Number 13 - Lucky For Some!
As excitement builds ahead of the big Liverpool versus City clash, VMC's Lorna gives up a shout for Aleks Kolarov, a man the Scousers should be wary of should he get the Pellegrini nod...
The most outstanding Manchester City players for me so far this season are Samir Nasri and Aleks Kolarov.
I have spoken at length about Nasri's resurgence previously on VMC and today I turn my attention to Aleks and my delight at him choosing to stay with City even though Italian giants Juventus and Inter Milan were knocking on the door for him last season.
City bought 28 year old Kolarov four years ago for a snip of a price at £17m from Lazio and I am so glad we did. I love it when he strides out on to the pitch. Don't get me wrong here I still have a soft spot for Gael Clichy but Kolarov does stand out. Since Manuel Pellegrini has taken over the reigns he rotates the squad carefully which means both his left backs get time on the pitch which makes for happy players. With regular playing time, backed by the fact that of the title challengers, City have used the least squad players with 23, Kolarov has had the opportunity to show the fans just what he is made of. If he had left before he could show his metal he would not have been happy and we would have probably had a dig at him for it but since he has stayed he has most definitely shown us what he is capable of. Kolarov has had his best City season by far when the exit door appeared nailed on.
France international Clichy is without a shadow of a doubt, a fine player but in my eyes the big Serbian has the edge. This season alone under The Engineer's reign has seen Aleks make 38 City appearances from a possible 51. which to my reckoning is 10 more than Clichy. We all have our favourites but that mean left foot of Kolarov's stands out for me. When we look back at Kolarov's history, under Roberto Mancini for some reason he became second choice. I don't know why but there you go. I guess if you don't give a player that much game time you will never get to see what he is worth until you have sold him on! For me, you have to keep playing a player to improve them. Training is one thing but getting them out there hands on is where their metal begins to show.
Kolarov has demonstrated his capabilities as a key provider of chances, which included serving up Sergio's opener in the 4 - 1 Derby. His crosses are brilliant, he reads his fellow players moves ahead of him like a sat nav, he knows where they will be before they get there and as for his defensive duties I personally cannot fault him right now. City have conceded only three goals in the last seven Kolarov league starts. He is also increasingly adept at tricking rival players into thinking he is going to go one way and then does exactly the opposite and goes the other...lovely stuff!
Aleks has developed a positive outlook towards his defensive duties. Rival wingers are often busily occupied trying to keep Kolarov down and as we all know it should be the other way around. That's the spirit Aleks, keep pushing them back and that way they just have not got the time to muster attacks.
I loved his interview on CityTV where he stated that personally he feels he has been having a good season - and hopes it will finish that way. Without a doubt the resurrections of Kolarov and Nasri are thanks to the Pellegrini factor. I hope Alexs stays with us for a good while longer.
UPCOMING DATES FOR YOUR FILOFAX:
all times East Manchester BST unless stated
Su 13Apr 13h37, Liverpool, Anfield, PL
We 16Apr 19h45, Sunderland, The Etihad, PL
Mo 21Apr 20h00, West Brom, The Etihad, PL
Su 27Apr 16h10, Crystal Palace, Selhurst Park, PL
Sa 03May 15h00, Everton, Goodison Park, PL
We 07May 19h45, Aston Villa, The Etihad, PL
Su 11May 15h00, West Ham, The Etihad, PL