Pitchside

Manchester United’s player of the year award is a one-horse race

Pitchside

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It's been difficult to find much to shout about for Manchester United fans this season, if it wasn't for the Champions League run it's safe to say there'd be nothing whatsoever to quell their anger.

Collectively the side hasn't so much under performed as completely failed to turn up and it's now getting to the point where one good game from someone makes them a contender for player of the season.

While that may sound a little harsh, you only have to look at the results against Liverpool and Manchester City to notice how the entire team in both games had nothing to be proud of, well all but one of them anyway.

David De Gea is arguably not just United's best player this season, but the only one who can honestly say he hasn't put a foot- or glove in his case - wrong in the league during this campaign.

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The only blemish on De Gea's record has been the last minute blunder in the Capital One Cup against Sunderland- where more than a few United fans will tell you it saved them from a trip to Wembley to get turned over by City in the final. In the league the Spanish international has more than done himself proud.

Gary Neville recently suggested De Gea had been United's player of the season and to be fair to the former Red skipper, it's hard to argue against him.

In a season where even mediocrity would be an improvement, the Spanish stopper has consistently saved United from even more embarrassing defeats than what they've had to endure, while protecting the often rare wins they've managed to accrue.

Let's not forget that if it wasn't for De Gea's saves against Olympiacos the Red Devils would have nothing to play for other than a battle for a Europa League place- something that the fans may not be able to stomach as the discontent with the David Moyes regime reaches breaking point.

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While Wayne Rooney may have been the first names that spring to mind of late in the eyes of pundits looking for United players to heap praise upon, ask your average fan and they'll tell you, it's the spindly Spaniard who has stopped this season from being a complete disaster. Gary Neville has got this one right.

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