The media have engaged in a witch-hunt. Not because the 20-year-old ex-Athletico goalkeeper has made a handful of errors since the start of the season, but because they simply don’t want him to excel with the Red Devils. They want to destroy him.
Not only are we spectators of weekly football matches, we have become spectators somewhere in the neighborhood of a Hitchcock film.
In an article on the ESPNsoccernet site, where Ferguson made his accusations against the media, he defended his keeper by saying, “There is a lot that he (De Gea) has had to deal with and he’s showing a lot of composure. He is 20 and coming into a country where he doesn’t know the culture, he doesn’t speak English…” Spot on.
The glitch is this: if what Ferguson stated is true, then why is he accusing the media of player assassination?
Ferguson admitted that De Gea is having a problem adjusting. The media are not having a problem with that. They are simply stating what Ferguson stated. That De Gea’s debut was unconvincing. It was. That the talented team of Manchester United, aside from the keeper, are what carried them through. They did.
The media are watching football matches. They are reporting on what they believe to be facts.
Could it be that Ferguson has been slipped a shot of self-doubt while trying to shape a new player into an experienced one? Or that he’s guilty of having made the wrong purchase when shopping for Van der Sar’s replacement?
The pressure for De Gea to perform does not appear to be as weighty as the pressure Ferguson has placed on himself. And I don’t blame him—in recent months previously lauded managers have been axed.
But Alex Ferguson is highly unlikely to make any disappearing act—as for his pride, well, that may be a different story.