It has been known for the past couple of seasons that City are an ageing side, with a lot of players who brought success to The Etihad surpassing the age of 30, or at least getting there. Players such as Yaya Touré, Vincent Kompany and Pablo Zabaleta are ageing as is David Silva, and the question is how do City replace them? City have struggled defensively the past few seasons. They went from being a defensive wall under Roberto Mancini, to shipping goals under Manuel Pellegrini and it is still something Guardiola needs to direct his attention to. So where do City need to improve? If they are to improve then they will need to sell some of the deadwood in their side who are not good enough to play at the level City want to reach and replace the with younger and better players.
Who isn’t good enough to be at City ?
The Serbian full-back has always lacked pace but has made up for it with his strength and his crossing. Kolarov has fought over the starting left back role with Gael Clichy since 2011 and has overcome him the last few seasons, mostly down do a dip in Clichy’s performances and Kolarov improving his overall play. However, there have been a number of occasions where the Serbian has been exposed defensively this season and he is simply not good enough anymore.
Zabaleta will always be a fan favourite with City fans but sadly it is coming to a time now where, after several injuries and the Argentine approaching his mid-thirties, he can’t keep up with the younger energetic players which he faces. His legacy will always remain but the fullback position is where City need to improve desperately.
The most hot and cold centre-back in the Premier League. He either plays brilliant or plays awful. For instance, he has a good game against Burnley but was shocking against Chelsea. He is too rash and dives in too much, leading to free kicks in dangerous areas. He is decent on the ball but that doesn’t make up for his defensive woes. He has been a shadow of the player he was at Valencia.
Another player who is a club legend and one of the best midfielders the Premier League has seen. Touré has made a small comeback into the team this season but the facts are that he is approaching 34 years of age, the vast majority of his power which made him a force from 2010-2015 has gone due to his weight loss to get back into the side. He has immense ability on the ball which is still evident but City need to move forward at let the Ivorian go.
He has been a good player for the last four to five years but he is ageing and he is starting to lose some of his pace. Although he is better than Kolarov defensively, he has been turned inside out several times recently and he doesn’t offer much from an attacking perspective.
The Spaniard has failed to live up to expectations. He may have several assists but his delivery in general is poor. He fails to take his man on despite having pace in abundance and elects to instead pass the ball back to a defender instead of crossing into the box and he hardly ever finds the net. He has never been good enough.
The Brazilian has a good start to the season in all fairness,but he is not technically good enough and is still quite weak for a central midfielder. He is a decent tackler but if City are to reach the highest level, then he is not good enough physcially and technically.
Sagna is almost 34 and he has been getting lots of injuries. He is currently the best right back in the squad but he doesn’t have much pace and offers little going forward, bar the odd cross he puts into the box. Perhaps he would be better suited at centre back as he doesn’t have the legs to stay as a full back for much longer.
The England Iternational has always been injured which has severely limited his chances of playing but even when he does play he has hardly been convincing. He is too rash and technically not good enough to play at the highest level and could perhaps be replaced in the squad by Aleix Garcia, who is a promising young player!
This article was written by Ben Tipper. Twitter @bentippermcfc
Featured Image Credit: Cléria De Souza