over crying with laughter just by reading your opening statement on Terry & Tevez etc…. Brilliant stuff as ever.


    Thanks for those goal scoring stats, RVP has been very impressive, he is a terrific player. Wonder where he will be next summer though!

  27. Jeet says:

    Doing well, Cedars, though I nearly threw up at the unexpected vision of you sitting on the couch and oiling your red machine with lebanese olive oil smeared on both hands…serves me right for trying to wind you up, I suppose :)

    Been very busy lately, but following all the games and reading comments on all RoM threads. It’s festival time in India – beautiful weather, pretty girls and lots of good food around. Today I want Galuti Kebab for dinner :)

  28. sandeep1878 says:

    Hello cedars,

    yup buddy Van Persie has been brilliant since the turn of the year and i just hope he doesnt end up at city.

    He is a quality player but injuries have fucked him big time..

  29. CedarsDevil says:

    Junior Hoilett seems like a really decent player…Skillful and creative

    Jeet – Hahaha cracked me up, no need to go that far with your imagination! Enjoy the good things in life my friend, personally I am looking forward to some Galati ice cream tonight

  30. CedarsDevil says:

    Seems Mark Clattenburg will be the ref for out match against the bitters… Decent choice and a good ref in my opinion

  31. sandeep1878 says:

    Catch u laters ROM,


  32. daemondada says:

    @ sandeep 1878,
    pardon my time lag,yet if u scroll all d way up dis thread,u’ll c what I mean.thanks.

  33. Giles Oakley says:

    Hey WillieRedNut my old friend, what’s this ‘part of the prostate crew.Old and fucking bitter!’? I found it as I waded through the mainly tiresome, sometimes funny rants and torrents of abuse between various regulars here and I thought to myself, ‘Wow, now I’m in the firing-line, right in the goolies’. Mind you, it sums me up pretty accurately.

  34. CedarsDevil says:


    Really refreshing to see you post here again

  35. Giles Oakley says:

    I should add I liked Scott’s post on Barclay who took his vendetta against Fergie to a new low by pouring sneering contempt on a very young and inexperienced goalkeeper, just to have a go at the Old Trafford set up. He’s an experienced and not-entirely stupid journalist and he really should behave better at his (prostatically-vulnerable age). It was gratuitously nasty to pick on De Gea after just one or two appereances in British football, which is very different in so many ways from La Liga. I have never been a big fan of Barclay but his gracelessness over this issue , when our young Spaniard has the most saves in the Prem and the best save-to-shot ratio in the division, is rather pitiful.

  36. wayne says:

    Morning Reds Otelul Gatati are the 147 ranked club team in the world the ave wage is around 45k a YEAR and has a ground capacity of around 13k and some of you lads are worried?must be having a laugh.
    If Utd don’t beat this lot there can be no excuses and don’t derserve to advance

  37. King Eric says:

    BobbyCharlie1968 – Top post as usual pal.

    Giles – Hello mate. Responded to you on previous thread. Many thanks. Barclay has had an agenda against Fergie for a while now but as I mentioned last night, he took it to a whole new level on Sunday Supplement a few weeks back. He accused Fergie of having the FA, Media and Refs in his pocket but “He will never have me in his pocket”. Oh big man Patrick. He said he is bad for the game and a poor example to young managers. What the hell? How come every young manager at some stage calls Fergie for advice? His peers really like and respect him despite what this clown says. If I were a United lawyer I would be looking into a slander or is it libel charge.

  38. King Eric says:

    Wayne . Hello mate. Absolutely. If United don’t beat that lot tonight we don’t deserve to qualify.

  39. Jeet says:

    @KE: Agreed about not deserving to qualify if we cant beat OtG tonight. But as always (and I probably differ from many on this), I urge all fans to think of all rivals with respect, just as I am sure the players do. At the end of the day its 90 minutes. Don’t forget Crawley Town put up one heck of a fight, Schalke trounced mighty Inter, Galati drew Benfica (who drew against us) and we barely managed a draw with Basle by the skin of our teeth :)

  40. WillieRedNut says:

    Giles Oakley – That was directed at Barclay and his cronies. Sorry for any confusion lol. Look forward to your next offering on here Giles.

  41. CRS82 says:

    Barclay predicted that England could win the 2010 World Cup FFS… Blert!

  42. T. says:

    As i wrote the day we signed the lad, we are going to sing his name for years to come. De gea is absolutly top class.

    Funny thing though. When De gea stopped, i think it was Ramires shot after crawling about 6-7 meters and save it with his body. The save wasn´t praised, it was called a poor finish from the rents.

    When Sczhnezschny does a copy of the save (although a bit easier and less distance to cover) it is all of a sudden a MAGNIFICENT save, on what I call an even softer finish (header).

    This though is something we are used too. All ABU-media in the world will burn, and through the ashes only Sir alex and his men will rise!

  43. King Eric says:

    Jeet – Yeah good point mate about Crawley at al. That was one tough fucking game till Wes rescued us.

    T – Spot on pal. I don’t think that save from Ramirez got anywhere near enough credit. The speed David moved across his line was blinding. Top save.

    Nobody mentioned it yet but that’s a top photo of De Gea at the top. Which game is it from?

  44. King Eric says:

    Another thing . Every cunt on telly the other day was saying what a big thing it was him playing at Anfield. Err I think they will find he played there for Athletico and had a belting game. Although not the same intensity as Saturday when it was United there.

  45. Zibbie says:

    NBI got it, thanks. I left his first 3 baitings alone and should have ignored this one as well.

  46. King Eric says:

    Just went on this cunts twatter site and what a self absorbed arrogant cunt he is. Fuck off Barclay.

  47. Red Neck says:

    Barclay has a problem with Fergie and it’s one born out of pure jealousy. He hates Fergies stature in world football, he hates what Fergie has achieved and he hates the respect Fergie commands from his fellow professionals. By constantely trying to belittle Fergie at every opportunity he is just making himself look small and pathetic. Barclay craves the sort of attention Fergie recieves and feels if he can bring the great man down in some way or have his name in some way associated with him then he will share some of that attention. Barclay is a nobody who is without credibility, Fergie is a legend.

  48. daemondada says:

    Barclay needs help.

  49. StatesideAussie says:

    All I can do is quote the late, great Hunter S. Thompson: “I never knew a journalist who could even say the word corruption without pissing his pants from pure guilt.”


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