Head goalkeeping coach Eric Steele has explained how United and David De Gea coped with the intense pressure on the young Spanish shot-stopper in the early days of his Old Trafford career.
The highly-rated No1, currently representing his country at the Olympics, was thrust into the spotlight as the successor to legendary Dutchman Edwin van der Sar following a close-season arrival from Atletico Madrid. Obviously, the 21-year-old took time to adapt to English football but ended the campaign successfully on a personal level, even if it ended in disappointment for the club.
In an exclusive in-depth interview with MUTV, Steele provided a detailed account of De Gea's debut season in the Barclays Premier League.
"David will be slightly disappointed," admitted Steele, when reviewing the keeper's first year. "We probably got what we expected. There was no way we expected him to come in and play as he had been playing.
"It was a totally different change for him in many, many ways. Hence the reason why we said before that, to replace Edwin, we needed two and that was the main reason why Anders Lindegaard was on board. So when we did feel he needed to come out, as you know, the games were shared with Ben Amos and Anders.
"Anders had the injury just after Christmas and then, as fate has it, David gets back in when you least expect it and just went on and it was important he finished strongly. That's the big plus factor for us. He has adapted partly. The first season is always the most difficult. He has been through lots of firsts and we know he'll be better prepared in terms of the second time."
De Gea had to deal with an enormous level of scrutiny from the media after his arrival and was fiercely criticised in some quarters during the early part of his United career.
"I think it was over the top but it was a good thing that it just went straight over his head," added Steele. "Probably the fact he didn't really command the language in the early two or three months