Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Sunday August 28 2011
City skipper Vincent Kompany is the type of bloke you'd want with you in the trenches when you are under fire...
The wonder of winning the FA Cup and the release it gave Planet Blue was only tarnished by the fact that by rights it should have been Vinny that lifted that trophy, not Carlos Tevez.
Kompany signed for City three years ago this week for what can best be described on the modern transfer scale as a stunning £6 million. Alongside the uncompromising Nigel De Jong, he's easily Mark Hughes' finest City signing. An ironic statement to make when Hughes and City's all time worst business Roque Santa Cruz will leave The Etihad Stadium inside 48 hours.
The cool for cats 25 year old Belgian international has chalked up 129 League and Cup appearances for The Blues, scoring 3 goals. He is another young player who belies his years having flourished under Roberto Mancini's cunning leadership.
Kompany has been a mainstay and become an anchorman of the squad siege mentality that registered a sea change in the team's public image in the final third of last season.
Gone were the relentless media interviews with senior players who spoke of nothing but themselves replaced by on message squad men who talked up the team's collective aspirations.
The authoritative central defender is very much in Mancini's City mould. A player with many more years left on the clock who holds a hunger for football's highest honours. The omens are very good for this young City squad but understated as ever, Kompany has repeated this weekend his earlier assertions that City have not arrived yet:
'There is not much point in talking about what we are going to do...we have done some things but we have massive ambitions.'
It's ambition that is driving resurgent City's momentum going into an ever difficult assignment at White Hart Lane this afternoon where The Citizens can once again expect to be subjected to a barrage of financially related stick from a home crowd and given another stern test of their footballing credentials. Not a bother for Vinny:
'We have been battered for the past three years and that has helped me love this club more because we have been in a corner most of the time. It is always the money. What else can it be? I look at it from the inside and what this club does for the community is unbelievable. What it does for its fans is incredible.'
The City captain also delivered a riposte to some of the more scurrilous rumours dished out by an Old Trafford obsessed legion of hacks:
'...I read somewhere that I was not happy with what some of the other players were being paid. That could not be further from the truth. If someone comes to Manchester City on the Queen's wages, I don't care. I have been brought up with the feeling that if someone does well for himself then I am happy. I have never suffered from jealousy.
- growing up, I was never crying in my room every day because other boys had more than me.'
Nobody within what is now a thoroughly professional, focused and well run club is kidding themselves that City can expect to stroll towards titles and Kompany agrees, but praises the players he leads:
'There is no guarantee at all...the squad are all good guys, that is the advantage...I think they are all good professionals. Everybody wants the best for the team and that makes it easier to get a message across when you think it will benefit the team.'
Vinny still finds time to put in a word for the city of Manchester when he can. Having already married into a Mancunian family he gives further assurance that whatever comes City's way this season he intends to lead the side out for some time to come:
'I like Mancunians, I feel good here. It feels like home.'
all times GMT+1
Su 28 Aug 13:30 Spurs, White Hart Lane, PL
Sa 10 Sep 15:00 Wigan, The Etihad, PL
We 14 September 19:45 Napoli, The Etihad, CLGS1
Sa 17 Sep 15:00 Fulham, Craven Cottage, PL
Tu/We 20/21 Sep 19:45 Birmingham, The Etihad, LC3
Sa 24 Sep 12:45 Everton, The Etihad, PL
Tu 27 September 19:45 Bayern Munich, Allianz Arena,
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Date:Sunday August 28 2011
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