Pep Guardiola has told and Erik Ten Hag what to do with David de Gea
Erik ten Hag’s team suffered yet another Premier League defeat as a result of David de Gea error for West Ham’s winning goal against Man United on Sunday.
In football, emotion is rarely important.
When he believed a player’s time had come, Sir Alex Ferguson was an expert at moving them on. And you start to wonder if this is the last chapter of David de Gea career as Manchester United’s starting goalkeeper as he lies prone on the London Stadium turf and watches the ball travel agonisingly towards his empty net.
The trundling shot from Said Benrahma should have been meat and drink for the Spaniard, but due to poor placement, a feeble right hand, and a tiny slip, the meek effort managed to get past his barriers. De Gea stood with his hands on his hips, a blade of grass on his cheek, and a lost-looking look as the guests rejoiced.
He had already been exposed as lacking. And this is not the first time he has been concerned about the future. The evidence is mounting against keeping the 32-year-old as the first choice since De Gea has never seemed to fit Erik ten Hag’s vision for his United team perfectly.
The former Atletico Madrid player’s tenure in the team may have been prolonged by a lack of alternatives, but Father Time is undoubtedly calling now. De Gea has been named the PFA Team of the Year five times and earned United’s Player of the Year four times, but past accomplishments mean little when predicting future success.
And Ten Hag only needs to look around Manchester to understand how getting go of a long-serving custodian can aid on the road to recovery as United aims to contend for both domestic and international accolades.
With City in contention for a seventh Premier League championship, Pep Guardiola wasted no time in establishing his style and dominance in the Etihad locker room by firing Joe Hart. The England international had become the club’s top pick and had assisted them in winning two league championships, two League Cups, and an FA Cup in the four years prior to Guardiola’s appointment. He had made more than 50 appearances for England and had been the star of major European nights.
It was insignificant. Guardiola, the former manager of Barcelona, quickly wielded the axe because he wasn’t what he had in mind for his City team. In Pep’s first Premier League game, Hart started on the bench and never came off. That marked the start of the end, according to Hart.
Guardiola told him, ‘Of course you’ll be given the chance, but…,’ he recalled. If there are any buts in the conclusion, a choice has already been made. He said, “I can’t see this working,” kind of capping off a two-hour conversation.
Before Ederson came along and redefined the position, City chose Claudio Bravo as a hit-and-miss substitute for Hart for the entire season. Ten Hag appears to have picked De Gea’s 2022–23 season as the Bravo comparison, and the Old Trafford manager must now make a significant summer choice. Will De Gea be given a another opportunity and the belief that he won’t let it slide through his fingers, like he did Benrahma’s daisy cutter on Sunday night, or does he have the Hart to mimic Pep?
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