United Under The Microscope - Goalkeepers
Picking the ball out of the net became far too much of a common practice for United this year.
Safe Between The Sticks
Although times have been tough since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013, Manchester United have always been reassured by the consistent world class performances put up by David De Gea and co. between the sticks. United's player of the year in four of the past five years going into this season, it's pretty safe to say that this reign game to a rather underwhelming end.
For once this summer, United fans weren't subjected to endless streams of stories surrounding their no.1 heading off to Madrid as they waited for the 2018 World Cup to begin. In hindsight, the howler De Gea would concede against Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal might have proven to be a warning for what was to come for Manchester United in 2018/19.
The signing of the 36 year old Lee Grant during a torrid preseason for the Red Devils was the personification of the mediocrity and frustration coming through United's doors this season. It was clear to see why Jose Mourinho was becoming more and more irate.
Once De Gea returned from the World Cup and the season had kicked off, it was clear to see this was going to be a troublesome season for United. Quite strangely, De Gea seemed to show more uncertainty this season than all of the others in which his whole future was up in the air. Performances against Southampton, Arsenal, West Ham and Manchester City in the first half of the season illustrated the poor form and lack of confidence riding through the United team and it eventually cost Mourinho his job.
Like pretty much every player in the United team, (with one massive Alexis-shaped exception) De Gea's form picked up massively with the appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as temporary head coach. A man-of-the-match performance against Spurs at Wembley was perhaps the biggest personal achievement for De Gea in this time and fans were practically salivating at the thought of the heights De Gea would hit under the Norwegian when he was given the full time job in March.
Alas not. Man United's promising form spiralled out of control and hopes of a top four finish fell out of United's hands, just like a lot of De Gea's attempted saves in the latter part of the season. Barcelona, Everton, Manchester City and the fatal match against Chelsea harshly demonstrated the form issues De Gea was experiencing and he goes into the 2019 Summer transfer window with the familiar cloud of speculation riding over his head once again.