On Saturday we featured a clip on this site of David James criticising Manchester United's David De Gea, and the general consensus was that James was talking out of his hoop.
I've thought about it, I've watched it a number of times to try and understand where he was coming from, but I genuinely can't remember being left this baffled by a piece of so called analysis.
In the clip below, James argues that while De Gea does make good saves, Sergio Romero is a better all-round goalkeeper and offers more to Manchester United. When asked why he feels that way, he basically says because United have conceded more goals since De Gea has been back in the team.
Is this what punditry has come to?
Lets look at his points:
- Romero conceded less goals. Yes, he did, however firstly, pretty much every goal Romero did concede was in some way his fault, and secondly, Romero played each game behind a stable back-four that looked like the best that Manchester United have fielded in years. When Romero did actually have to do something, more often than not it was unconvincing. The issue here is United don't have a capable backup to Luke Shaw when Daley Blind is playing at centre-back, not the World Class goalkeeper who is helpless to stop each one of the bombardment of shots he is facing.
- Many are wondering why he came straight back in. No, they aren't. Nobody is wondering that. Romero is a backup goalkeeper, De Gea is a match-winner. No Manchester United fan would pick the former before the latter.
- There's more to goalkeeping than making saves. Absolutely true, however, when the main point is that communication and organisation are more important, it would help if the keeper that you are arguing is better could speak English. Also, nothing about how De Gea is one of the best goalkeepers there has ever been in terms of footwork and dealing with a backpass, whereas Romero looked like he was about to fall over the majority of times the ball made it's way back to him.
- Real Madrid didn't even want him. That's just an embarrassing thing to say when you're paid to give your opinion on live television. Madrid left it late, but they most certainly did, and still do, want David De Gea.
Perhaps the most disheartening thing about the entire clip is how Alan Curbishley just goes along with it, and argues that because James is a goalkeeper, then he knows what he's talking about. Lets ignore the fact that James was one of English football's most consistent mistake-makers for the large parts of his career, Curblishley's reasoning that clubs have special scouts to scout goalkeepers is so painfully obvious that is shows he had no idea what to say when presented with James' nugget of knowledge.
What this clip needed was someone to stand up when the host said "That's an opinion you don't hear very often.." and say: "Because it's absolute bollocks."
People give out about Eamon Dunphy when he goes on a bit of a rant, but there is usually a reason behind it and he at least has a few points to make, but I honestly feel like David James said what he did because he was bored.
I acknowledge that I myself am not an expert on football. I know that David James knows far more about the art of goalkeeping than I do, but I don't think he should be allowed to talk out of his arse just to be seen as a bit controversial simply because he played the game at the highest level.
Clip via BeanymanSports.