So 90 minutes into his Manchester United career, young Spanish goalkeeping wonderkid David De Gea has ended his spell as MUFC’s number one.

At least that’s what some fans would have you believe.

Never before has the word ‘howler’ been used out of context in such a short space of time. De Gea’s mistake vs. West Brom was indeed not a great moment in our recent history. But was it a Massimo Tiabi? That I do believe was………… a howler.

Manchester United has always been a melting pot when it comes to the press and the reporting of our club. You can almost write the scripts before history actually is made. But with the advent of social media it has become apparent how fans have taken on this mantle that we once reserved for the red top tabloids and co…And hit the ‘reaction’ but the second an incident happens. No thought. No pro active brain power. Just reactionary bull. It’s the verbal and non-physical equivalent of the rioting we saw last week….mindless and pointless, driven by few shepherds and retweeted by a million sheep. Miscommunication as opposed to communication.

What makes fans like this?

Once it was totally a faux pas to criticize your own. Now it’s the fashion to destroy anyone or thing that you simply don’t agree with. Berbatov has suffered a lot from this. I suspect Ashley Young will as well. Many panned his signing “cos he’s not MUFC class”. However he has a great début and those very same fans are lauding him like the flipping Lion King. I find it all a bit odd. The term supporter has a dictionary definition of “to give strength to; maintain”. This is opposed to “completely destroy and make an unnecessary example of” Now I’m not saying fans should not have a voice. But the engaging of the mass that exists between your ears would be most appreciated.

There is little doubting that David De Gea is a top class young keeper. But he is very much green and inexperienced. Barely out of his teenage years, the boy is best described as having outstanding potential, as opposed to being Edwin Van Der Sar elect. He is nowhere near the finished article, and won’t be for some time.

Sir Alex has spent multi millions on the boy for the future… and not for the West Bromwich Albion away fixture yesterday (a game we actually won by the way!). It’s a given that football fans are fickle, and in many cases entirely thick. But the wide ranging knee jerk attacks on De Gea were both pathetic, and in a Man United fan way….embarrassing.

De Gea was expensive yes, but so was a 19 year old Phil Jones if were making comparisons. However, young Jones (a magnificent acquisition in my opinion) will get none of the flack that the Spaniard will get when mistakes are made by young minds and bodies. We’re all intelligent enough (surely? Maybe not) to realise that there’s no joy being a goalkeeper. If you make a save or saves (as De Gea did yesterday) people will say “Well that’s what he’s paid to do. So what?” However one slip of concentration and the guns are loaded and pointed at the target standing between the sticks by all and sundry. It’s frightening to see that United fans mask attacking one of our own as ‘opinion’ and ‘freedom of speech’

We procrastinated so much this previous 12 months about who would exceed Our Edwin, and we all had our own favourites. Mine was Buffon. This would follow the template of when we signed the Dutchman last time round. A player with tremendous experience in a position that is ever so vital. I also really liked Akinfeev, but was worried about his size. But I get why Sir Alex went for De Gea. Think about Casillas or even Cech. Both proved that even if you’re young you can survive as a top class goalkeeper, and push on and win trophies. If De Gea had gone to Arsenal a couple of months ago to take over from Almunia and his band of average keeper mates, we would have looked on with jealous eyes, wondering why we were stuck with some Danish bloke we picked up for a few million quid. As it goes we have both of them. We are stronger because of this.

As the manager said yesterday, De Gea is “a work in progress” and I couldn’t agree more. There will be more mistakes from the lad, and there’s a chance that he could end up to be a dud, allowing those high and mighty Reds to say “I told you so”. But maybe, just maybe, if we exercise a touch of patience and allow the player to grow into the role in the biggest goalkeeping spot in world football, we may just have a world class keeper in our midst.

Peter Schmeichel had several nightmares in his first six months at United and did more than survive. He didn’t do too badly did he?

Support the boy. He needs us as much as we need him.

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Follow Rob on Twitter
Read more articles like this at the excellent United blog, The Faithful.

 




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