By Tony Alvarez
It’s been a debate that has been running since his less than convincing early season form, but there is new evidence to suggest Sir Alex Ferguson is not completely convinced by his big money Summer signing the young Spanish keeper David De Gea.
Although De Gea has been a lot steadier recently with a mistake against Basel in the Champions League being the only thing worthy of mention, he has too often for a goal keeper found himself warming the bench while Anders Lindergaard has been United’s last line of defence.
Rotating goal keepers for cup games is common practise to give everyone a chance and keep everyone in the squad content if not happy, however it is very rare to “rest” a keeper for a league game especially considering keepers don’t or shouldn’t suffer from fatigue.
Not only has Lindergaard kept a clean sheet in those last two emphatic victories but yesterday’s performance was his 6th clean sheet in a row.
Lindergaard himself believes he is challenging for the number one spot, “I hope I am giving the manager a problem…In 10 matches nobody will remember any of the saves, they will remember the statistics. I have played five games in a row without letting a goal in. That is a very beautiful stat and one I am very happy with.” (Statement made before his 6th consecutive clean sheet againstWigan)
You can also look back to the trends throughout Alex Ferguson’s reign at the Old Trafford club, never before has he rotated a keeper on such basis, could this suggest he is unsure about De Gea’s ability between the sticks.
Even through shaky spells you never saw the likes of Peter Schmiechel, Fabian Barthez or Edwin Van Der Sar rested for the odd game here or there.
Making things even trickier for Alex Ferguson to make his mind up and for David De Gea to completely nail down his place is the form of Lindergaard, in his last two fixtures the club have kept clean sheets and recorded 5-0 victories, one at home and one away.
I wont claim to of studied the history of Ferguson in depth and the tendencies he has however with him rotating his keeper so often it leads me to think the great Scotsman believes the jury is still out on David De Gea.
I have no doubt that Ferguson believes De Gea will progress into a top keeper I don’t think he has any plans of farming him back out the way he did with Massimo Taibi but weather he is ready for the cold winter nights he are playing in I am unsure if Fergie is convinced.
I think Ferguson will continue for this seemingly random rotation policy for a while whilst selecting De Gea for the big games but from what I of seen of both men on present form Lindergaard looks more impressive.
If De Gea faces a few weeks out at any point due to injury or suspension I think he could find it very difficult to reclaim his place in the side.
What are your thoughts? Who is the better keeper? Why do you think Ferguson is rotating them so often? Who would you pick between the sticks?
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