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'Tormented' De Gea a great concern for Ferguson

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Phil McNulty | 21:40 UK time, Saturday, 28 January 2012

Patrice Evra's ordeal concluded with his Manchester United captain's armband tossed away in the despair of defeat on the Anfield turf. For David de Gea, the torment shows no sign of ending.

Evra, as the script inevitably dictated, played a pivotal role in events with the eyes of the football world trained on Anfield amid the fall-out from the Premier League meeting between Liverpool and United in October.

Liverpool's Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez watched from the stands with his family, suspended for eight games after being found guilty by the Football Association of racially abusing Evra, who took his place as a central character in the drama of this fourth round FA Cup tie.

Calls for calm from both camps fell on deaf ears in thousands of cases as Evra was subjected to constant jeering and taunts throughout - along with vociferous claims from Liverpool fans that, to phrase this politely, his evidence in the case was less than reliable.

Patrice_Evra of Manchester_United after the Liverpol FA_Cup match

Evra was booed throughout the match when he touched the ball. Picture: Getty

The abuse flowed to and fro between supporters but Evra coped coolly with his detractors until one fatal moment of hesitation allowed the satisfaction of leaving Anfield with at least a draw to escape him.

With two minutes remaining of what, for the large part, was a tepid encounter on the field Evra took his eye off Liverpool substitute Dirk Kuyt, allowing him to find Andy Carroll's flick and beat De Gea for the winner.

It gave Liverpool revenge for last season's FA Cup loss at Manchester United, extended a winless Anfield streak for Sir Alex Ferguson that stretches back to 2007 and allowed Dalglish to conclude a memorable four days with a winning smile.

Evra looked suitably devastated at the final whistle - but it will be the demeanour of young Spaniard De Gea that will cause even greater concern to Ferguson.

This was the goalkeeper carefully selected by Ferguson and his scouting team as successor to Edwin van der Sar when he finally stepped out of the game at the end of last season.

Too many good judges had earmarked the 21-year-old, who arrived for £18m from Atletico Madrid, as one of the game's outstanding young talents for him to be dismissed as a transfer bust after less than a season in England. He deserves more time and respect than this.

But it is also impossible to ignore the evidence of United's season and at this stage of his development he does not look physically or technically equipped for the demands of the Premier League. Every flaw was on show at Anfield.

Ferguson may now rue his decision to restore De Gea in place of Anders Lindegaard, but this - given the sub-plots swirling around Anfield - was certainly the arena in which to test exactly where his keeper currently stands under full examination conditions.

The results were not impressive and it would be a major surprise if he was not back on watching brief when United face Stoke City at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

De Gea's day started with a decent save from Maxi Rodriguez before descending at an alarming rate into indecision and uncertainty with hands and feet.

He was betrayed by bigger United figures in the penalty area when Daniel Agger headed Liverpool in front from Steven Gerrard's corner, but his abject failure to make his presence felt in what should be his territory made the Dane's task easier than it should have been.

And after Ji-Sung Park put United on terms and the game had entered a lengthy sterile period in the second half, De Gea offered some of Liverpool's best hopes of a goal with goalkeeping that bore all the hallmarks of a personality riddled with nerves and struggling desperately for confidence.

He sidefooted a routine clearance close to goal straight to Stewart Downing, who was possibly too surprised to make anything of the gift, then allowed a routine cross to slip through his hands for the needless concession of a corner.

These moments went unpunished but in the context of the game gave Liverpool - and their supporters - encouragement they were not receiving elsewhere on the pitch.

Indeed, he looked so shaky at one point in the second half that if he was an outfield player there would have been a compelling case to remove him from the action.

For long spells United controlled possession, with Paul Scholes treating the ball with the sort of loving care and attention normally only reserved for close relatives and friends. It was only when Scholes was removed, presumably tired, that Liverpool were able to build up a serious head of steam that ended in victory.

A glance at De Gea in his penalty area in the second half, alone with the action elsewhere, revealed a solitary, almost sorrowful, figure. He carried the body language of a player who is suffering a torrid time, the sort of experience he has not had before.

David_de_Gea of Manchester_United during the Liverpool FA_Cup match

De Gea was backed by Sir Alex Ferguson after the game, despite his unconvincing performance. Picture: Manchester United

Ferguson retains faith in De Gea but mistakes, important ones, have occurred too often this season. If he struggles to make that slight, at least by modern goalkeeper standards, frame noticed in his area then at least his handling has to be secure.

Instead all parts of his game and physique look fragile. Too many good things were said about De Gea prior to his arrival for so many people to be wrong, so it may need a further period of adjustment, acclimatisation almost, before Ferguson sees the goalkeeper he thought he had bought.

It will be, however, a real test of the young man's character because the Premier League is an unforgiving environment and the standards at Old Trafford makes it even more unforgiving club than most.

Liverpool's win allowed them to make the journey from ignominy at Bolton to Wembley in the Carling Cup final and the FA Cup fifth round in seven days, ousting Manchester City and Manchester United along the way. The questions about manager Kenny Dalglish have been silenced for now.

The emphasis will shift to Ferguson with United out of the FA Cup, Champions League and, much less significantly of course, the Carling Cup. It is the Premier League and Europa League that will hold his attention now, with focus firmly on the former.

United simply do not carry the old steel that a Gary Neville or Roy Keane would give them, but the talk of serious difficulties must be placed in context as Wayne Rooney, Nani, Nemanja Vidic, Phil Jones, Ashley Young and others were absent here.

There can be no escaping the conclusion that Ferguson faces some serious questions about squad strengthening in the summer - and the questions about De Gea may have to be dealt with even sooner.


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  • Comment number 1.

    De Gea needs to bulk up and attack crosses which come into the box. For now Lindegaard is number one and will stay that way for a while. Ferguson could also be bold and send him on loan to another Premiership club. Let him make his mistakes somewhere else and gain some experience

  • Comment number 2.

    I thought United controlled large parts of the game but defending for the 2nd goal was terrible. I thought De Gea should have stopped it too.

    He is looking a liability at the minute

    All this talk of strengthening and weak team, we are in a great position to win the Premier League again

    Utd in decline since 92

  • Comment number 3.

    De Gea is a long term prospect, it may be worth putting up with him for three or four years, allow him to develop into the world class goalkeeper so many people believe he can be, then Man U fans can potentialy have 10-15 years of having a top class goalkeeper!!

  • Comment number 4.

    United were awful and Liverpool were slightly less awful, Da Gea was poor and the game was sterile.
    Time for the Glazers to spend rather than taking, Diouf and Gibson out and Scholes in, is just not good enough.

    And 'no' to Mourinho.

  • Comment number 5.

    Is it the first time Man Utd have been knocked out of all cup comps by January, since 1987? (excluding our qualification to next stage of Europa league this year).

  • Comment number 6.

    United have been knocked out by Crystal Palace in the Carling Cup, knocked out in the Champions League in a group comprising the likes of Basel, Benfica & Otelui Galati. Now knocked out of the FA Cup by your their rivals. Behind their noisy neigbours in the league & facing Ajax in the Europa Cup. Could it get any worse?

  • Comment number 7.

    A time to celebrate.

    The resurgence of Liverpool.

    The demise of Manchester United.

  • Comment number 8.

    Loan him out? He cost £19million, somebody at that club needs to take responsibility for one of the biggest flops out there, he should be pleased Torres & Carroll are deflecting attention away from him as he is a complete liability.

    A club like Utd cannot wait 3-4 years for a GK of that price to 'come good'. There are too many big games that he would cost them in the short run.

    I said it a while back, throwing a 19yr old GK onto a new league when he didn't know the language and looks far too skinny at present was a ridiculous decision. The kid would have still cost £19million in 2 years if he was any good and it isn't as though Barca or Real need keepers so who was Fergie actually thinking would poach him??

    The game itself was a drab affair, that was a real makeshift Utd yet they were still able to make Liverpool's midfield look weak. Kenny needs a proper winger in there and a top centre midfielder and quick. Thought Carroll looked a bit more up for it but still needs a goal.

  • Comment number 9.

    I read alot of your blogs Mr McNulty and generally would've liked to get involved with the discussion but not got round to signing up , because more often than not I can't believe the stuff I'm reading, but this one has broke the camel's back. Let's take a look at the latest gem.

    "...but the talk of serious difficulties must be placed in context as Wayne Rooney, Nani, Nemanja Vidic, Phil Jones, Ashley Young and others were absent here.

    There can be no escaping the conclusion that Ferguson faces some serious questions about squad strengthening in the summer..."

    What's it to be Phil, United's matchday squad was weakened because they had all them key players out, or is it really Fergie needs signings in the summer to accommodate for a dozen injuries, resulting in a squad of 40 and a ridiculous wage bill.

  • Comment number 10.

    Congrats to the Scousers on what has been a brilliant week for them!

    I found today's match to be very good but boy did LFC have De Gea's number on this occasion. I am reluctant to write the guy off completely though, Peter Schmeichal didn't have the greatest of first seasons either at United.

    This was also going to be a tough fight and the Scousers got the edge this time round. In the short term I'm not sure what the answer is with De Gea, not sure what Premiership club would want him on loan, maybe Championship?

  • Comment number 11.

    Van De Sar won the title for Man Utd last season.

    No wonder SAF wanted him to keep going along with his other Peter Pan players.

    Time has caught up with all of them - it will be a long time before Man Utd are a force to be reckoned with again.

  • Comment number 12.

    Got to love Fergie claiming Utd played better, had more of the ball etc etc, it's goals that count at the end, not possession and they just didn't have enough of those!

  • Comment number 13.

    De gea's confidence is just completely shot. You could see that with liverpool's first goal, he had no conviction in coming out for the ball at all. This is a combination of the massive pressure he is under and a poor start - which just intensifies this.

    Despite this, I thought Liverpool were pretty lucky to win. United controlled the midfield just, like many occasions this season, lacked the guile to create many meaningful chances. It was only when Scholes came off that Liverpool even looked like they could win the game.

    Also suprising the negative tactics dalgleish used. 5 at the back, letting united have the ball and hoping to catch them on the counter - they played like the away side and this is not something you'd usually associate with a club like Liverpool at a fortress like Anfield. But they won, so I suppose it was vindicated.

  • Comment number 14.

    The shoulder-shrug acceptance of everyone to the abuse Evra was subjected to shocks me. There should be serious questions about whether Liverpool should be thrown out of the FA Cup after what he was subjected to. A player being booed issues relating to the colour of his skin is SO far off being acceptable in 2012 its unreal. I know the fans would say it wasn't directly because of his being black, but the whole thing is a race related issue..and the sight of thousands of people booing a black man for a race related issue is just sickening. The only meaningful punishment is expulsion from the competition..because that is the only kind of punishment which will encourage self-policing by fans. If you knew the booing of the idiot next to you could get you kicked out the competition this stuff would stop overnight.

  • Comment number 15.

    @9 don't think he meant sign 7 or 8 players in the summer to replace the injured. United's squad does strengthening in some areas, central midfield is obvious

    As a liverpool fan really pleased with the results this week. Hopefully will spur on the team in the league as well and get some consistent form. ALthough we're not good enough for 4th yet still need another winger and a finisher but i'll take a trophy, maybe 2 if the fa cup draw is good for us.

  • Comment number 16.

    De Gea is rubbish. He will never be a top goaly and time will prove this.
    The philosophy of signing him for near £20 million is warped as well. A smart manager would have spent a few million on a 30 year old + goalkeeper with experience and prescence and played him for a couple of years ( eg. Friedel or Given ). After two years you get in another older, recognised keeper for a few million. Thinking that you will ever get value for money for De Gea is madness.
    If Ferguson was at another top European club he would have rightly been sacked on his failures of this season. Sentiment may very well destroy Manchester United. Which brings us on to Dalglish.......

  • Comment number 17.

    looking forward to Soul_Patch's blinkered defence of the liability that is De Gea. Give Torres a defence while you're at it too, I guess...

  • Comment number 18.

    She walks in beauty, like the night
    Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
    And all that's best of dark and bright
    Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
    Thus mellowed to that tender light
    Which heaven to gaudy day denies

    Like a beautiful poem, the Liverpool's victory also reflected a certain amount of symmetry. One of the two players involved in the Suarez debacle lost concentration and it enabled Dirk Kuyt to slam the ball past De Gea, ironic if you ask me.

    Now lets look at UTD form over the last 15 games:


    I can see a wobble and we must also take in the teams that have beaten them over that 15 game period.

    Crystal Palace

    Squeaky bum time, squeaky, squeaky.

    Well done Liverpool and well done Andy Caroll, caused a few problems today and was unlucky not to make it 3-1.

    Its a beautiful day, a lovely weekend.

  • Comment number 19.

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  • Comment number 20.

    "Too many good things were said about De Gea prior to his arrival for so many people to be wrong"

    Why can't they be wrong? Let's be honest, Ferguson's list of calamity goalkeeping choices far outweighs the good. Van Der Sar and Schmeichel are the only two you can claim were resounding successes. Leighton, Taibi, Barthez, Van Der Gouw, Goram, Bosnich, Carroll.....the list goes on. All a shambles to a lesser or greater extent.

    For a undoubtedly great manager, it's always been his one blind spot. Now whether that's because his scouts aren't good enough, or he's not a good judge himself, I don't know. But it shouldn't be treated as some sort of surprise that he appears to have picked yet another dud.

  • Comment number 21.

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  • Comment number 22.

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  • Comment number 23.

    I must admit; I had previously felt all this talk of needing a replacement for Scholes was exaggerated; I thought they had enough in midfield to see them through. Watching him today reminded me of how much has changed since he's no longer a first-team regular. I know it's been said a thousand times before, but he's the only Premier League midfielder on a par with Xavi and Iniesta.

    His movement and decision-making just enrich the midfield with an aura of calm that hasn't been there all season. Without Scholes, United try to play a very quick, urgent attacking style; one-twos and flicks between the likes of Rooney and Welbeck, Carrick holding the fort, Valencia/Young/Nani providing quick crosses or cutting inside. It's often effective, but not consistent. If one or two are off their game, this style of play falls to pieces and results in a frustrating collective display.

    With a dictator like Scholes, you're guaranteed good performances on a consistent basis as a result of thoughtful, assured control. He's now too old to provide it week-in week-out. I don't know if Sneijder is capable of providing that service, very few players are. Cleverley? He will work okay with the more direct attacking approach Ferguson now uses. The transfer market is barren at the moment it has to be said.

  • Comment number 24.

    Stuart_MCFC sadly everyone will just see it as an inter-team rivalry thing and back their own corner. That's the blinkered nature of Englsih football fans (of all kinds). The bigger picture is that someone who dared to speak up and complain about being racially abused was villified by thousands of people, watched by millions more live on national TV for 90 minutes and no one is batting an eyelid at it.

    Ok..the liverpool fans think he's lying...lets be honest..none of us really know, but The point is this: The next time a player IS genuinely abused racially...he's going to think twice about complaining isn't he?

    I sincerely agree that the way to deal with with racism of fans in exclusion from competition. That's the one method which WILL get results, because it's the one kind of punishment that fans actually care about.

    Those who say we should shrug it off are like those who said the same about monkey noises back in the 1970s. Watching the behaviour in the stands today was like a 70s time warp.

  • Comment number 25.

    #23. Lennox Carmody,

    "don't know if Sneijder is capable of providing that service, very few players are."

    Scholes was excellent today. In the summer, I wanted Sneijder at United. Looking at his age now, all I can see in a 4 year contract is 1 season out injured, 1 season trying to find form and two seasons performing, at a top cost with next to nothing return when his contract terminates. He's not 24 anymore.

  • Comment number 26.

    becoming the united goalkeeper is a daunting task, SAF has bought in so many throughout the years with only two being succesful (van der sar & Schmeical), others have just crumbled by the wayside. I believe De Gea has two choices, he can either pick himself up and do what he needs to do. He needs to bulk up, become commanding and gain confidence. yes thats hard to do but thats what you need to do if you want to make it as the united goalkeeper. There is light at the end of the tunnel for de gea, but only if he works for it

  • Comment number 27.

    I'm a Liverpool supporter and hate Utd with a passion ,but De Gea is only 21 ,it will be at least 10 years before he hits his peak, give the lad a break (and a lengthy run in the team)

  • Comment number 28.

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  • Comment number 29.

    @14. Bang on.

    After the near-enough unilateral condemnation of Suarez's actions- the ill-judged T-shirts, the appallingly worded statement from LFC (who presumably pay someone a fortune to release rubbish like that), Suarez's defiant statement and typical Dalglish- to then pour vitriole at the victim of a race-related incident for 90 minutes beggars belief.

    To say it was expected does not vindicate it.

    One could only imagine what would be said, say, if Chelsea fans turned up outside court shouting and swearing at Anton Ferdinand. It really wouldn't be much different.

  • Comment number 30.

    You can see what SAF was thinking with the game at Anfield with many a goalkeeper producing a Man of Match performance there. this was Ferguson trying to help De Gea with his confidence I don't think Liverpool derserved to win and that a replay would have been a fair result . Also with regards to the chanting about Evra I think that although a bid childish the supporters are entitled to give their opinion and as long as supporters steer clear of anything truly personal or racial then as professionals they should be able to rise above it

  • Comment number 31.


    But you're going to have to buy someone. This was one of the more convincing midfield performances from united this season and how long are carrick, giggs and Scholes going to keep doing that.

    Who would you like to see brought in?

  • Comment number 32.

    Why did BBC close 606 forums, when rubbish like this comes out of "respectable" journalists keyboards?

    i'd rather create and reply to my teams threads than reply to bog standard, obvious weekend football.

    Awful journalism.

  • Comment number 33.

    #25. Reds 19

    I agree with you on that; signing a high-profile 27-year old always runs the risk of financial humiliation. Hope Fletcher makes it back, if he and Cleverley had been fit this season fit I think we'd be top of the table right now. I don't think buying in January is a wise solution, and I don't believe Ferguson has any intention of doing so. Maybe give Pogba or Morrison a shot; though my opinion of those lads has been soured by their attitude of late, if the reports are true, that is.

  • Comment number 34.

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  • Comment number 35.

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  • Comment number 36.

    @14. Evra was not booed because of his skin colour. He was booed as he abused Suarez, as stated in the FA's report, yet got away with it, due to the kangaroo court that was the FA's independent panel, which were always going to find Suarez guilty, from the get go, despite inconsistent evidence given by Evra, as he changed the number of times he was abused from 10 to 5, then the panel come up with the number 7. Where has that come from? Evra was never booed because of his skin colour.
    Your calling for Liverpool to be thrown out the FA cup is stupid. Should we throw Manchester United out of the premier league, for the abuse they are going to give to Suarez, when we visit in 2 weeks time, or are you just going to say that abuse Suarez receives is acceptable, and your fans should be given a medal for it. Don't deny your fans will not abuse Suarez.
    You are only focusing on that, as your team lost. Yes you had more possession, but goals count, and the fact that Evra was the player which made the mistake to allow Kuyt to score, was justice for Suarez, as a massive dose of Karma came and hit Evra right on the head.

  • Comment number 37.

    Matt touches on some good points about the behaviour of LFC and some of their fans. Although I wouldn't go as far as throwing them out of the competition, even as a lifelong ManU fan. I still can't get over the fact that the whole team and manager turned out on a warm up in t-shirts supporting a person found guilty by an independent panel of making racists remarks. This says a lot about a club that state categorically they are against racism in any form. Unless of course it involves one of your own players! RACISM IN FOOTBALL, SPORT IN GENERAL AND IN ANY WALK OF LIFE IS TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE. Rather than look for excuses for one of their own LFC should stop thinking everybody is against them and do something positive to show that they support the need to rid the sport of this cancer.

  • Comment number 38.

    @28 We all know there is small print, but the headlines that matter are this: 1. Evra complained about racial abuse 2. Suarez got banned 3. Liverpool fans abused Evra for making a complaint that resulted in their player getting banned....and would have done so irrespective of how convincing the evidence was.

    And at the end of the day, it or not..the FA decided Suarez was guilty.

    So, offically...what we watched was fans booing a black player for complaining about being racially abused...and that is how officially the FA should treat it. The only way to respond to that is as racial intimidation on a massive scale, and the only appropriate action is exclusion from competition.

  • Comment number 39.

    Just would like to know Liverpool fans opinions on Downing, watched him yet again fail to deliver 1 decent cross when given time and space, bit pointless having a 6ft 4inch centre forward when the ball doesn't go in properly. Same with Henderson, neat and tidy but yet to see him step up to dominate a game at all, even when at Sunderland

  • Comment number 40.

    Also, as for the other issues at hand;

    - the booing of Evra was to be expected; I don't believe it was 'racial', it's just another aspect of football tribalism you can't change. Passionate fans will perceive him as a villain and stand by their own player. I'm not condoning it, but anyone who says they expected the Liverpool fans to assume a dignified silence whenever Evra received the ball is either a liar or extremely naive.

    - de Gea had a rough game but don't over-react. Losing his automatic first-team place has probably rattled his self-belief; being targeted by the Liverpool players so obviously would not have done his confidence any favours either but it's something he'll have to get used to. I pity the lad, he has a really tough challenge ahead. He is always in the limelight; not many young keepers could deal with that. I hope he learns to cope; he has demonstrated great ability on occasion. The defenders were also to blame for that first goal anyway, and there was nothing he could do about the second, too fast and too close to him.

  • Comment number 41.

    Having also read many of the blogs and trawled through the awful standard of English in some of the comments, I found myself compelled to sign up and join the fray.
    While this season is undoubtedly one of the most unpredictable for a long time, the focus must be on the quality, or rather lack thereof, in our teams at the moment. Really only City can claim to have a world class squad, from their goalkeeper, through some of their defence at least, the midfield and ending with the strikers.
    Man United just don't have that any more. Where is the young talent? Granted, the old stagers of Giggs and Scholes can still run any show, Gerrard on his day as well. But players like Carrick, who, I must begrudgingly admit, do pop up with a cracker of a goal once in a while, shouldn't even be given playing time. SAF, as befits the manager of a top club, is looking for trophies, but it's not looking good this season. This may sound folly, but instead of concentrating on winning the league, introduce younger players to the fray and let them get experience alongside the older players. That way, the club will be a force to be reckoned with in the coming seasons. As for Liverpool? Admittedly, they played slightly better than their opponents today but the focus must surely be on their new signings? As we all know, Bellamy was fantastic business, Enrique too. But Downing?

    "He sidefooted a routine clearance close to goal straight to Stewart Downing, who was possibly too surprised to make anything of the gift"

    Sorry Phil, but everyone knows even if Downing had had all the time in the world, the chance wouldn't have come to anything. 20 odd million on a player who only stuck out at Middlesbrough as being exceptionally bad was a pretty poor choice. No goals and no assists, but seems to be a potential member for the English squad? Oh dear. No wonder we don't win anything. And I'll leave Carroll alone, seeing as we've been there, done that.

    De Gea is a tricky one, to return to the main focus of the blog. Yes, it was a lot of money and yes, he's had a, shall we say, fairly poor start to his career in England. However, he is young, and as previously mentioned, has the time to improve. The problem with that is his enormous transfer fee. If you pay 15, 20, 35 or even 50 million for a player, you expect the performances to match. As it is, none of the big name transfers are living up to their price tags. It remains to be seen what the rest of the season brings for the top teams. It'll definitely be interesting!

  • Comment number 42.

    #31. Bcfctim,

    It's impossible to find replacements for Giggs and Scholes.
    While watching the match today, I was thinking what it would be like, had Scholes been able to turn the clock back to 27-28.

    United need quality creative midfielders. There are not many arround. I'm pretty sure that SAF would have bought one, if there was any available.

    Perhaps, it's a "let's wait and see how much Cleverley can close of the holes" sort of thing.

    I would definitely not want a £30m, £200k per week, 28+ y.o.
    That far I know.

    You asked a difficult question, my friend.

  • Comment number 43.

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  • Comment number 44.

    @14 - ok so your OPINION that the booing was racially insensative holds about as much weight as De Gea does for being UTD's nbr 1! Saurez and Liverpool have accepted the ban, but have also made it clear that they still do not agree with the outcome. Maybe they thought this was the best time to take a ban and not risk a further one or maybe he is guilty and they thought its not best to fight it, who knows apart from the player and the club. But Fans will boo oppostion players, its happened for years and will continue to happen and especially when they believe their player has been unfairly treated. John Terry received similar treatment at QPR today, although he has not been convicted of the crime he is accused of so really QPR should also be punished, no?

    also Matt you wouldnt happen to be a UTD fan would you?

  • Comment number 45.

    #36. LFCgav wrote,

    "Evra was not booed because of his skin colour. He was booed as he abused Suarez..."

    Are you taking the mickey?

  • Comment number 46.

    Actually I think come_on_pilgrim makes a fair point - after seeing Lindegaard this season Utd already had a quality keeper, he's been absolutely solid. Having Kuszask as backup as well, maybe picking up Shay Given for a few million would have made more sense. Particularly with other areas of the squad that are more in need of strengthening.

    That said - I still think De Gea will come good. He has all the skills, theres probably different training routines at Utd and he is still very young. I dont think the pressure will bother him that much, he was first choice at Atletico and played at more or less the same level, and he was awesome. Maybe take another season or so...I'd be more worried about losing Lindegaard - a keeper of his quality should be playing games.

  • Comment number 47.

    I'm a Liverpool fan I was sort of hoping we wouldn't boo Evra today, but only because doing so would allow people who want to make trouble for the club make a fuss. I don't accept that booing him was remotely racist. It certainly falls a long way short of the "Anton Ferdinand, you know what you are" chants reported in Chelsea games after the Terry incident.

    We believe - and this is based on an entirely reasonable reading of the evidence and a recognition that the process used to judge Suarez guilty was scandalously flawed - that Evra's claims against Suarez were false and that he knew exactly what he was doing when he made them. Booing seems to me a fairly restrained response to someone who you think did that. I do accept that not everyone shares our reading of the case, but when judging the booing of Evra it's what we believe that is relevant.

    So yes, it's a pretty bad idea to boo Evra from a PR viewpoint. It allows people to interpret the act more sinisterly than its true intent, but is the alternative to start taking action against fans who boo? I know at least one poster here has suggested that. You disapprove of a player, you boo him. That's fine.

    If you want to judge Liverpool's attitude to racism - watch how we deal with accusations which we believe could be valid. After the Oldham game and again today it's full co-operation and zero tolerance. Suarez would get zero tolerance, too, if any of us believed he was guilty. But we don't, so he gets our support and the player who we think accused him unfairly gets our disapproval.

    I note the absence of anything rebutting the United fan's claims that Suarez is a racist. The FA say he is not. Manchester United say he is not. Patrice Evra say he is not. Banners held up at today's game and shown on TV say that he is. You get idiots amongst fans of all teams, I guess.

  • Comment number 48.

    There was no video evidence or any witnesses who heard or saw Suarez racially abuse Evra. It was one man's word against another. The FA panel decided that Suarez was probably guilty of doing so with the key word in that sentence being "probably". Due to the total lack of evidence, the majority of Liverpool fans feels Suarez has been harshly dealt with by the FA.

    If all you need is one man's word to get a player banned for 8 matches, then what's stopping other players from using this approach?

    The FA mishandled the whole situation instead of dealing with it with the facts that they had available to them.

    Let's face it... 8 match ban for racist abuse but only a 4 match ban for violent conduct shows how ridiculous the FA have been in this whole affair.

  • Comment number 49.

    Hey Phil.
    How about considering the license layers who fund this site and doing a blog on a team outside the top 5/6. Football is imploding, and it is the obsession with money and 'big' teams that is pushing ordinary football fans away. Football appears to be your livelihood so maybe you ought to look after it a bit better!

  • Comment number 50.

    @40 and 36. The "it's to be expected" or "United fans would do it too..." defense is the weakest kind there is. IS to be expected..precisely because we expect it! And I know exclusion sounds like a harsh penalty, but the point is, no true fan wants to see their club get kicked out a it is exactly the kind of punishment which would cause fans to police themselves better. It's the only kind of punishment that would achieve that.

    As for abuse of suarez...well, if he gets booed, it will be for being found GUILTY of racist abuse won't it? The fact that he was actually found guilty and Evra's complaint was upheld is not some minor detail in this's a crucial one to how the FA respond to it.

    If the FA had not upheld Evra's complaint then, while I would still think the abuse distastful, I don't think it should result in Liverpool's exclusion.

    But the fact is...they did. and that means, legally speaking, the liverpool fans were booing the innocent party...and that's how the FA should legally respond to it.

  • Comment number 51.

    @Reds19. No I am not. Read the 115 page report, Evra even admitted it. I can't fully say what I want to say freely, as the opinion of Liverpool FC is viewed as wrong by the media and you can't say the opinion freely. Evra abused Suarez, if you read the report you would know. Evra was not booed because of his skin colour one bit today, he was booed, as he abused Suarez, and got away with it, and another reason, which I can't say freely, however it is not a racist reason. HE WAS NO WAY BOOED DUE TO HIS SKIN COLOUR.

  • Comment number 52.

    I think we could have done without the evra booing. Did they not think why would evra bother making accusations that arent true? He wouldnt bother would he, all he gets is aggro from it. Its pretty sad state of society for liverpool fans to use this "liar" excuse to abuse someone, swear and hate someone they dont know for 90 minutes. Shameful and embarrassing to see kids swearing besides their mothers and fathers. These same people are "shocked" when violence or anti social behaviour hits their own lives, yet here they are dishing it out in disguise.

  • Comment number 53.


    That does seem to be the attitude of sir alex - try and make do and hope cleverly or morrison/pogba come good. But with man city splashing the cash and starting to look like a top, top team can he afford to?

    I agree united really need a creative midfielder - someone in the centre of the park who can unlock defences. Failure to sign Nasri in the summer could be fatal come the end of the season. Personally I like the look of that benfica lad gaitan. Do find it funny how after their CL exit united are suddenly being linked with loads of basle players! It's all ego, if they hadn't lost to them no one wouldve heard of the likes of shaqiri!

    Concur with your final point - difficult question indeed.

  • Comment number 54.

    @LFCgav ultimately your booing was due to him being black, because this story wouldnt have existed otherwise. Fans just used the "liar" thing as an excuse to hide behind. Its pretty idiotic to think the guy has any real reason to make any stories up, this is a man with status, doing a job he loves, set for life financially, yet he goes round making up stories to give himself loads of grief from fans and media? How implausible is that. I think fans in general shouldn't abuse people because it reflects in society and our society right now, is full of angry, horrible people.

  • Comment number 55.

    @50. "Legally speaking, the Liverpool fans were booing the innocent party." Since when was the FA's panel suddenly one of a court of law. The panel preferred Evra's evidence, they never proved that to be true, just they preferred the idea that it was true. So legality has nothing to do with it. The Utd fans would do it response is not weak at all. It is just you trying to deny you are a hypocrite, by saying that if you boo a player you should be expelled from a competition, as you know that Utd fans will boo Suarez, and abuse him when we visit you. He was found guilty for misconduct by the way, again if you read the report you would know that. He was not found guilty for racist abuse, but for misconduct, for using a racist term, even though the conversation was in Spanish, and like I mentioned previously, the word used in Spanish is not racist.

  • Comment number 56.

    I'm with Matt (comment below) re Evra. The Liverpool fans should be ashamed of themselves for their treatment of PE. Booing and jeering him due to a race related issue - with Suarez looking on - was appalling. That the game resonated to the sound of "there's only one Louis Suarez" only compounded things further. What a shameful episode in Liverpool's history this is.

  • Comment number 57.

    Also suarez going to the match with his family was a ridiculous PR stunt. Perhaps he should have sat down to some angry, annoyed, horrible fans and shouted with them? You realise you all look like dreadful, awful people shouting all this abuse? Its just a game of football, but the abuse is much more than that. Im sure man utd fans will be just as guilty when suarez comes. And if he isnt a racist, then theres no such thing as a racist anywhere then. He acted like one thats for sure and hasnt helped his team by not apologising and not going to that game. The guys clearly not got the highest of IQs.

  • Comment number 58.

    @54 "This is a man with status". Go and tell that to the people of France. Don't you remember the world cup, when Evra walked out on the national side. He is hated by the French.
    If you think that we booed Evra because of his skin colour, go ahead and prove that then. You will never prove that. But I can assure you, he was not booed due to his skin colour.

  • Comment number 59.

    @57. A PR Stunt Suarez going to the game with his family. Sorry is he not allowed to go and watch the team he plays for with his family any more. It was not a PR stunt.
    He is not a racist, Evra, the FA, the report have never said Suarez is a racist, so there goes that point out the window. He never acted like a racist.
    So in your life, you have never ever uttered a word, or term, which could be classed as racist?

  • Comment number 60.

    @LFCgav Spanish expert or newspaper reader?

    So in a heated argument suarez used a friendly word did he? Oh yes that always happens during arguments, friendly words just pop out of nowhere? Its just totally implausible. Just need to use some common sense. The guy racially abused him in the heat of the moment. And Spain is hardly the moral highground for racism is it, still has black players booed in the crowd.

  • Comment number 61.

    #51, LFCgav,

    I by no means want to kick off something on Suarez, as I believe he isn't worth it.

    Suarez came to England with the reputation of a talented player with a grave history in attitude and behaviour, something I'm sure you're well aware of.

    I don't want to start pointers of the sort "how credible is someone who bites ears in anger, in football".

    What I will say is Suarez has an incredible opportunity to up his stature as a footballer by playing for Liverpool, helping Liverpool's cause in the process, being paid very well for that.
    It would be a shame if he blows it away.

  • Comment number 62.

    watched the game as a neutral since im a nufc fan. i gotta u shud hav won. lfc are jammy! overall difference between the 2 teams is that man u are good at putting together a long consistent run - which is why man u win the league more often than not. well in the last very many years anyway. lfc play a more inconsistent football thats not very pretty too watch and more suitable for a cup run allowing them to be upbeat and gun-ho every now and again when a cup game comes along. due to there inconsistent play - opposition teams find it difficult to plan against them. even carroll dont have a clue how the team plays hence he dont get any goals.

    anyhoo... thats my rant.before i get greif...i aint no expert...but its my opinion!

    peace out!

  • Comment number 63.

    Liverpool needed the win more so than Man U. I don't agree fans booed Evra due to his colour, but I do agree the t shirts were a pr disaster. The whole thing was a disaster, it's should of been handled appropriately.
    I think the Hillsborough chants were distasteful and disgusting.

  • Comment number 64.

    1)Fans, fans fans, booing Evra. Booing a victim of racism. How stupid.

    2)Yes De Gea had a bad day however Fergie may have lost United the game by subbing Scholes. From that moment on, United couldn't hold on to the ball. Hernandez had 1 or 2 touches after coming on. Would have thought Rafael(on a yellow and subdued at the time) would have gone off, Valencia moves into right back instead and perhaps Berbatov(that can hold on to the ball pretty well) comes on to play behind Wilbeck. Point is, Hernandez shouldnt have replaced Scholes. This sub reminded me of Wenger's Chamberlain sub last week against United. Anyhow, very disappointed in the end but, that's football. We were beaten fairly and ref did a good job. Congrats to Liverpool.

  • Comment number 65.

    Evra was not booed because of his skin colour in the slightest. He was booed because Liverpool fans think he acted deceitfully in the suarez incident. Now Suarez did deserve to get banned, but because of evra's abuse to suarez, he is going to get booed.

    For goodness sake, its common place for fans to boo players they don't like, ex-players or play-actors etc. This was nothing different, its just the dislike came from a high profile incident. Matts suggrst of excluding Liverpool is just ridiculous, are we going to ban every team when a fan booes? Or can we somehow come up with a system that says only in some booeing can the team be excluded?

    As for the game, well done liverpool for another good defensive performance (except the goal!) I think carragher played well in the holding midfield role (not 5 at the back as someone has suggested).

  • Comment number 66.


    What exactly did Suarez say? And where's your evidence? Evra's word is not enough and should have never been enough.

  • Comment number 67.

    #24. Matt

    One part of your comment gets to the true heart of the matter,

    "Ok..the liverpool fans think he's lying...lets be honest..none of us really know"

    In the absence of any corroborating evidence this is precisely the issue. As such Suarez should have been punished for what he admitted saying ( ? 2-3 games ), leaving the FA maintaining a zero tolerance stance.

    LFC would have had no cause for complaint with this outcome.

    Instead they choose to label him a liar and exaggerrate the charges in order to be seen to be the trailblazers for racial equality in the football world. Hence the need to compile a 115 page document telling the world what they " probably think has happened".

    It is the FA's mishandling of the situation that has infuriated the Liverpool fans and they need to bear much of the responsibility for the circus that has ensued.

    On a side note if during Cantona's ban, the yob who he assaulted was paraded at Old Trafford how would the crowd have reacted? Oh thats right he wasn't accused of racism.......just GBH!!!

  • Comment number 68.

    As a United fan I expected Evra to be booed today, I personally don't think it was with any real racial intent, more due to frustration, the Liverpool fans know that without Suarez in their team they are probably only about on par with Everton!

    As for Suarez I fully support every vocal United fan who treats him the way he treated Evra in that game in October, he isn't a racist but what he did that day was Racism, it was personal and for Evra it was clearly distressing, so he should receive all that back. If it's by 70,000 more people, so be it.

    (Liverpool fans please don't comment back with any comparison to the United team, who were without, probably 8 First team players today, First Team United vs. First Team Liverpool is a mismatch)

    In the game today no-one deserved to win, but Liverpool managed to so full credit goes to them.

    As for De Gea, the topic of this blog. He was woeful today, looked out of sorts and under serious pressure, he needs to play in the Berbatov games, against Fulham and the other more mediocre PL teams who won't try to fight us like the relegation or top teams.

  • Comment number 69.

    If suarez isnt a racist, then I guess there is no such thing as a racist in the world. Sorry but he was racist to evra, end of story. Its embarrassing what liverpool have done, with those tshirts too. I feel sorry for evra because today he had to put up with racist comments from fans, abuse, horrible people swearing at him the whole game and the guys done nothing. Liverpool fans are annoyed with him because he didnt take suarezs blatently racist comments too well? If he called you them in the street and you were black you wouldnt take kindly to it. Its ridiculous.

    It really must have been a great game to go and watch with your family if you were black. "why are they booing that guy" "its because they think he lied about being racially abused" absolutely ridiculous. Who are we trying to kid with this nonsense? The guy is an idiot. Suarez that is. Im sure evra will not bother reporting it next time because now he knows what english society can really like. Angry, petty and often disgusting. Racist or not.

  • Comment number 70.

    @42, Reds19

    If Scholes were able to turn back the clock by a decade or so, he would have completely embarrassed every single player on the pitch to the point of early retirements and ritualistic suicide. As it was, he merely outshone them by quite a bit.

  • Comment number 71.

    #67, Smithy3529,

    Is this a case of "nothing has been proven, crystal clear"?

    If Suarez was innocent, he wouldn't provide inconsistencies to the F.A.

    As for the Cantona ban, that fan has done a significant amount of time in prison for beating the hell out of a school teacher for not playing his son in his primary school (BBC news, in this website).

  • Comment number 72.

    @47 Your comment is sensible and I understand your point of view.

    The issue though is how to the FA offically respond to the events today?

    UNOFFICALLY, I think we all know that the case was complicated and there are various points of view people could take...I still think the booing is on any view, wrong..but that's just my opinion.

    OFFICALLY it's quite simple: Suarez racially abused Evra and got banned.

    So, unoffically you might interpret the booing we saw today in all sorts of ways, but the question is, what is the offical response?

    Offically, what happened was this: The innocent player of racial abuse got consistently intimidated and booed at by a very sizable section of the Liverpool crowd.

    Unless the FA are going to second guess their own judgement, surely you see that is how they HAVE to interpret what happened today? And they have to respond to it as such.

    So, in a sense, I agree with you, but it seems to me the FA have two options here:

    1. Release a statement on Monday to the effect that they reconsidered their verdict and consider Evra to be a liar or at least equally to blame.

    2. Release a statement deploring the behaviour of liverpool fans against an innocent victim of racial abuse and imposing some kind of punishment on Liverpool F.C.

    Either of these options would make sense...What they shouldn't do (but what I expect they WILL do) is simply turn a blind eye and sit on the fence...look weak, and not have the courage of their own convictions.

    The problem is precident setting. Suppose there is a really clear cut incident of racial abuse, and then the fans boo the racially abused player afterwards...if they don't act over the abuse of Evra, they have set a precident to then not act in future.

  • Comment number 73.

    it's quite clear that football is a game of confidence, no matter how good a team of 11 are, if they play against a team who arent as technically gifted or talented as them, there is still a chance that the weaker team can with because of mental attributes or being inspired by their managers. Hence the FA Cup!!! Where lower division teams can beat the likes of Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal. When it gets to a high level of professional sport, talent isn't always the most important factor in winning a game. Clearly the lads confidence is shot, so he isn't performing to his best. He clearly panics and goes back to what he knows in his native country which is to try to come out and punch the ball, you wouldnt see many english keepers attempting to punch that ball, its clearly of spanish influence. Give the guy a chance though, think its ridiculous to right him off yet, utd have quite rightly paid for his potential and he will come good. Fans are so quick to write off players. The likes of torres at chelsea and carrol at liverpool are stuggling with a lack of confidence amung other things (in carrol's case, fitness). He will come good and will probably become a cornerstone to the success of utd in years to come. Give the guy a chance, more then one season.

  • Comment number 74.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 75.

    Id also like to point out to liverpool fans that racists do exist. Or do they not actually exist? Because out of the 60,000 or whatever at the ground, common sense would tell us a few would be racist.

    The horrible truth is those chanting racist abuse at anfield, were more welcome than any black family would be at the game. Shocking irony about that state of affairs.

  • Comment number 76.

    #70. Bookface.

    Unfortunately, more or less you just typed my own thoughts there. The ease with he was distributing play, many times with one single touch, having come so recently out of retirement speaks wonders.

    Naturally, my mind goes to the pair of young midfielders who seem to believe too much of themselves but are unable to break into the first team, bringing the manager to the point of asking Scholes to come out of retirement in the age of 37. I'd like to know what their opinion is on this.

  • Comment number 77.

    Were the Liverpool fans just too stupid to know what they were booing?! Because what they were booing was a human being who had been racially abused by another human, now that in itself is racism!

    Ok, maybe one boo at the start for what he said to Suarez (which he admitted to), but what he said wasn't a criminal act and happens a lot in football, so why should he have been punished for it?

    What Suarez said was racist though, forget the rubbish about "it's not racist in Uruguay" because that's what it is, rubbish! He says it's common to talk to friends like that, but is Evra his friend? No. It was a derogatory term about Evra's skin colour in a hostile situation, therefore it was racist.

    The fans may as well have been screaming monkey noises and throwing bananas at Evra all match; by supporting the guilty party they were supporting the racial behaviour by Suarez! As I started with it was probably unknowingly.. but Suarez claimed incompetence and look how that turned out.

  • Comment number 78.

    I think we should all shout and be angry and horrible to each other in the street just like the game or in our cars with road rage..Oh hang on, this already happens.

  • Comment number 79.

    @50 - Im sorry did you actually claim that he was legally convicted by the FA? First of all, if there was clear evidence of racial abuse on the part of Saurez, why hasnt the case been passed to the CPS? If it could be proved that he has indeed broken the law as Evra has claimed he could be prosecuted. the fact that it hasnt gone down that route, just adds more ambiguity to the whole matter. The FA, i do beleive needed a guilty outcome to show they are doing the part in the fight against racism. im not saying he is not guilty and im not saying he is, but the only guilty verdict that really matters in this country is that passed down from a court of law, not the FA. no one apart from Saurez himself and also Evra will ever really know what was said and in what context.

  • Comment number 80.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 81.

    The FA found Suarez guilty of racially abusing Evra and gave him an 8 match ban. The liverpool fans booed and also racially abused Evra (A shot of a liverpool fan making monkey gestures towards Evra was on television). If the FA really want to "Kick Racism Out Of Football" they should ban liverpool from the FA cup and fine them at least 1million pounds. That would definitely make racism disappear VERY quickly

    -Also, as a Manchester united fan, i think that De Gea had a bad day today, however he has had too many bad days. He needs to start putting in decent performances, in the meanwhile he and Lindergaard should share the top spot

  • Comment number 82.

    Oh dear, clearly a lot of folk on here who are taking the moral high ground and obviously have never been to Old Trafford!

    I seem to remember Steven Gerrard receiving abuse there even though he was not guilty of affray.

  • Comment number 83.

    De Gea is very likely to be making the save which puts England out of a World or European Football competition, than the opposite happening from any of his English counterparts. He is young and will learn and get better.

  • Comment number 84.

    #69 pinnacleoffruit

    You state - (It really must have been a great game to go and watch with your family if you were black. "why are they booing that guy" "its because they think he lied about being racially abused" absolutely ridiculous)

    I don't understand what you're saying. Are you suggesting that it is impossible for somebody of a certain race to lie about being racially abused?

    Or are you saying that it's impossible to comprehend that the black captain of the team you support might lie about being racially abused by their biggest rival's star player?

    Would the suggestion of lying be easier for you to believe if it was Glen Johnson accusing Hernandez?

  • Comment number 85.

    I think we all lose focus to what Phil McNulty has "seen" as main issue, naturally, as an English journalist.

    I've been surprised watching this match for many good reasons.

    It was the cleanest Liverpool v Man Utd encounter we've seen by a mile.
    Both teams played football, with no intention to hurt opponents, no intention to cheat and no intention to cause opponents yellow carded or red carded.
    The referee had an excellent game.
    In the end, the team who wanted it more, won it.

    But English sports journalists don't want to talk about these "boring attributes" in a football match. Encourage them a bit, and you will start reading about "glamour", "champagne", "who did what during a night out", "what they were wearing" and many - many more ridiculous, non football related personal details about footballers' lives.

    In a way it ressembles those statements about Pete Sampras that he was bad for tennis because he wasn't bringing the "big name girlfriend" and wasn't giving opportunities for non tennis headlines during Wimbledon.

    I suppose it's a brain malfunction or an anti-sports virus in sports journalism in this country. Today, we are lead to talk about what others have decided for us to talk since about a week ago. They were promoting it throughout the week, quite heavily.

  • Comment number 86.

    For a point of comparison, Ronaldo correctly gets Rooney sent off for stamping on a player's genitals. He (Ronaldo) is booed vociferously for several months by the English, to general approval. Evra gets a key player banned for 8 games for racial 'abuse' in its mildest conceivable form, and people are actually surprised/'shocked' when the banned player's team's fans boo him?

  • Comment number 87.

    #86. SummersIron.

    "Evra gets a key player banned for 8 games for racial 'abuse' in its mildest conceivable form"

    In its mildest conceivable form?
    You clearly have no clue about what racism is, do you?

  • Comment number 88.

    Of course Evra was booed today - anyone thinking different is a fool.

    What I'd like to ask Evra is why is it ok for you to use "threatening and abusive" language towards a player - and expect him not to react?
    If Suarez had casually walked up to him and referred to Evra being black - which he is - for abusive reasons I could understand the issue - he did not though. He reacted to Evras' abuse.

    Confused: If Evra can say whatever he wants to player on the pitch - why not everyone else?

  • Comment number 89.

    81. That pretty much sums up my view.

    People say "are you going to ban every time fans boo a player?" they miss two crucial points 1. Very rarely are there racial overtones to booing of players.

    and 2. If just ONCE the FA acted strongly on this kind of expulsion from competiton their fight would be won overnight. Fans behave this way only beacuse they think...ultimately...they will get away with it.

    Expulsion of teams from competitions is the right kind of punishment for fan-behaviour because it encourages the fans themselves to see the sense of behaving decently. Just a couple of high profile explusions would change the atmosphere in stands around the country overnight.

  • Comment number 90.

    Evra said some horrible things to Suarez who said some horrible things back to Evra. One of them was punished, one wasn't. That I guess is the crux of LFC anger, but I'm not sure it should be directed at Evra or in defending Suarez.

    Both players should have been banned by the FA to prove it is not acceptable to be racist or say offensive things about someones family but as is usual with the FA they banned one and ignored the other. They will probably not apply an 8match ban to the England captain regardless of which way the court ruling goes and so will remain as inconsistent as ever in their choice of punishments.

    As for the match Man Utd looked much better than I've seen them play for a while in spells but they look dodgy at the back and it's not just De Gea. Important month coming up as well for them with some really big games that could determine the Premier League.

  • Comment number 91.

    De Gea is still a youngster and is learning as a goalkeeper. Its normal for young goalkeepers like him to make mistakes. SAF made the wrong decision by letting De Gea start as goalkeeper in the big FA Cup match against Liverpool. For the big matches Lindegaard should be starting as goalkeeper ahead of De Gea. Big mistakes by De Gea in the FA Cup and League Cup has cost United the match both against Liverpool and Crawley. If Lindegaard had started in both those crucial matches United would have won those matches and still be in 4 competitions. SAF's decision to keep starting with De Gea is costing United's chance of winning anything this season. De Gea should have his eye surgery now, then that probably would solve the problem he is having. That's probably the excuse he's got for making these big mistakes.

    From seeing De Gea starting as goalkeeper before the match I knew that Liverpool will win. De Gea has been making mistakes regularly this season so it was no surprise he made a mistake again. Liverpool played excellent today and got the goals that matter. With Liverpool's two excellent performance against both Manchester clubs over last 4 days makes them favourites to win both the League Cup and FA Cup. There is no reason why they cannot win both with the way they are playing right now.

  • Comment number 92.

    #88, Smokey,

    With compliments

  • Comment number 93.

    It's nothing to do with them thinking Evra lied. I'm pretty sure Evra told the truth and I think most other people are as well. They simply booed him for getting their player a lengthy ban - rightly or wrongly - and would have booed him if he had got Suarez banned for any other reason. Suarez is their player and they will support him, whatever he does, just like United fans will stick up for Rooney and City fans will back Balotelli, to name two examples.

  • Comment number 94.


    Crikey! Didn't see that until now. Not good to see at all.

    Still doesn't make it right for Evra to walk around using abusive language then coming the big girl with "he called me a n*gger"...

    He called you a Negro. That is factually accurate. Had you not insulted his sister he probably would'nt have called you anything at all. Too far out of position etc..

  • Comment number 95.

    There are moronic Liverpool supporters, there are moronic United supporters; the game of football attracts decent folk and morons in equal measure; just because you support a team, it doesn't mean you must feel compelled to justify the behaviour of all of your fellow supporters.

    Those booing Evra lacked class and integrity. The decision to wear those Suarez t-shirts was absolutely cringe-worthy. That being said, I don't feel Liverpool F.C. lacks class and integrity as a whole. We all make silly decisions, and every club has their fair share of foolish/ignorant supporters.

    As a United fan, I have to accept embarrassing behaviour like Rio Ferdinand shamelessly advertising Snickers bars on Twitter! But yes, it would be nice if everyone was a bit less tribal and more candid about these issues.

  • Comment number 96.

    I think it quite odd that the Liverpool crowd constantly booed and heckled Evra because he was the victim of racial abuse. He was made to feel like he had done something wrong for speaking about it. And I feel you've condoned that sentiment but not castigating the Liverpool crowd for it. Suarez was found guilty of racial abuse and yet it's Evra who gets all the negativity? Disgraceful.

  • Comment number 97.

    At 01:19 29th Jan 2012, Reds19 wrote:

    #86. SummersIron.

    "Evra gets a key player banned for 8 games for racial 'abuse' in its mildest conceivable form"

    In its mildest conceivable form?
    You clearly have no clue about what racism is, do you?

    I'm not an expert, but I think I have a measured enough outlook. 'Mildest' is an exagerration, but it's pretty mild. I'd rank it about 2 on the Racism Scale, with 1 being someone who didn't know better cluelessly using an out-dated term like 'coloured', and 10 being killing or torturing someone for no other reason than their skin colour. 5/6 would be a persistent bullying of somebody for their race.
    In the Suarez incident, Evra's race was one of a number of things that came up in an argument between the two players in the heat of the moment, along with references to Suarez being South American. It was wrong of Suarez to bring race into it, but it wasn't (I believe) a particularly vindictive act.

  • Comment number 98.

    @ 83 : De Gea is very likely to be making the save which puts England out of a World or European Football competition, than the opposite happening from any of his English counterparts.

    For that to happen, we'd have to have a shot on target. And at the moment, Joe Hart is a far better prospect than De Gea. Mind you, so is a dustbin. It'd probably still keep Andy Carroll out as well!

  • Comment number 99.

    #94. Smokey,

    Actually it was also a mild bite (laughing) but perhaps we should chill out a bit. I found two nice once, relating to goalkeeping. Enjoy

  • Comment number 100.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.


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