Spaniards Swapping Shores

– D’s virgin post 

As M has excellently pointed out, De Gea and Cesc’s respective moves( well Cesc will get his move it’s just a matter of time) is a profitable and positive venture for all parties involved.
However, is it the right time for them?

There’s no doubt of their talents. Cesc is one of the world’s best playmakers and De Gea, potentially one of the best goal keepers of our generation.

Having said that, is Cesc truly better than whoever the Catalans have now? It is almost impossible to displace the Xavi-Ineista fulcrum, while Alcantra and Affelay are waiting in the wings.

Yes he’s a Catalan through and through. Yes, he’s a Barcelona youth product. Yes, he wants to win trophies. Yes, they want him back. When the men from Nou Camp come calling, it’s kinda like Rosie Huntington Whiteley whispering sexual advances into your ear.

But, he’s leaving behind a team hungry for success, a team brimming with young talents, a team willing in which he’s THE axis that they rely on and more importantly, a team that needs him more than Barcelona do.

At this critical stage of his career, having recovered from serious hamstring injuries, the 25-year-old needs go be playing every single game to regain his fitness and edge.

How’s he going to do that in arguably the best team in the world.

Just ask Javier Mascherano how he feels watching others play.

I’m sure the supremely talented Fabregas will be the heartbeat of the la liga champions in time to come, but the move has come 1-2 years too soon.

Similarly, De Gea may find the move to Manchester United a tad premature.

The expectations at Althetico and United cannot be more different. The Spanish side are very much like Liverpool- they want to be successful, they’ve the players to be successful, but that pressure ends up suffocating them.

As a result, their star players usually end up leaving after 2-3 seasons.

At Old Trafford, nothing less than a win will do. A single fumble will be collectively and simultaneously frowned upon by the millions of fans around the world.

As a goal keeper, mistakes are pretty hard to disguise. Once a shot stoppers confidence gets battered, it’s half the battle lost.

Although the 20-year-old( gosh what am I doing with my life) seems to possess a maturity that belies his age, as M has pointed out, experience comes with age and goal keepers improve with experience, which is why the older keepers are usually the better ones.

There’s simply no margin for error and time to learn at the Theatre of Dreams.

Don’t get me wrong, De Gea is a bloody good goal keeper, as I fondly remember how he kept out Liverpool during the Europa league semi finals.

But like Cesc, his move has come a bit too early for his own good.

And I hope for my team’s sake, I will be proven right.

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Is David De Gea the Right Man?

The Spanish U21 International has been signed to replace Van der Sar

by M, writing in the comfort of his bedroom

“In my opinion Edwin has been the best goalkeeper in the world whilst here at United,” – David De Gea

As Ferguson found out in the summer of ’99, replacing the best is an almost impossible task and it took Sir Alex almost 6 years to get it right in the form of Edwin Van der Sar. Before that, he had signed the likes of Fabien Barthez, Mark Bosnich and Massimo Taibi, the last name probably still causing United fans to grimace in agony at the thought of him. With Van der Sar announcing his retirement relatively early on in the previous season, Sir Alex and his scouts had the time and opportunity to earmark and watch various candidates for the No.1 shirt at Manchester United and it is now certain that that man will be David De Gea.

For all of Sir Alex’s experience and tactical nous, his transfer market dealings is probably one of, if not his only, weakness. If you need any convincing, just think of Liam Miller, Kleberson and more recently, Gabriel Obertan (doesn’t he look like Squidwurt from Spongebob?) and Bebe.  However, the top dog in United has had sufficient time to make his decision and he has decided on the Spanish U21 International, who at the age of 20, would be one of the youngest goalkeepers to wear the No.1 shirt in Manchester United history. However, has Ferguson made the right choice this time?

The boy’s credentials are outstanding. He has just recently won the U21 European Championship with his country, Spain and is earmarked to replace Iker Casillas in the senior Spain side, once the Madrid shotstopper decides to call it quits. Casillas himself has named him as his successor and after his transfer to United had been completed, former Manchester United striker, Diego Forlan, claimed that De Gea could one day be a Manchester United hero.

However, to use an old cliche, football is not played on paper. Any player who plays the game will know that the goalkeeping position is probably the toughest position to excel in. It requires agility, authority and most importantly, experience. That is why most goalkeepers tend to blossom toward the latter end of their career, as Peter Schmeichel, Edwin Van der Sar and Brad Friedel have shown. David De Gea may be an excellent prospect and at the age of 20, could p0ssibly go on and make the No.1 jersey his own for a good 10-15 years (as long as he doesn’t hanker for a move back to Spain) but is it a risk by Sir Alex to sign a goalkeeper who only has one full season of league experience under his belt? Some may argue that Sir Alex’s hand was forced. There have been reports that his first choice was Bayern Munchen’s goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who impressed for his previous club, Schalke, in the Champions League semi-finals against United but as it panned out, Neuer preferred to remain in Germany with Bayern. One might also wonder why Maarten Stekelenberg was not considered, given that Van der Sar himself endorsed the current Dutch shotstopper but that is something only Sir Alex knows.

Let us also not forget that David De Gea has been in Madrid all his life and this is the first time he is plying his trade abroad at one of the biggest clubs in the world. The expectations will be tremendous and for a 20 year old leaving home for the first time, all that expectations on his shoulders may be more harmful than good.

Whether David De Gea is the right man for the job, only time will tell. The man himself seems confident enough, stating his desire to “spend a great number of years here (Old Trafford)” and to win the Premier League and Champions League. Manchester United fans will be crossing their fingers hoping that De Gea will be all that he promises to be and more.

Comments are welcome. Please feel free to voice out any opinions. 

Its ok to let Cesc go

Is it finally goodbye to London?

Barcelona’s chase for Cesc Fabregas gathered steam this week, as reports of the midfielder willing to take a substantial pay cut to facilitate a move back to the Catalan side where he learnt his trade as a youngster were published in Spanish and English tabloids alike. Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood and manager Arsene Wenger have stood firm in recent times, declaring that their club captain and star player was not for sale. However, it seems inevitable now that the Spaniard will be returning to his childhood club sooner rather than later.

Before ringing the death knells, it is not all over for Arsenal. While it is fair to say that Fabregas has been synonymous to the Arsenal side ever since the departure of Vieira, there are options available to Wenger when he finally decides to let his protege leave. Samir Nasri had a stunning first half of a season playing in the centre of the park and the emergence of Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey should see Wenger build his side around these three players. While it is not certain that Nasri will still be at the Emirates next season, Wenger will do well to keep the Frenchman and the triumvirate of Nasri, Ramsey and Wilshere should serve Arsenal well for the next few seasons.

While Fabregas departure may leave the club lacking in leaders, they already have a ready-made replacement for club captain in Robin Van Persie. As seen in the recently concluded campaign, Van Persie captained the team to great effect and the captaincy had a positive impact on the Dutchman, who had a stunning second half of the season after returning from injury, keeping the London outfit in the title race right till the death.

Fabregas’ departure to Barcelona seems a formality at this stage. The more negative Arsenal fans will undoubtedly be very worried about how the team is going to cope with the departure of their most influential player in recent years but as shown by Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure from Manchester United, no one player is indispensable to any football club. Arsenal F.C will continue to uncover exciting footballing talents under Arsene Wenger and success will come inevitably to a team who arguably plays the best football in the country.