David De Gea and Jaap Stam both struggled on the Manchester United debuts in the Community Shield.

Five dodgy Community Shield debuts with Darwin Nunez, Erling Haaland set to feature

David De Gea and Jaap Stam both endured miserable first competitive appearances for Man Utd. Alan Shearer had a ‘mare against the Red Devils’.

Erling Haaland and Darwin Nunez are both hoping to do better than these guys if they play for Manchester City and Liverpool at Leicester on Saturday.

David De Gea
United scoured the globe for Edwin van der Sar’s replacement before settling on a waif-ish teenager from Atletico Madrid. But on his first appearance, De Gea couldn’t fill his own shirt, let alone Van der Sar’s gloves.

Giving United fans a taste of what was to come for the next 11 years, City’s first goal came when De Gea refused to leave his line, allowing Joleon Lescott a mere header from David Silva’s free-kick. .

City’s second, just before half-time, was the result of City’s shoot-on-sight policy, presumably adopted once they spotted the scrawny Spaniard. Edin Dzeko creaked in a 30-yard drive that De Gea never started to get close to.

Luckily for De Gea, United staged a superb second-half fightback to beat their neighbors 3-2. But De Gea’s misery continued through his miserable first 18 months in English football, before he finally fulfilled and realized the potential United first saw.

Alain Shearer
After turning down Alex Ferguson and Manchester United earlier that summer, Shearer’s competitive debut for Newcastle following his £15m move came against the Red Devils on the Magpies’ first trip to Wembley in 20 years.

Once there, Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle forgot to play. They were beaten 4-0 by the Premier League champions and FA Cup holders, with United sharing the goals equally in each half. Nicky Butt and Eric Cantona got the top two; David Beckham and Roy Keane added a few more later.

“Newcastle United have managed to put on one of their worst displays since Keegan’s arrival at St James’s Park,” wrote The Chronicle after seeing their hometown hero bagged by Gary Pallister and David May.

Newcastle got their revenge – of sorts – by beating United 5-0 at St James’ Park a few months later.

Jaap Stam
Ferguson responded to the Premier League title loss to Arsenal in 1998 by signing Stam to round up the center of his defence. It turned out to be a masterstroke, even though early evidence offered a very different view.

Stam started for the Red Devils at Wembley against Arsene Wenger’s double-win Gunners, who asserted their authority with a commanding display against what The Guardian described as “an apathetic and formless united side”.

The verdict on United’s new signing was equally damning. “Nicolas Anelka’s speed seriously exposed Stam’s slow cornering,” who was also beaten through the air by Tony Adams for the opener.

United’s cause was not helped by the sacking of Nicky Butt, despite Stam’s presence as the last man. But Ferguson didn’t blame the referee: “We were second. There are days when I find no excuse.


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Jack Greish
Last season’s Community Shield was notable for none other than Grealish’s competitive debut as a record £100m signing for City. His introduction aside, it was a completely forgotten afternoon at a half-empty Wembley.

Leicester became the first non-Big Six side since Everton in 1995 to win the Community Shield thanks to a late Kelechi Iheanacho penalty.

But the focus was on Grealish, who was kept on the bench until the final 25 minutes. Before the game there was talk of Pep Guardiola using Grealish as a No.8 but, offering a taste of what was to come, the new boy played on the left.

Substituting for Samuel Edozie, Grealish struggled to light up a boring affair, with only one notable dribble and a pass into the box going nowhere.

Michael Ballack
The Germany international was perhaps not the most high-profile debutant for Chelsea’s side against Liverpool at the Millennium Stadium. Andriy Shevchenko caught the eye, and in scoring Chelsea’s only goal the £35million striker got off to a flying start which he couldn’t sustain.

Ballack’s fortunes have changed, too fortunately, for the player. He lasted just 25 minutes on his debut, which was long enough to land a booking after just six minutes for a terribly late tackle on Momo Sissoko.

Chelsea fell behind soon after, and Ballack left with a hip injury long before Shevchenko’s equalizer just before the break.

Peter Crouch’s winner with 10 minutes remaining made a losing start for Shevchenko and Ballack, the latter having missed the first two games of the Premier League season through injury suffered at Cardiff.


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