Forget the great attacking players, David De Gea and Ederson are the secrets behind Manchester clubs' success



Between them, the two Manchester clubs that meet on Sunday have some of the greatest attacking footballers in the Premier League, and yet in their battle at the top it has been their two goalkeepers who have had such a fundamental role in results.
For Manchester United, David De Gea is the league’s best goalkeeper, the club’s player of the year for three of the last four seasons, and yet, at 27, in his seventh season at Old Trafford, still a relatively low-profile Premier League superstar. More likely, post-save, to smooth his hair back into place than berate his defenders, he equalled the Premier League single-game saves record of 14 against Arsenal last weekend.
For Manchester City, the imperfect replacement of Joe Hart with Claudio Bravo has been addressed by the arrival of the £35 million Brazilian Ederson Moraes, just 24. Ederson had previously just one full season as Benfica’s first choice, where his reputation for being able to play out from the back made him the ideal goalkeeper or, as Guardiola prefers to see the role, his hindmost playmaker.
The more experienced of the two, De Gea is now arguably the world’s best in his position. Tony Coton, the former City first-choice goalkeeper between 1990 and 1996, later United goalkeeper coach, regards De Gea as the world’s best. Coton - whose new autobiography “There To Be Shot At” chronicles how the role has changed dramatically in the last two decades - says that De Gea is typical of a quicker, less physical prototype modern goalkeeper.
“There is a very calm exterior to David and it is an exterior that says to his team-mates that he is control,” Coton told Telegraph Sport. “He gets his angles right all the time and he is not afraid to use whatever part of his body he need to keep the ball out, including his feet. To my mind he is the best in the world at the minute.”
“Goalkeeping is totally different to the discipline I learned. Taking crosses has gone out the game. You don’t find attacking teams hanging the ball up in the area and goalkeepers having to come and take it. Now it is more about full-backs whipping balls into the box. Because of the pace and height of crosses, it is not expected that goalkeepers come and catch it every time it. De Gea makes saves with his feet and he distributes the ball as well as anyone.
“He is also very good at standing up to attackers in on goal. In my era, Pat Jennings was the first to stay on his feet for as long as possible. When I coach I call that ‘transferring the pressure to the forward’. David does that. He does not commit himself. He makes the striker find a way of beating him. The shots that hit him, that’s not a bit of luck – that’s a save.

“The double save against Arsenal last weekend [from Alexandre Lacazette and then Alexis Sanchez] had a bit of everything. The first is a great save down to his right and then it is all about getting up as quickly as you can but David hasn’t got time to get himself into position. At this point he just has to throw his body at Sanchez’s shot.”
The Watford goalkeeper coach Hugo Oliveira was at Benfica in 2015 when Ederson returned to the club from Rio Ave, having originally joined Benfica from Sao Paulo six years earlier. “We saw in him great potential,” Oliveira told Telegraph Sport. “The game is very different now – big teams like Benfica have to play with a very advanced defence and a lot of space between the back line and the goalkeeper.

Source: telegraph

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