By Josh Jones-Keen –
David De Gea has just won Man United’s player of the year for the 3rd time in a row. This is a great achievement and one that might not be beaten for some time. Some will say this is indicative of how poor Man Utd are currently however let’s put this in perspective, whilst far from their recent best they are still chasing a champions league spot and have the chance to win the FA Cup for the first time in over 10 years. A lot of what has been good about Man Utd this season has come from the back so let’s look at what makes De Gea so good and how can try to emulate him.
When De Gea first started playing for United he looked a bit lost and out of sorts as did his back line even though it was one made up of great experience. Now whilst the defenders are not anywhere nearly as good as previous incumbents De Gea has got them listening to him and they are ready to be commanded. This drill will help start to get the Keeper talking. Effective communicating can add so much to a team.
Make sure when communicating orders are brief and to the point, direct and have clear ownership. For example how many times do you hear players ‘Back if you need/want’, I tell me Keepers to be positive and if they want the ball to demand it not suggest.
These instructions cover every drill a Keeper does including playing time come match day. Here are some to use and some to avoid:
Dealing with Crosses
Again when first coming to England De Gea had looked like he almost had never caught a crossed ball in his life, now he plucks them out of the air with ease.
Shot stopping is what really brings De Gea the plaudits. Time and time again he will pull off a save that adds to United’s points total. They would be a lot worse off without him. If saves were celebrated like goals DDG would be an even more busy man.
The field is 50 yards long, split in to 3 zones. One end zone is 18 yards deep while the other end zone is 25 yards deep. The different size end zone will encourage different types of shots.
By Josh Jones-Keen – Josh has been coaching Goalkeepers for over a decade & has both Outfield and Goalkeeper coaching awards from England and Scotland. He’s coached at a number of levels from grassroots to semipro and currently coaches non league Women’s team as well as a local academy.