Manchester City not replacing Vincent Kompany has cost them the Premier League

Pep Guardiola practically conceded defeat in Manchester City’s quest to retain their Premier League crown following a 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace at the Etihad on Saturday.

“We did everything to win the game and unfortunately in the end we lost two points because we could not stop the counter-attack. But we have to continue. There are still a lot of games to play. We have to try to secure the place for the Champions League next season,” said Guardiola post-match. Continue reading

Will January additions ease Man City’s defensive crisis?

As soon as Aymeric Laporte hobbled off injured during Manchester City’s 4-0 home win over Brighton in late August projections were made over how it would affect the defending Premier League champions. Amid all the doom and gloom, nobody expected that Laporte’s absence would be so costly.

Only eight games of the 2019/20 Premier League season have been played, but Liverpool already hold an eight point lead over Pep Guardiola’s side. City have suffered collapses against Norwich City and Wolves with their defence especially vulnerable following the injury to John Stones.

Guardiola has so far failed to find a suitable solution to ease Man City’s problems at the back. The Catalan has used Fernandinho as a centre back in Laporte and Stones’ absence. This is designed to keep the link between City’s defence and midfield intact, with the Brazilian key to bringing the ball out from the back.

However, Fernandinho isn’t a defender and that has been obvious in the games he has played at centre back. And so talk has started over who City could target in the January transfer window. The Etihad Stadium outfit might spend their way out of trouble.

Ruben Dias has most recently been linked with a move to the Premier League champions. This isn’t the first time that the Benfica defender has been linked with a move to England, with Manchester United also reported to be interested in the Portuguese international. He would be a shrewd addition for either team.

Guardiola does have a centre back that he has only used off the bench during this injury crisis. Eric Garcia is highly rated as a young defender, but the Man City boss has so far been overlooked in favour of square pegs in round holes. Another expensive signing like Dias would only underline how Guardiola hasn’t yet held up his end of the bargain as an advocate of youth.

However, it’s true that City needed a new centre back before the injuries to Laporte and Stones even hit. Vincent Kompany left them short of options in defence, leaving the Etihad Stadium for Anderlecht. Nicolas Otamendi isn’t a player Man City can depend on, as has been demonstrated over the past few weeks. Rather than fixing new problems, the signing of someone like Dias would patch things up that date back to the summer.

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Do Manchester City need another centre back this summer?

Vincent Kompany didn’t say a word. He knew all along that the FA Cup final against Watford would be his last match for Manchester City, that lifting aloft the famous trophy, City’s third piece of silverware in the one season, would be his last act as club captain. It wasn’t until the following day, though, that the Belgian announced he would be leaving.

He might have deteriorated somewhat in his final few years, but Kompany will go down as a City legend and one of the best centre backs the Premier League has ever seen. The 33-year-old could have played another season or two in England, but his decision to call it quits now means the memory of him at the top will be preserved forever.

Vincent Kompany

Kompany’s departure leaves City will a hole in their squad, though. The Belgian might have been in rotation with John Stones last season, with the two players vying to be Aymeric Laporte’s centre back pairing, but he was still a key figure. Look at the role he played towards the end of the season. Man City might not have kept their Premier League crown without him.

So will City need to enter the transfer market to find a replacement? They have already spent a club record fee of £62.8 million on Rodri £6 million also allocated to the re-signing of Angelino from PSV Eindhoven. Finding a top level centre back to fill the void left by Kompany would add to their summer outlay quite substantially.

“We are so happy with the squad we have,” Pep Guardiola explained when asked whether he intended to push for the signing of another centre back. “I don’t know if the players here will stay or new players will come, but since I came here I have been delighted with the players we have. Maybe we [will sign a replacement for Kompany], but we have three incredible central defenders. And Fernandinho can play in that position, also. We will see.”

Harry Maguire has been linked with a move to the Etihad Stadium, but it seems unlikely that City will pay the £90 million Leicester City are demanding for the England international. Matthijs de Ligt was another mentioned, but City’s offer never seemed all that genuine, with the Dutchman eventually opting to sign for Juventus.

Besides these two, it has been slim pickings this summer. City have two first team centre backs in the form of Laporte and Stones, but with the latter prone to injuries they might well be taking a gamble going a full season with just the pair (assuming Nicolas Otamendi is sold). This is the situation City face.

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Vincent Kompany reminds us all of Man City’s narrative

After Manchester City’s crucial win over Leicester City on Monday night, a win which put Pep Guardiola’s side within touching distance of a successful Premier League title defence, a debate broke out on social media. It focused on what is widely perceived to be a bias from the mainstream media against City. Or rather, to be more accurate, towards Liverpool.

To say there is a bias, that journalists, reporters and broadcasters are actively rooting against City, is false. However, it’s true that Liverpool’s story has received more coverage this season. That is purely because as defending champions Man City’s tale isn’t as compelling as Liverpool’s, who are chasing a first league title in 29 years. Journalists are always biased towards a good story.

Vincent Kompany

However, with tears rolling down his cheeks having struck a thunderous winner against Leicester City, Vincent Kompany, City’s man of men as commentator Peter Drury labelled him, reminded us that the Abu Dhabi-owned side are also working on a narrative of their own.

By winning against Brighton on Sunday and then against Watford in the FA Cup final, Man City would become the first ever English team to win a domestic Treble. In any other season, that would be the defining narrative playing out in the mainstream media, on the back pages and in the news bulletins.

For Guardiola, it would be a crowning achievement. Not so long ago, many claimed that the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss would find things tougher in England. That he wouldn’t be able to dominant in the way he did in Germany and Spain. Guardiola’s struggles in his first season as City boss backed this theory up.

Since then, though, he has made a mockery of these suggestions. There might not be the romanticism to City’s story that there is about Liverpool’s, but Kompany’s emotion after his winner on Monday night served as a reminder to all that the Anfield side aren’t the only ones with an historic achievement on the line.

The sheer efficiency of Guardiola’s Man City side means the coverage of their success is somewhat more level-headed, but that doesn’t mean there is any less respect for them when placed alongside Liverpool. What City have done over the past two seasons has been unprecedented, but perhaps for a moment we should allow ourselves to get syrupy about their achievements just as Kompany did on Monday night.

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King Kompany leads City to glory

Vincent Kompany

Cometh the hour, cometh the man.

Now deep into his 11th year at Manchester City and with over 33 years spent on this earth, Vincent Kompany is still able to defy the odds when they are stacked against him.

With 70 minutes on the clock and Leicester City proving to be well-organised and almost a match for the defending league champions, the home team needed some magic.

They needed an inspirational captain to step up and take charge. Kompany didn’t disappoint. City’s number 4 released an unstoppable drive from all of 30 yards. It flew past Kasper Schmeichel’s outstretched arms and into the top corner. Continue reading

Manchester City: Planning already well underway for next season


Manchester City returned to the top of the Premier League after Pep Guardiola’s side dominated possession against Bournemouth in a 1-0 victory on Saturday while Liverpool failed to beat Everton in the Merseyside Derby on Sunday afternoon.

The table makes good reading for City fans with the club now one point ahead of their title challengers, Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool, who have spent most of the campaign top while the Citizens have an easier run in compared to their counterparts. Continue reading

Etihad Stadium’s Expansion: Worth it or Futile?


etihad_stadium09English giants Manchester City have gone from strength to strength since 2008 when the club was acquired by billionaire Sheikh Mansoor with the constant struggle in the initial years’ largely forgotten by the supporters. The same opponents who deemed the prospect of acquiring 3 points against the Citizens as nothing short of a cakewalk earlier now shiver in fear at the prospect of battling it out against Pep Guardiola’s outfit.

This has been largely possible due to the finances pumped in at regular intervals by the owners who have ensured a regular flow of finances through thick and thin. At the same time, there have been astute investments at play as well especially in the transfer market. Manchester City opted to invest in quality acquisitions like Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany during a stage when clubs were increasingly orthodox when it came to pulling off transfer deals with the benefits increasingly evident currently.

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Ederson- Effective Addition at Optimum Price?


man-city-makes-brazil-s-ederson-moraes-the-world-s-most-expensive-goalkeeper2-1496931016The Blue half of Manchester prided itself on the fact that managers from different parts of the world with different outlooks tactically and philosophically had always enjoyed their unanimous support through thick and thin.

However, that had certainly changed with newly appointed manager Pep Guardiola’s decision to ship out club legend Joe Hart who had earned the love and affection of the fans with consistent and passionate performances over the years. The same elation which had greeted the Spanish manager’s arrival from Bayern Munich could no longer be felt with a sense of fury in the hearts of the supporters who found the arrival of ex-  Barcelona goalie Claudio Bravo as replacement quite unbearable in nature.

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Leroy Sane: the Erratic Genius


Football has emerged as an extremely lucrative career path over the years with the steady commercialisation of the game. Some of the best footballers ever- Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez, Franck Ribery, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Luka Modric hailed from poverty-stricken families before steadily rising up the ladder, enthralling the world with their brilliance. Such examples have been cited as an immense source of motivation by emerging footballers like Gabriel Jesus who confessed to drawing inspiration from superstar Ronaldinho’s meteoric growth over the years.

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Is Fernandinho in the mould of Patrick Vieira?


870529256Every football fan worth his salt will be well aware of the significant development that Arsene Wenger’s Invincibles played a key role towards heralding in modern day football. While modern-day football fans were quick to criticise the Frenchman for even the smallest of things during the last few years of his tenure, the game owes much of its current sheen to the exhilarating gameplay which Wenger encouraged despite resistance from the traditionalists.

In the 2003-04 season, Arsenal gave the footballing world a true glimpse into a team which was built on the back of a solid foundation with the defenders more than capable of snuffing out any attack and attackers who could conjure moments of brilliance singlehandedly. The side went on to finish unbeaten in the league throughout the season, emerging as the first outfit to threaten Manchester United’s hegemony.

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