What Spain's World Cup camp are saying about David de Gea and Jose Mourinho

Spain v Morocco: Group B - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Spain entered this summer's World Cup with arguably the best goalkeeper on the planet.

Over the past year, David de Gea's performances for Manchester United seem to have finally elevated him above the likes of Manuel Neuer and Gianluigi Buffon.

As a result, you'd think La Roja would have few qualms between the sticks as they look to regain the World Cup they lost in embarrassing circumstances in 2014.

Yet for all of De Gea's talent and form going into the competition, that hasn't been the case.

The 27-year-old dropped a clanger in a pre-World Cup friendly with Switzerland, before inexplicably fumbling a Cristiano Ronaldo strike into his own net against Portugal.

De Gea doubted in Spain

Since then, De Gea has avoided anymore glaring errors but entered the Morocco match with the embarrassment of being the only goalkeeper at the tournament yet to make a save.

Manager Fernando Hierro has stood by his number one in recent days, yet there are calls back in Spain for Athletic Bilbao's Kepa Arrizabalaga to feature in the knockout rounds.

And it seems that Hierro doesn't have the backing of everybody in the Spanish camp this summer.

Portugal v Spain: Group B - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

What the Spain camp thinks

A report by the Independent on Friday highlighted the growing goalkeeping dilemma within the camp and it's reached a level that will feel unfamiliar to Manchester United fans.

The report reads: "There are figures around the Spain camp who put some of the blame on Jose Mourinho’s set-up.

"This is where the criticism of Mourinho has come in. De Gea is seen as a goalkeeper who now largely sticks to his line and makes saves, rather than the type who comes 30 yards out of his goal to effectively become another outfield player, as Pique and Sergio Ramos have become used to."

It's also explained that members of the Spanish squad lack confidence in their goalkeeper.

The whole situation will feel alien to United supporters, yet there's certainly substance in the concerns, even if they feel harsh at first glance.

Mourinho is notorious for his tactical stringency and De Gea - for all his shot stopping brilliance - isn't quick off his line like Keylor Navas or Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos have become used to a far more ruthless style of goalkeeping at Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively. 


Whether or not that will come back to hurt Spain in coming rounds remains to be seen.

Spain have arguably played the finest football in the tournament but haven't shown the grit to hold onto results and grab consistent wins.

Either La Roja will have to change things up in goal or get behind De Gea to go far this summer. 

Do you think David de Gea is the best goalkeeper in the world? Have your say in the comments section below.

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