Where would Manchester United be in the standings without David de Gea?

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David de Gea is the top flight’s most overworked goalkeeper, and one of the main reasons Manchester United is second place in the the Premier League.

He has the third most saves in the League, behind only Jordan Pickford and Łukasz Fabiański. The other goalkeepers on the top five teams face far fewer shots, which is what you’d expect from elite teams.

Is that down to the boring, defence-first system Jose Mourinho employs on a weekly basis?

de Gea deserves all the credit in the world for keeping United within striking distance of Man City, though they would need a miracle to overhaul the runaway leaders. Could Alexis Sanchez be the miracle United are searching for?

At the very least, Sanchez’s presence in the attacking third should help increase United’s possession statistics, which could correlate into a lighter workload for de Gea.

So, where would the Red Devils be positioned devoid of their world-class goalkeeper? Rather than sitting pretty in second place, I wager to guess they’d be on the outside of the top four looking in.

It’s not a particularly farfetched presumption, especially considering de Gea’s consistent heroics. One match that springs immediately to mind is United’s 3-1 away win at Arsenal: de Gea was magisterial, making a number of otherworldly saves to secure all three points.

Premier League match day 25 predictions

The Wingman gives Everton one more chance to redeem themselves after drawing West Brom at home, with the Toffees looking to win their first in six against Leicester at Goodison.

Elsewhere, West Ham host Crystal Palace in a crucial London derby. Separated by a single point in the standings, neither team can afford to lose this match. Back the draw in this one, and expect a low-scoring, somewhat cagey affair.

 

Lambasting Arsenal is good for Spurs’ supporters souls

Opinion, Videos

The only thing comparable to watching Tottenham dismantle Everton on Saturday occurred the very next day, when Arsenal walked away from Bournemouth dejected and despondent. 

Maybe you most enjoyed watching Granit Xhaka, Arsenal’s supposed defensive central midfielder, mosey back on Bournemouth’s winner, altogether losing his mark and disregarding his responsibilities.

Or did you find the most gratifying aspect of the match watching Arsene Wenger stew on the sideline?

Or, perhaps seeing Alexis Sanchez withdrawn from the Gunners’ lineup sent you into a state of euphoria. How about Alexandre Lacazette not scoring for over 10 hours?

Regardless of which Arsenal calamity brings you the most joy, it was an all-round joyous weekend of Premier League football as far as Tottenham are concerned.

Sure, Spurs supporters would have loved to see Manchester United trip up against Stoke or Liverpool throw away a three-goal lead, but Arsenal’s catastrophic display on the south coast provided enough cause for celebration.

Wenger’s is in disarray yet again, and the Wingman doesn’t mince his words about the club’s current state of disrepair. If it feels like you’ve heard that before, you assuredly have, but never to this abject level. Arsenal are ensnared in a state of free fall, evinced by their locker room unrest and dismal away results. The Gunners have taken 13 points from 12 away matches, their lowest return in over a decade, since 2005-2006.

Their lack of guile and toughness in midfield is laughable, factors that guarantee perpetual road misery.

Oh, and if you haven’t heard, Sánchez is booking his one-way ticket out of the Emirates. No player is bigger than a club, but Sánchez is unarguably Arsenal’s best player. The Gunners have lost three in a row without the diminutive, petulant Chilean.

And what’s more reinforcing for Tottenham is knowing things are going to get a lot worse at Arsenal. Some say Wenger has lost the locker room. I believe it by the discernible and disrespectful lack of commitment Wenger’s side play with.

Not usually one to harbour malevolent feelings or wish ill-will toward an opponent, I’m amenable to making an exception in Arsenal’s case.

That’s what 22 consecutive years of inferiority will do to a man.

However, those years are well and truly behind us, as either side of North London couldn’t be on more opposite trajectories.

(This piece originally featured on Tottenham HQ. Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)

Arsenal may have inadvertently done Tottenham a favour as Spurs target Kondogbia

Sports

Ordinarily, I care less about Francis Coquelin and any related Arsenal transfer news than I do about impressionist dance. 

And I didn’t even know impressionist dance was an actual dance until recently. Don’t even think about asking how I heard about the unorthodox, mystifying art form. The point is, Coquelin’s impending move to Valencia, regardless of how unintended, could actually benefited Spurs.

How you ask?

Adding the feisty – and, in my opinion, highly overrated French defensive midfielder – to their squad, Valencia now have enough strength, guile and cover in midfield to relinquish their tight grip on Geoffrey Kondogbia.

Is Kondogbia worth the hype?

Why should we care about Kondogbia?

Because he’s rumoured as a Spurs transfer target, a possible replacement for the aging and intermittently ailing Mousa Dembele. Mind you, nobody can truly replace Dembele, but acquiring the services of a strong, mobile defensive midfielder like Kondogbia would a great start.

While many people compare the 24-year-old Frenchman to Dembele, I see more of a likeness to Victor Wanyama, who made his return to Tottenham’s lineup against Wimbledon in the FA Cup last weekend.

Although his proficient dribbling ability is definitely more Dembele-esque. The tower of midfield power is on loan from Inter Milan, which could slightly compliment a possible transfer; I’ll let Spurs top brass solve that minor issue.

According to Who Scored, Kondogbia’s only discernible blemish in an otherwise flawless CV is his ill-tempered discipline. But other than a few minor indiscretions, there’s no other red herrings when it comes to the Frenchman’s disciplinary record; he is a saint compared to Serge Aurier.

You won’t catch me thanking Arsenal for their unintended good deed, but I will offer my appreciation to Valencia and Inter Milan if they’re able to work out a way to see it through and send Kondogbia to North London.

(This piece originally featured on Tottenham HQ. Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Match Day 14 Premier League Predictions: Wingman’s Perplexing Play

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The Wingman this week focusses on Everton Football Club for the Perplexing Play of the Week, or the perplexing season thus far in Everton’s case.

Ronald Koeman was fired after nine matches, such is the state of disarray at the club.

The blue half of Merseyside spend over £140 million on signings during the offseason, many of whom have failed to impress so far at Goodison. The Wingman takes a look at what you could buy that kind of outrageous money, and you’ll want to see some of the items on his shopping list.

For the Premier League Pick of the Week, the Wingman dives into the weekend’s marquee matchup, between Manchester United and Arsenal. There is no love lost between Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger, which the Wingman poignantly points out.

Watch this segment to find out who the Wingman is backing in the massive contest at the Emirates.

If you like our jibe, please subscribe. Give us a like and comment too. Let’s get this conversation started!

Why Canada Sports Betting? Because every player needs a wingman.

Who do you think Everton should hire to save their club from permanently spinning out of control?

(Script and character idea creation by Newagejourno. Video production and editing by LTD EDN Productions.)

Should Mike Dean take full responsibility for Tottenham’s derby loss?

Sports

Mike Dean certainly didn’t do Tottenham any favours during the North London derby, but the controversial referee can’t be held completely culpable for the frustrating loss.

While it’s true that his incorrect foul decision on Davinson Sanchez led directly to Shkodran Mustafi’s opener, Spurs simply weren’t good enough on the day to justify a better result. Did Dean’s harsh ruling on Spurs’ Colombian center back change the complexion of the match?

Absolutely.

Did Sanchez pull back the diminutive Arsenal Chilean to unfairly win the ball?

Absolutely not.

Mauricio Pochettino was correct in his post-game press conference.

Dean’s incorrect decision and the linesman’s missed offside definitely altered the course of the match. But in those moments Tottenham must be more resilient. By thwarting the resulting free kick Sanchez’s teammates could have provided him with the clemency he so deserved.

Unfortunately Sanchez wasn’t so lucky.

Spurs didn’t play well enough

Tottenham should have handled the resulting free kick more assuredly, even if it was marginally offside. Which it was.

But how many times have we witnessed Premier League officials get calls wrong that have a direct outcome on the match?

Probably more times than I cursed Arsenal and Dean on Saturday.

But that’s the entire point. No team can rely on officiating to be infallible. Until video review is introducted for questionable offside calls human error will linger in perpetuity, like Arsene Wenger on the Arsenal touchline.

By no means am I defending Dean, who shows incessantly his propensity for getting pivotal calls wrong in crucial matches. But Tottenham are accountable for slack marking on the Mustafi goal. It was offside by the narrowest of margins and should have never allowed but Jan Vertonghen let Mustafi get the better of him. The German easily won the physical duel with Vertonghen, brushing him aside to meet the ball forcefully in midair.

The German center back wanted it more, and was rewarded. That’s the harsh truth of it.

So while Dean, for his poor judgement and incompetence, deserves to be the star of countless memes and the butt of a bevy of jokes, Mauricio Pochettino’s men must also be held partially accountable.

The first half simply wasn’t good enough. And I’m sure in reflection the gaffer will reinforce that notion to the lads in the locker room.

(This piece was originally featured on Tottenham HQ. Head there for the latest Tottenham news. Feature image by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)