There is a sniff of new air in Manchester.
Defense & Midfield
Manchester City, we, the football community welcome you back with open arms. This new look Manchester City makes us forget about the abysmal season of last year. Though, they still finished 2nd….
The season of 14/15 was a really a rolla coaster for the previous champions. Their away form was terrible, conceding 38 goals in 38 games without a doubt describes their fragility at the back. Attackingly Aguero was in and out of form, however, he did finish top goalscorer, losing valuable points against bottom half of the table teams and also draws lost them the title.
2015/16 season on the other hand, paints a complete different picture. 4 games in, 12 points, scoring 10 goals and 0 conceded. Wow. Amidst those results, against the Champions, Chelsea in which they swiftly put 3 past them and played them off the park. Now, tell Mourinho that and, well, he may not feel the same.
These players are in the form of their lives:
At the back, Sagna, Mangala, Kompany, Kolarov.
Sagna: With Zabaleta out during the summer competing in the Copa America and now injured for at least 3 more weeks sees Sagna at the RB position. Sagna is looking the goods. Pelligrini brought him to Manchester to be the substitute of Zaba and at times last season preferring the Frenchman, Bacary has really stood up these past 4 weeks. In attack, and his combination with Navas may not be as telepathically strong as he would have with Zaba, looks good when used. Most of City’s attack however is not mostly on the right side but when needed to defend or attack Sagna has delivered.
Mangala: last season was a tough one for Mangala and it has been a tough transition to his life in Manchester. Having to live up to his very expensive price tag at just 23 is and will always be tough. In saying that, nothing but praise for the CB of the future. Mangala the last 4 weeks has really shown maturity at the back. When called upon to mark the tough and fast Premier League strikers he has been there, going forward he is always a threat, and it is not always we find a defender who is as versatile as Mangala, his pace is ideal for any defense. Last ditch tackles are risky but again, he gets he job done. This season will really be one for Mangala. Though, with the arrival of Nicholas Otamendi, will make him fight for every minute and hey, boy is he putting up a fight. Allez Managala!
Kompany: Can we all agree at putting Kompany’s last season in a box and throw away the key? It wasn’t the prettiest at times and others, we decided to not comment on. The captain of City has really proven why he is and should be amognst the best CBs in the world. Kompany has shut down critics early on in the season and as football fans, it is so good to have you back Vincent. Kompany looks fast, and even bigger this season. Whatever he did during the summer break, please continue to do so. Kompany has welcomed the season with goals and looks to continue doing so. His arieal presence is second to none and his accuracy when it comes to headers speak for themselves. This season will be Kompany’s season. Whether his partner at the back may be changed in coming games he will continue to lead as a champion and lead Manchester City to yet another Premier League title.
Kolarov: Kolarov during the summer break was at times in the gossip of transfers, a move here, will he stay, blah blah. Playing in all opening games, putting on stellar performances and scoring that beauty against Everton, Kolarov, there is no one stopping you. City’s attcks have been largely based on the left side. Cannot argue when you can target both Kolarov and Raheem Sterling. No one can doubt the ability of Kolarov and his trusty left foot of his. When he gets on the ball, charging down the left flank, the crosses he can produce on his day, will land at the feet/head of the ST and will result in maybe a goal or a shot on target. His early combinations with Sterling is something to watch. Against Chelsea those two made Ivanovic really question where his head was at. Then again against WBA and recently Watford delivering more of the same. Over the past few seasons Kolarov has been a very valuable asset for Mancini and Pellegrini giving so much for that shirt and always giving the attack of Manchester City a new dimension.
The defense of Manchester City is the best in the Premer League this far. Conceding 0 goals in 4 goals is some record and also just the depth is huge! Kolarov/Clichy, Kompany/Otamendi, Mangala/Demichelis, Zabaleta/Sanga. These defenders are the best in tbe world and we can see why this season the will be conceding fewer goals than anyone else.
These CBs will also be on the scoresheet. The presence they have in the opponents box at corners is huge. The height, the strength, and te accuracy of heading is again, the best in Premier League. The crosses, passes, the combinations they have with their wingers, strikers and midfielders is one that you can’t keep your eyes off it and just be amazed.
Manchester City you are someting else.
Yaya Toure, Fernandinho
This season just continues to bring out the best in Manchester City’s midfield. These 2 men, Toure and Fernandinho have consistently shown how good they can really be in both attack and defense. Playing infront of the defense and then making their way in the attack, the transitioning constantly throughout the 90 minutes is something else and makes any manager wish they were on their side.
Yaya Toure is just like fine wine, he keeps getting better with age. Last season we saw a completely lost and half-paced Toure. Now, fast forward a year and we are simply speechless. 4 games in, stellar performances in each of the games and scoring has set him up for a wonderful season. This new look Toure and his position has made him look a new man. Defensively, as always he gives his all. Tracking back, winning tackles but most of all his calming presence with
the ball settles City in their attack and defense. Now, when Toure wants to go forward, he goes forward. Those long, darting runs past anyone infront of him leave us jawdropped. How can one player have, strength, pace, vision and a shot on him all in one place? Not fair! This season is huge for Yaya Toure. He has more than what it takes to lead City the whole way this season. If he remains fit and this fne form continues, it is another trophy with his teams name on it without any shadow of doubt.
Fernandinho: His first season with Manchester City was abit of a rolla coaster. Some fans didn’t like him, thought he slowed the plays down too much, didn’t attack enough but his defensive side is one to have in your team. Fernandinho isn’t one to go forward, however, to this side of his game he has put down any criticism of late behind him. He looks a new man, socring goals, putting 100% and nothing less on the pitch and also playing beside Toure has given him that bit more freedom as both players play for eachother. What we have learnt so far watching Fernandinho is he has improved his attacking game as a City player should, keeping up with counterattacks, joint plays and also, he has a shot on him!
These midfielders give so much to the City attack and defense. With their defensivw efforts they give space and time to David Silva to produce the goods and also for them to attack when need be. If City wish to continue their fight and win the Premier League crown these 2 need to continye their form.
David Silva or ‘The Magician’ or ‘Merlin’ as City fans call him is out of this world! David Silva has proven in just 4 games and 4 MOTM awards how this little Spainard is the most underrated CM in the world who deserves so much credit for what he has done to lead City to 2 premier League titles.
2015/16 is undoubtedly the season for Silva. Redknapp said it after City’s win to “give the MOTM awards before matches to David Silva”. Yes, that is how good he has been so far. On the scoresheet and already leading the Premer League in assists with 4 sets him up to conquer this season. Silva is in the position where around him he has the best players in the world. Sterling, Navas and Aguero. The pace infront of him has really worked in his favour. City play the fast pace, beautiful football we all love and when we see how it is done with Silva, well, who can do it better? David has been a very loyal servant for City the last few years, and if this season has already been pinned as the best yet then, lets get this international break over with and let us just be in awe of the little Spanish magician por favor.
Attack: Sterling + Navas
Wingers, one of the most enjoyable positions on the football field. Whether they are simply puttinf crosses in, driving down the flanks with their unquestionable pace or cutting inside defenders and leaving them stranded then yes we are talking about Raheem Sterling and Jesus Navas.
Sterling has brought in fresher air to this club. He brings a complete new dimension to City’s attack with more pace and more flare. His attributes are of course like no other and at just 20 he has shown why he was the most expensive English Transfer in history.
Moving to City was a very risky decision and one that did take a while to get done. But when it did and when he has played 4 games for City, we justify the price every time. Sterling finally came off the mark against Watford scoing in the 2-0 victory. His celebration and the fans’ reaction was something to watch also. This only marks the beginning for Sterling as a City player who is now in a team that looks better, attacks with purpose and defends collectively and to speak the hard truth, who every year will be in European Football and in the thick of every Premier League title race. How is that for some motivation?
Manchester City’s attacks have been regularly down the left flank whether Silva is combining with Sterling or Kolarov but when they do its something to watch. Sterling looked immediately comfortable in a City shirt and is in the mix of every city attack assisting or scoring himself. The freshness he brings again works in David Silva’s favour. Sterling a very quick player attracks defenders, lets face it takes more than 1 to try take the ball off him, leaving Silva in space and creating another scoring opportunity. Sterling dribbles with pace and if we remember against Chelsea he had Ivanovic in his back pocket. Dribbling to the baseline, crossing in and combinations with Kolarov were simplt football at its best.
This season for Sterling will be his season. Sterling is playing in a winning squad who look the part this season. His form will help lead this team top of league and with no one at the moment in their way, who will try to stop them?
Navas: Jesus Navas, the reliable Spanish Pocket Rocket has again been showing is consistency down the right flank as he always has done. Navas is the classic RW, always an option, delivers peaches of crosses on his day, combinations with Sagna/Zaba and Silva are always one to watch so, he has also a player in City’s squad who looks fresher than ever and ready to give everything to City and Pellegrini who has always shown his faith in him. Nobody can doubt the pace on Navas and hsi deliveries in the box but as stats show so far atracking-wise he hasn’t been drawn upon much as City’s attacks are prominently down the left flank he still plays with everything. Againstt Chelsea he had Hazard and Azpilicueta in his back pocket with the help of Sagna. Navas when not on his day will at times be a liability. When needing to produce with his crosses he fails, passes are off and accuracy when shooting is low. But we aren’t seeing any signs of that this season. This season, in attack he is very dangerous, when he gets on his bike players are left behind, his fast footwork and turns are so good to watch, but as a winger and as a player who when is given the chance gets himself in great positions to score, he doesn’t. That is the only thing lacking in his game and if he gets that part more into his game this Navas will be one to watch this season.
Manchester City’s defense and Midfield are one of the strongest in the Premier League . I did not speak about GK Joe Hart, nor Sergio ‘Kun’ Aguero because they already are so much to this team but these guys are the unsung heroes. The defense is the best in the world along side their midfield. What they have accomplished the past 4 weeks in the Premier League and also breaking records week after week doesn’t just happen over night. The coaching staff is again one to praise also. Pellegrini and his men over the preseason has with the help of transfers have rejuvenated this team in many ways. They look sharper, faster, fitter and more hungry than ever to enlarge their trophy cabinet. This season will be theirs if they perform week after week with the same hunger they are showing now.