Thursday, 16 April 2015

On-pitch commitment & determination ratings

Much has been, quite rightly, talked about in recent weeks - and much more intensely so in recent days – about the attitude of our players.

So much am I starting to get peeved to say the least with mental approach from a lot of our players that I e-mailed the 1894 group recently to suggest a banner for the 4 remaining home games; thanking those players who give a damn whilst at the same time expressing that we are more than aware of players who don't. The suggested banner was to end with the words, “You know who you are…”

They thanked me; agreeing to discuss but said that it would be unlikely.


Out of 10…

So instead (although I’d already thought about doing this before contacting 1894) I thought I do a rating of where I thought ‘the players mentality’ lay.
I’m sure the results will come as little surprise to avid Manchester City fans but it should highlight (in red) at least just how many players should be got-rid-of for their lack of desire & effort on the pitch in the blue of Manchester. Of course others need to be shipped out for their lack of ability too…
On-pitch commitment / determination
Joe Hart: Never in question. If I thought it to be a good idea to have goalkeeper as a captain then England’s number 1 has some of the credentials, at least, to wear the armband. 9/10.
Willy Caballero: Not enough seen of him / can’t comment.
Dedryck Boyata: Although not played much at all this season I have seen enough of him in season’s gone by. Hasn’t got the footballing ability to remain at the club in my opinion but, to my knowledge, as never ‘gone banging’ on the manager’s door and never looks anything less than 100% in his efforts whenever his limited cameos crop up. 8/10.
Gael Clichy: I shouldn’t tar all French with the same brush…but what is it with the French? At times Gael shows such determination and passion it looks like he’s been at the club from being a teenager…and I will never forget the ‘slow-mo’ footage of the shear passion on the fella’s face when he hugged ‘our Joe’ after Sergio scored ‘that’ goal against QPR. Then there are spells where, like Samir Nasri, he looks like he’s not really that bothered; although I get the feeling that in Gael’s case it’s more an inconsistency in confidence / form that anything more sinister / deeper. For that, he gets a decent 7.5/10.
Martin Demichelis: Although he has lost his ‘hippy hair’, he sometimes has something of an hippy ‘air’ about him (see what I did there?)  He’s been there and done it, of course, and with age comes wisdom and a certain calmness. That can lead some to believe that players in this category have taken their foot off the accelerator in terms of desire. Not with Martin I don’t think. In fact I think he sometimes moans and remonstrates a little too much when decision don’t go his way. He’s a committed player alright. 8/10.
Aleksandar Kolarov: Don’t let this fella’s steely look fool you. You might think he’d be able to win a staring competition with a stone statue but his demeanour is just him being him. Not ONLY lacks ability at the level we’re at / try to reach but all too often, mostly as a defender, looks like he can’t be bothered to defend! 3.5/10.
Vincent Kompany: If only you could bottle and distribute it! Should bleed sky blue (and other clichés). 10/10.
Eliaquim Mangala: Almost falls into the category of Willy Caballero / not seen enough of. But we have seen just about enough of the French central defender to make a psychology judgement…and with Vinny now potentially out for the rest of the season we should be able to judge him [all-round] even more-so over the next 5 weeks / 6 games. Suffering the kind of ‘shock to the system’ the Premier League seems to be for the big guy; some would crumble and try to hide (not that there’s a hiding place on the pitch in his chosen profession). Credit, then, that he doesn’t try to [hide]. Seems very focused on improving himself. 7/10.
Bacary Sagna: Despite Pablo Zabaleta having a quiet season by his very high standards, this is another we’ve not seen too much of. However – and despite my previous French comment – the ex-Arsenal man has never shown anything less than him-being a true professional. Perhaps has some reason to pull out the ‘le-sulk’ and, so, credit to him that he hasn’t. For that he gets 8/10.
Pablo Zabaleta: Being almost 100% present season after season after season, a very long 2014 World Cup campaign and, more recently, a new born to deal with; it has definitely taken it’s toll on our right-sided, defensive stalwart. Not only has he lost a percentage of his effectiveness this season be he looks to have lost that mental edge too…but only a bit. This fella is already entrenched in my all time Manchester City 11 and so it’s with a slightly heavy heart that I can’t give him the same mark as ‘our skip’. However, I think you’ll find that most people on the plant would be happy with an enormous 9.5/10 rating.
Fernandinho: Huhhhhh… Bit of an enigma is this chap. Sometimes looks like he could cry with pride for the club…but all-too-little. Again, not wishing to ‘tar everyone’, he often floats through games in a almost-typical Brazilian daze; waking up in spells to, in my opinion, flatter to deceive ability-wise. Unlike (most) Argentinean players I do, as I say, personally find a lot of Brazilian players like this. 5/10.
Fernando: Looks to have more ‘hustle ‘n’ bustle’ about him…but only just. Similar to his longer-named countryman you feel that his ability would come out more if he showed more urgency more often. 5.5/10.
Frank Lampard: I’m betting if this had been done by a Chelsea fan last season or in seasons gone by ‘super Frank’ would be 10s all day long. And I’m betting no City player would fault his sense of determination on the training pitch and in the dressing room either and would also, therefore, give the ex-England man a 10. I can’t really fault the fella’s desire in a sky blue shirt either and perhaps the reason he doesn’t get a 10 from me is mostly coloured by / down to his aging body not allowing him to reach those dizzy height on the pitch for us; when stretching for a ball didn’t quite work out. Still…he gets a more than creditable 8.5/10.
James Milner: For a description read Vincent Kompany (above). 10/10.
Samir Nasri: I’ve already done the ‘French thing’ so you know what I have to say on this. What is it with Samir’s head? We were told that he needed a father figure and I get that. Some players respond to the ‘the arm around’ whilst others almost want to be given ‘the rocket’ periodically in order for them to perform. ‘Mr Lambikins’ missed his Arsene Wenger when he came to work for the rather colder Roberto Mancini and must have been jumping (like a spring lamb?) when he heard about Manuel Pellegrini’s traits [of being a very personable kind of boss]. And, sure enough, he had a very good season last…and a ‘not bad’ early season this time round too. Sometimes, in fact, he even shows the kind of gritted-toothed determination on the pitch that really gets the crowd going too. So what the HELL then goes wrong with him?! Now calling him, ‘Mr Self-destruct’; Samir seems to flick a switch and instantly looks like a moody child who has been refused a cône à glace! 5/10.
Jesus Navas: There’s a phrase in football that goes something like “…running for the shirt”. If only he could match his running desire with ‘end product’ ability because this Spanish flyer get a solid 8.5/10 for desire & determination at least.
David Silva: It’s always the quiet ones. More accurately, it’s always the quiet ones who get the best plaudits from ex-professionals for having the right kind of attitude. Not only does he OOZE class in footballing ability but his attitude and desire are never, ever questioned. Combining both - is this the “perfect player” to have in any side? 9.5/10.
Yaya Toure: Getting a bit scientific, I think we’ve just found our ‘polar opposite’ to David Silva. What an immense talent this monster of an Ivorian is! And, sometimes, he looks like he wants to tear his shirt off in pride before going on a marauding run; ripping through ‘the oppo’ like they’re not even there! However…he speaks French (look…it’s just an observation – nothing serious is meant by it). He either borrows Samir Nasri’s switch or has one of his own and when HE uses it, it seems to turn him from Dr David Banner’s alter ego into Mary Poppinsbut without the magic. This season (and the back end of last) the switch has been firmly locked in the latter position. 5/10.
Sergio Aguero: So similar in so many ways to my write-up about David Silva (huh…Yaya is most certainly a thorn between to gold-coloured roses here). When he cried on the Etihad grass against Everton after just 6 minutes or so of being badly (knee) injured, you knew that it wasn’t because of the pain. And I need to explain why this chap get 0.5 more than our Spanish midfield magician. It’s simply because he often ‘busts a gut’ largely without having any help ‘in his particular department’ on the pitch - it must be SO frustrating for the Argentinean battleship! 10/10.
Wilfried Bony: Seen little of him in a blue shirt of course…but just about enough to comment. Seems to have an excellent work rate and I think we’ll have a hell of a dangerous player / different option when things settle down for both him and his new team. Perhaps, at the moment, he’s been trying a little TOO hard to impress / score. 7.5/10.
Edin Dzeko: What’s the text speak? O…M…G! Never…EVER have I seen a player – certainly not for Manchester City (and I include Elano & Jo) – show such a lack of desire and utter contempt for ‘the shirt’ as I’ve seen from this excuse for a footballer! Not only does he have very, VERY limited ability on the ball but I am often left utterly appalled by his body language; more often than not even before the kick-off whistle has been blown. The frustrating thing? I have seen him have the odd game whereby he does look like he cares, which often results in him getting a brace of goals or better. So he DOES have it in him…and for that reason gets 1.5/10.
Stevan Jovetic: Nothing completely offensive from this guy in terms of a lack of desire – in fact he runs quite a lot whenever he gets his chance. I just feel, though, that an extra level of impetus would have done him – and us – a world of good. 6/10.
Jose Angel Pozo: Cannot fault him whatsoever when he came to the rescue during our ‘injured strikers crisis’ – there was a lot of pressure on his young shoulders too. 8/10.


So there you have it – of course the colours speak for themselves and although there are a few ‘grey areas’; it’s obvious that on commitment / desire / determination (call it what you will) alone there are at least 4 players who should be heading for the exit in the summer.
Chuck in a few more for their lack of ability and all-too-clearly has it gone from a summer ‘refresh’ to a summer ‘re-build’.
Huhhhhh…we’re well ‘n’ truly back on that City rollercoaster again, although this one, at least, has padded seats…

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