Speaking on The Betfred Football Show, former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson predicted that “there will be interesting times ahead” for Manchester United stopper David De Gea under new boss Ralf Rangnick.
While all the attention has been on how newly-crowned record goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo will fit into the German’s plans, Robinson has thrown the spotlight on De Gea – and not just because of the controversial Arsenal goal he conceded at Old Trafford on Thursday night.
Robinson, who picked up 41 England caps during his career between the sticks as well as turning out for Leeds, Spurs, Blackburn and Burnley, reckons De Gea did himself no favours by not playing to the whistle when he stayed down on his line allowing Emile Smith-Rowe to score the opener in United’s 3-2 victory.
“You get your feet stamped on at every set piece, you can’t just lie on the ground,” said the 42-year-old.
“You have to play through the pain barrier, especially as you’re the last line of defence. He’s showing a weakness in front of his new manager. You’re always taught to play to the whistle.”
Robinson was full of praise for Arsenal keeper Aaron Ramsdale, however, who he says is enjoying a honeymoon period at the Gunners, during which he has been outstanding.
He added that the 23-year-old now needs to try to take over from Jordan Pickford as England’s number one – although Robinson said there is currently no vacancy.
He also praised ex-Spurs teammate Michael Carrick’s announcement that he’s leaving United after 15 years as “classy and dignified”, and predicts that the Geordie will return to coaching after his break following an “incredible” career.
Robinson described Carrick as a Rolls Royce of a player who suffered in terms of profile because he played in the same era as midfield greats Steven Gerrard, Paul Scholes and Frank Lampard.
On the appointment of Rangnick, he said that an interim appointment doesn’t sit well with him, adding: “You are the biggest club in the world, and if you want a manager, go and get him.”
He went on: “United are conceding too many goals. The first thing Rangnick needs to do is get the players onside. Being a manager short-term is going to be difficult… it’s a big task for him.”
Robinson thinks Rangnick will get off to a flyer with a 3-1 victory at Old Trafford on Sunday when Palace come to town – but he’s predicting West Ham to take the fiercely-contested fourth spot in the Premier League table come May.
With Declan Rice, who Robinson reckons is the best midfielder in Europe at the moment, dictating play he thinks the Hammers will kick this weekend’s fixtures off with a shock 2-1 victory over Chelsea.
Later on Saturday, Robinson is going for Liverpool to beat Wolves 3-1 and Newcastle and Southampton to draw with Burnley and Brighton respectively.
He also fancies City to triumph over Watford 4-2 – then on Sunday he’s predicting Spurs to beat Norwich 2-0 and Aston Villa to bounce back from the City defeat to beat Leicester 2-1.
Finally, on Monday, Robinson believes there will be more gloom at Goodison for Everton, who he predicts will lose 2-0 to Arsenal.