Forget Mourinho, United already have a Special One
Forget Mourinho, de Gea is Old Trafford's real saviour
MAN UNITED 0
The "clowns" stood outside Old Trafford selling the daftest scarves.
The scarf's colours still belonged to Manchester United, but the face belonged to Jose Mourinho.
It was an anarchic call to arms. Send for the Special One.
But he's already there, between the sticks, defying both gravity and belief.
Rather than buying childish knitted tributes to an alleged saviour, United's most blinkered followers would be wise to pander to the professional superhero already keeping their top-four dreams alive.
The only Special One at Old Trafford is David de Gea.
Mourinho's acolytes should show a little more love to the one who really matters, or they will lose him.
For every report in England linking Mourinho to United, there is another linking de Gea to his beloved Real Madrid.
For every scathing attack on Louis van Gaal, there is praise lavished upon de Gea.
He, and he alone, is the reason why the Dutchman still clings to his job by his cuticles.
As the foolish continue to slather over the petulant Portuguese, who was sacked at Chelsea for the kind of cynical football and disjointed dressing room that currently plague van Gaal's camp, de Gea moves closer to Madrid.
The La Liga giants are at their mischievous Machiavellian best in the transfer market when their targets slip just beneath the radar and de Gea continues to wade through United's quagmire.
Three world-class saves, three genuine jaw-dropping stops, were overlooked again by van Gaal's ongoing soap opera.
The double effort in the second half to deny both Pedro Rodriguez and Cesar Azpilicueta earned a respectable point, but de Gea's early acrobatics to tip over John Terry's header should terrify the Old Trafford faithful.
The reflexes belonged to a cat on a hot tin roof. The end result deserved a grateful slap across the back from a disbelieving Ashley Young.
5 MINS: John Terry loses his marker at a Chelsea corner and flicks a header at goal. David de Gea (in green) sticks out a right hand and somehow claws the ball over the bar. 48 MINS: Pedro Rodriguez (left) has a great chance and takes his shot early. De Gea is nearly taken off-guard and manages to parry the ball away. The rebound comes to Cesar Azpilicueta (right), who looks certain to score, but de Gea comes to United’s rescue once again. - TNP GRAPHICS: ELRAD CHOY
Saves of such a distinct calibre - it's hard to think of too many other goalkeepers blessed with the bendy body parts to not only reach Terry's bullet from close range but also push it high enough to clear the bar - must make United fans nervous.
While the world focuses on the latest episode of van Gaal's melodrama, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez sends out his First Order of dark agents with the callousness of Kylo Ren sending out storm-troopers to slaughter a village.
It's only a matter of time before de Gea feels the force. The £36 million ($75.5m) buy-out clause in his contract will not dissuade Perez.
The persistent president has just been treated to another demonstration of the Spanish custodian's underlying power.
De Gea continues to play Jedi mind tricks on the feeble-minded, convincing the fickle that United have turned the corner.
Let's be unequivocal here. No corners have yet been turned.
For much of the 0-0 draw between equally mediocre competitors yesterday morning (Singapore time), Chelsea were awful, a shamefully pale imitation of last season's title winners.
Deprived of a centre forward, the Blues scarcely stepped into the opponents' half, content to grant the toothless hosts' the lion's share of possession, knowing much if it would be squandered.
Despite United's dominance and Chelsea's timid tiptoeing, de Gea was still called upon on three occasions against wretched opponents still only three points away from the relegation zone.
That's the perennial bugbear with the English Premier League. It has real problems with perspective.
Not that Perez needed further evidence, but the Real president would be under no illusions now. De Gea could bridge the gap between Madrid and Barcelona.
At United, the goalkeeper is all that stands between van Gaal and enforced retirement. He continues to be the difference between misguided hope and outright despair.
If the draw ended the four-game losing streak, the point failed to fully mask United's dire form. The winless run now stretches to eight matches.
More crucially, the 0-0 scoreline was the sixth time this season that the Red Devils failed to score in front of their own supporters.
They have conceded the second fewest goals in the league, but scored the same number as both Norwich and Bournemouth, clubs flirting with relegation.
De Gea offers a silver lining where there should be none. He's a lone beacon of light that shines so brightly, he's dazzling the bean counters at the Bernabeu.
Manchester's myopic jokers selling Mourinho scarves are missing the point as well as the pound notes (they didn't sell too many).
United's future will depend on the final decision of the Special One.
But it's not the one they hope to sign. It's the one they need to keep.
"Real Madrid will not attempt to sign David de Gea in the January window. But the club are proposed to sign him in the summer for next season."
- The Telegraph quoting a Real Madrid spokesman