Friday, September 29, 2023

Manchester City Fans Can Rest Easy Over Assurance From Their Defensive Ace: Big Boost For Guardiola?

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Bishwaraj Bhattacharyya
Former athlete. Now a journalist hoping to cover football no matter the league or country.

Manchester City’s longest-serving defender, Vincent Kompany has rejected claims of him making a club exit anytime soon. The Belgian’s contract is set to run till the summer of 2019 and no talks of an extension have come up yet. After the 1-1 draw to Burnley earlier this week, City boss, Pep Guardiola said,  “Vincent is fit, is ready, it was so important for us to play Vincent in these kinds of games. Vincent in these kinds of games and others kinds, is a top, top player.”

A very accurate statement expressing the biggest curse in Kompany’s career – his fitness. The 31-year-old has struggled with injuries ever since the title-winning 2013/14 season ended and has missed out on over 27 games this season alone. With John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi and new arrival, Aymeric Laporte fit and ready to play, Kompany’s case for regular selection is diminishing by the day.

It is no secret that the centre-back is no longer his old dominant self which can be attributed to the lack of regular minutes on the pitch. Any player coming back from injury needs an adjustment period and Kompany barely has had one over the past 4 years due to continuous bouts on the sidelines. One problem leads to another and this has played a huge part in destroying his confidence.

He was awarded the captain’s armband for a reason in the 2011/12 season and it turned out to be one of the best managerial decisions by Roberto Mancini at the time. The Citizens won the Premier League title in a dramatic win over Queens Park Rangers on the final day and Kompany was the leader of the pack. A club filled with newly signed star athletes needed a senior figure who could spearhead their campaign throughout the gruelling battle of a regular season and the Belgian delivered time and time again.

He has managed to appear in 324 games for the Blues over the past 9 and a half years and has won 2 League titles, 1 FA Cup and 2 EFL League trophies. He has been a key figure under every manager that has gotten shifted around and has been capped at international level 72 times for the Belgian team.

Even with younger and more technically adept guns like Stones and Laporte in the squad, you can not discount a player like Kompany. Guardiola understands the presence of the towering centre-half who can dictate games from the backline. The City faithful would like nothing better than to have their club captain return to full fitness and replicate his past performances which won him the Premier League’s Player Of The Season in 2012.

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