The role Vincent Kompany should take up at Manchester City
There is no doubting that Vincent Kompany has been one of the best defenders in world football over the past decade. The Belgian has been a brilliant servant for Manchester City in his time at the club and has become synonymous with the amount of success that the Cityzens have enjoyed over the period.
Kompany joined City in 2008, before the investment came to the club from the Middle East. He cost £8 million from Hamburg, a fee, looking back now, that appears to be a complete bargain.
He has suffered a lot from injuries in recent times, but it is better to remember the success that he has had at the Etihad Stadium. The Belgian rock has captained the side to three Premier League titles, an FA Cup, and three EFL Cups, making 336 appearances in all competitions for City.
The injuries have hit him really hard in the last few years, as he has appeared in just 42 league games over the last three seasons. Kompany does appear to be back to full fitness at the start of this season, starting in each of City’s opening three league games. Despite the positive vibes, there will always be worries about whether he can remain fit for a sustained period of time.
This might be a concern for Pep Guardiola, who will want a stable back four for his side to build from this season, and this can’t be guaranteed with Kompany’s injury history.
Another issue for Guardiola will be Kompany’s qualities on the ball. We all know that the Spaniard wants his players to be able to pass the ball out from the back, and he insists on this from every one of his players, even his goalkeeper.
From what we have seen from Kompany in recent weeks, he is not that comfortable doing so, and he certainly isn’t as good with the ball at his feet as the other centre-backs available to City.
John Stones and Aymeric Laporte are both very good defenders who have proven that they are more than capable with the ball at their feet, while Nicolas Otamendi has come on leaps and bounds under the stewardship of Pep Guardiola.
Another problem for Kompany is that he no longer has the pace he once did, and this has almost affected his judgement. Against Wolves, he was booked for a rash late challenge on Diogo Jota, and this wasn’t the first time over the last 12 months or so.
It may sound harsh, but Kompany isn’t the centre back he once was, and he needs to accept that. If he can accept this, he can still have a good, and successful end to his career in Manchester. He may need to admit that he is no longer good enough to be a first choice selection, and he must accept the role of being a squad player.
He is a leader in the dressing room at City, so is still a crucial player in that regard. He needs to look at the role that the likes of Ryan Giggs and John Terry played at Manchester United and Chelsea respectively when they were unable to play week in, week out.
Kompany must accept that he can’t be a key player at the club, and he must follow the lead of the likes of Giggs and Terry, in taking up a more important role behind the scenes, guiding the youngsters with his guile and experience. This will do wonders for both himself as well as the young talents like Laporte and Stones.
Of course, he will still start games, just not as regularly as he once did.