Honestly, it is another game lost but there is only one thing to talk about.

What Can You Do?

If you cast your minds back to this time 7 years ago, United would go to West Ham knowing that a win would confirm their status in the Champions League next season. The story is known and the part that De Gea played in that – the horrid part. He essentially gave away the position to our noisy neighbours and meant it would be Europa League football instead. But this was on the back of 2 good seasons for him personally, the one he had in that season, the ones he had after.

United would go to West Ham today, with not as much surety as that game years ago, but knowing a win would edge them a lot closer to getting back into the Champions League. Once again though, De Gea would make a cataclysmic mistake that would give the Hammers a leg up. However we are no longer in that space were it was a rare mistake in a sea of brilliance that was essentially propping United up in the upper echelons of the league. Now it is reversed – De Gea, not the only thing, is dragging United down from reaching the upper echelons of the league that they so crave to get back to.

The Spaniard has never been an all rounder keeper but rather, his shot stopping, its efficacy and unorthodox nature, made him such a great component for the Red Devils. His saving with his legs meant that even those low shots that would usually go past many a keeper weren’t getting past him. His cat like reflexes meant that point blank saves and 1v1s were able to be stopped by him. But he isn’t like that anymore and that is the biggest problem. Much alike a centre forward who provides goalscoring and not much else, the standards that you have to provide in the basics of shot stopping to justify your position on the pitch has to be otherworldly. De Gea isn’t shot stopping like he used and it has been that way since 2018/19. He has been distinctly average, not even good.

You’d be hard press to find a keeper make the mistake that De Gea made today more than once in the last 4 years. De Gea has done 5 times – Barcelona & Watford in 2019, Chelsea in 2020 and Brentford & West Ham today. This is a specific type of mistake as well, he has made plenty more. To let the ball dribble through your fingers that many times when you train day in and day out. To do it when you are the highest paid player in the club. It just makes it unforgivable and the conversations around a new contract are just a waste of time if they result in a new contract because he no longer deserves to be at the football club. He isn’t the only one but he is the one still starting and commanding a starting place. Because 7 years later, after what was a bad night at Upton Park, De Gea has done it yet again at the London Stadium. We at least still have the opportunity to correct it and limp over the line but it is hard with the person we have in goal right now.

Other Thoughts

I said there was only one thing to focus on but Wout Weghorst? Really? Embarrassing team selection from Ten Hag.