David De Gea has been under constant scrutiny from the press since arrival in Manchester, with the media quick to pass judgement on the abilities of the Manchester United goalkeeper and speculate wildly over his future.
The Daily Mail reported last week that Atletico Madrid were even considering a loan move to recapture their former star, should Chelsea choose to recall the Belgian stopper Thibaut Courtois, with a deal to bring Asmir Begovic to Old Trafford increasingly likely.
De Gea has been the master of his own downfall at times, a strong display and some outstanding saves can soon be undone by a weak punch or unnecessary attempt to claim a ball he’s never going to win, but he is learning and developing quickly under immense pressure.
However, United fans have rallied behind the Spaniard of late, and he is by no means alone in making the odd error; not in Europe, not in the Premier League, not even in Manchester.
This weekend saw a horror show from Manchester City as they all but conceded the title to their neighbours after a 3-1 defeat to Southampton.
Roberto Mancini admitted they stood only a “10% chance” after the loss on the south coast, which saw England number one Joe Hart at fault for one of the goals.
Last season Hart was immense as City won the league on goal difference. As much down to the number of goals conceded than those they scored, the City keeper looked unbeatable at times as he cemented himself as England’s first choice.
This season has seen a stark contrast, as Mancini’s men have looked altogether more unstable at the back, as they continue to switch between a three and four and man defence, despite boasting the league’s best defensive record.
With the amount of possession they command the pressure is often off the defence but they appear to be struggling more through individual errors when under pressure, and Hart has been as big a culprit as anybody.
After failing to clear the ball leading to Jason Puncheon’s opener, the former Shrewsbury player allowed Rickie Lambert’s tame effort through his body for Steven Davis to stab home. These were the latest in a series of high profile errors that led to scathing criticism from Roberto Mancini as reported by The Sun.
"Joe has made too many mistakes. He has not been good enough. It was a really bad mistake from Joe.
"It was not good enough. It's not strange because he's done a few mistakes this year."
It should be noted that he has turned in some fantastic displays, especially earlier in the season to keep his side in games, but despite several errors that have cost his team points in the title race, Hart has failed to receive anywhere near the level of criticism in the wider press as that of United’s young Spaniard, although United are sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League.
Although Hart is five years older than his United counterpart, they are both young talents who will no doubt make mistakes. But they should be allowed to do so without the press highlighting every error.
One thing we know for certain is that Hart is his own worst critic and will work through his problems on the training pitch to come back a better keeper for the experience; shouldn’t De Gea be allowed to do the same?
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