Rodri’s Absence at Manchester City Proves Jamie Carragher’s Declan Rice Claim Wrong

Published 12/08/2023, 8:24 AM EST

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Soccer pundit Jamie Carragher recently made a bold claim. The former Liverpool player praised Arsenal defensive midfielder Declan Rice and stated that he would prefer to have him in the team over Manchester City defensive midfielder Rodri. However, we believe the importance of Rodri to Manchester City’s success cannot be overstated and the track record with the team proves it.

First, let’s see what Carragher said. He lauded both midfielders for their role but in the end stated, “He(Rodri) is a brilliant player, but I would still rather have Rice.” However, Rodri’s absence at City fully wrongs this claim.

Manchester City need Rodri to win


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Let’s explore what makes Rodri such a crucial player for Manchester City. During the previous season, Cityzens had an exceptional run and achieved the historic treble, with the 27-year-old playing a vital role in their success. However, this season has been less stellar for the team, currently sitting in 4th place in the Premier League.

What is intriguing is that City has suffered four defeats. This includes a 1-0 loss to Newcastle United in the EFL Cup and three in the Premier League against Wolves(2-1), Arsenal(1-0), and Aston Villa(1-0). One factor that is common in all these losses is that Rodri was absent from the squad in all these 4 matches. This just shows how much the team is dependent on him to win matches.


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To further emphasize Rodri’s significance, recent data released by OPTA reveals his impact on Manchester City’s performance. Since the 2019-20 season, the Sky Blues have only managed to win 60% of matches without the star midfielder on the pitch. On the other hand, they have an impressive 74.2% win rate when he is playing. These statistics highlight the stark difference in City’s success with and without Rodri.

Contrary to Carragher’s assertion, the Spaniard’s absence has demonstrated just how important he is to Manchester City’s gameplay. And it is not just us who believe Rodri has a very important role in the team’s success.

Several Pundits named Rodri as Manchester City’s most important player

Several other pundits have given claims different to Carragher and have crowned Rodri as the most important player in the City squad. One of them is Manchester City ambassador Shaun Wright Phillips who hailed the Spanish midfielder as the most important player in the squad and even went far as to say that Rodri “makes them tick.”

Rodri’s Absence Cost Manchester City & Pep Guardiola Against Aston Villa, Claims Analyst

Another soccer pundit who shares a similar belief is French legend Frank LeBoeuf. He also picked Rodri as the most important player and emphasized how he plays a crucial role in both attack and defense.

In a team filled with stars like Ballon d’Or runner-up Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri being crowned as the most important player just speaks about his quality. Furthermore, the contrast between Rodri and Rice becomes even more evident when comparing their individual stats.

How does Declan Rice fall behind his rival?

Another fact that we can provide to prove Jamie Carragher’s claim wrong is the overall performance of both these stars this season. While in no sense has Declan Rice been anything less than phenomenal this season, it’s just that Rodri has been slightly better. Although both players have scored the same number of goals(3), Rodri has had more assists(3) than Rice(1).


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Moreover, when it comes to successful dribbles, Rodri has amassed an impressive 760 successful dribbles, whereas Rice has recorded 681. Moreover, he has managed to do so while having played three fewer games in the Premier League. Coming to the success win rate stats, Arsenal have also lost 3 matches this season.

These losses came against Lens(2-1) in the Champions League, West Ham(3-1) in the EFL Cup, and Newcastle United(1-0) in the Premier League. However, unlike Rodri’s case, the English midfielder played in all of these matches that they lost. In conclusion, all this is enough for us to prove Jamie Carragher’s claim wrong. The team’s struggles in his absence, coupled with the statistical evidence, demonstrate Rodri’s immense value to Manchester City’s success.


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Do you agree with our take? Let us know in the comments.


Written by:

Saransh Chauhan


One take at a time

My name is Saransh Chauhan and I am an experienced soccer writer at EssentiallySports. With over a year of experience at EssentiallySports, I have covered various aspects of the magnificent sport. While I strive to provide comprehensive coverage of core sports topics, I also explore off-court and entertainment subjects.
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Edited by:

Sreeda U M