Manchester City is cruising, at least in the Premier League. The combination of Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero seems to be working in the team’s favour. But more importantly, it’s the defence which has made heads turn. The goalkeeper Joe Hart was unbeaten in the first five matches played in the league and was finally beaten when City played against West Ham. The Hammers scored 2 past the English international. During the last season during the same stage, City conceded 5 goals.
A huge credit for the significant improvement in the defence, has to be given to the captain Vincent Kompany. The Belgian, after having a below par performance last season, is definitely back to his ruthless best. There was a time last season, when he seemed to have lost his pace and was even “rested” for a short period of time. Moreover, after the arrival of Nicholas Otamendi for a whooping £32m, his place in the side was quite clearly under threat.
The way Kompany started this season, it is quite clear that he is back to his vintage best. His partnership with Eliaquim Mangala has been refreshing for the Citizens and it has given manager Manuel Pellegrinisome problems as he is now spoilt for choices at the back. Looking more assured on the ball, Kompany has also regained his typical leadership qualities as he is very adept at efficiently organising things at the back. Also, this time, the captain is looking more pro-active in the attacking part of his game too.
Statistically too, the Belgian has been brilliant. In the 5 matches he played in the Premier League so far, he has just conceded 1 foul per game, speaking volumes of his discipline, which is a part where he unarguably lacked in his game in the last season. Not only this, the central defender is averaging 4.6 clearances and 1.6 interceptions per game. The defender also managed to score twice in the first two matches of the season, again proving his threat at attacking set-pieces.
The importance of Kompany can be understood by the debacle of City in their last match against a modest West Ham side. Side lined due to injury, the Manchester Club clearly missed him, as they lost 1-2 at Etihad. The defeat was even more significant in the way City struggled at the back after looking virtually unbeatable in the first 5 matches under the guidance of Kompany.
But then again, Kompany definitely has injury issues, which is often led to loss in form and breaks the rhythm of the player. In this season if City wants to make a decent challenge for all the competitions they play in, they need Kompany and his fitness will be a major factor in shaping their season.