‘It’s not easy to do’… Pundit left so impressed by £180k-a-week Man City player after Brentford win

Manuel Akanji received praise from Michael Brown for his outstanding performance in Manchester City’s Tuesday night victory over Brentford, a match where City closed the gap at the top of the Premier League table to just one point. Erling Haaland secured the only goal at the Etihad Stadium, marking his 17th Premier League goal of the season and achieving a unique feat by scoring against every Premier League opponent he has faced.

Speaking on City’s Matchday Live show on YouTube after the game, former City midfielder Michael Brown lauded Akanji’s contribution. Brown, who spoke with City presenter FG live from the Etihad Stadium, expressed satisfaction with City’s performance, highlighting their patience against a resolute Brentford side that defended with their entire team behind the ball for most of the game.

Despite Haaland’s decisive goal, Brown emphasized Akanji’s standout performance, naming him the man of the match. Akanji, usually playing in the middle or occasionally on the right, was a surprising starter at left-back. Brown acknowledged the difficulty of playing in that position, particularly stepping forward, and commended Akanji’s deserving recognition as the man of the match.

Akanji’s versatility shone through as he adapted seamlessly to the left-back role, showcasing comfort and excellence in his use of the ball. Beyond defensive contributions, he provided an attacking threat, with a notable long-range shot in the first half that tested the opposing goalkeeper, Mark Flekken. Brown noted Akanji’s ability to break the lines and contribute teasing balls into the box.

Despite City having solid left-back options in Josko Gvardiol and Nathan Ake, Akanji’s impressive performance demonstrated his ability to seamlessly slot into the left side, providing Pep Guardiola with valuable flexibility and depth in defensive positions.

‘The doctor said’… Pep Guardiola shares Kevin De Bruyne injury update after 1-0 win vs Brentford

Pep Guardiola has provided an update on the injury situation involving Kevin De Bruyne following Manchester City’s 1-0 victory against Brentford. The surprise decision to have the £400,000-a-week midfielder on the bench raised eyebrows, especially in a crucial game for City’s Premier League title race.

Guardiola’s choice not to start De Bruyne and substitute Jeremy Doku instead, despite the game being tied at 0-0 before Erling Haaland’s decisive goal, fueled speculation about a potential injury. Guardiola addressed the situation after the match, shedding light on De Bruyne’s suspected hamstring issue.

“We cannot use Kevin [De Bruyne] today because he has niggles in his hamstring position, I didn’t want to take any risks with him,” Guardiola explained, emphasizing a cautious approach to the star player’s fitness. Despite categorizing the concern as not serious, Guardiola stressed the importance of avoiding unnecessary risks, stating, “He’s okay, it’s just more caution and prevention that I think, but he didn’t feel comfortable. The doctor said it is a little risk, and I said, okay. After five months off, we didn’t take any risks about that over him.”

Guardiola’s decision not to risk De Bruyne during this crucial stage of the season is seen as a wise move. As Manchester City faces challenging opponents like Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, and Aston Villa in March, preserving De Bruyne’s fitness becomes paramount. Given the midfielder’s significance to the team, ensuring his full recovery is crucial for City’s aspirations in both the Premier League and the Champions League. Fans hope for his swift return to action to minimize the impact of his potential absence in upcoming crucial fixtures.

‘It’s not easy to do’… Pundit left so impressed by £180k-a-week Man City player after Brentford win

Michael Brown commended Manuel Akanji for his exceptional performance in Manchester City’s Tuesday night victory over Brentford, which narrowed the gap at the top of the Premier League to just one point. Erling Haaland secured the sole goal of the game at the Etihad Stadium, marking his 17th Premier League goal of the season and extending his scoring streak against every Premier League opponent faced.

Appearing on City’s Matchday Live show on YouTube, former City midfielder Michael Brown expressed his satisfaction with City’s performance, highlighting their patience against a resilient Brentford side that had their entire team behind the ball for most of the game. Despite the challenging defensive setup, Haaland’s second-half goal sealed the win. Brown particularly praised Akanji, who unexpectedly started as a left-back.

Akanji, earning £180,000 per week, is more accustomed to playing in the middle or occasionally on the right, making his left-back role a surprise. As Akanji walked past him towards the tunnel, Brown acknowledged his contribution, saying, “There he is. Played in a left-back position (tonight). It’s not easy to do, stepping forward. His shot as well… he deserved it (man of the match).”

While Haaland dominated headlines with the decisive goal, Akanji’s standout performance in an unusual position did not go unnoticed. Despite his limited experience at left-back, Akanji displayed remarkable comfort in the role, showcasing excellent ball distribution and posing an attacking threat. His long-range shot in the first half and well-placed deliveries demonstrated his versatility.

With solid left-back options like Josko Gvardiol and Nathan Ake, Akanji’s seamless adaptation to the position adds depth to Pep Guardiola’s choices. The Swiss international’s versatility provides City with a reliable option on the left side of defense.

Manchester City met with one agent of Kylian Mbappe

There have been bold assertions that one of Kylian Mbappe’s agents held a meeting with Manchester City officials a day before the French superstar reportedly informed Paris Saint-Germain of his intention to leave on a free transfer this summer. While speculation surrounds Mbappe’s next destination, with Real Madrid frequently mentioned, an unexpected claim by Cadena SER suggests that an agent of Mbappe was seen in Manchester meeting with City officials in an informal capacity.

This meeting allegedly occurred on Monday, just before Mbappe’s announcement to PSG. The representative, one of three for Mbappe, reportedly engaged with various City officials, even catching the attention of some City players. Interestingly, another representative, a childhood friend of Mbappe, attended Real Madrid’s Champions League game against RB Leipzig in the VIP area.

Despite the intriguing speculation, the likelihood of Manchester City signing Kylian Mbappe appears slim. City, equipped with Erling Haaland, may not have a pressing need for Mbappe. While the Frenchman could be available on a free transfer, the presence of Haaland, a formidable talent in his own right and a potential rival for the Ballon d’Or, raises doubts about Mbappe’s inclination to join City. Previous claims that City’s owners desired Mbappe to play alongside Haaland seem implausible.

Given Mbappe’s outstanding reputation and the long-standing speculation linking him with Real Madrid, it remains a logical choice for the French forward. Real Madrid, despite performing well without him, may still seek a replacement for Karim Benzema. The possibility of City pursuing Mbappe only arises if Haaland were to be sold, a scenario that currently appears unlikely.

‘You’d walk there’… Wayne Rooney admits he would absolutely love to work with £378,000-a-week Man City man

Wayne Rooney has expressed his openness to the idea of serving as the assistant manager under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. This revelation comes in the wake of John Eustance’s departure from Birmingham City, which left the team in a relegation battle after Rooney took charge.

Currently without a managerial position, Rooney admitted on The Overlap’s Stick To Football podcast that if given the chance to work alongside Guardiola, he would embrace the opportunity. In his own words, “It depends [on if I would ever be an assistant manager]. If Pep Guardiola comes in and asks me to be his assistant, you’d walk there.” Rooney acknowledged the influence of managers like Guardiola and Mikel Arteta, suggesting that learning from their approaches could contribute to his own development as a manager.

Rooney’s potential collaboration with Guardiola, a controversial prospect considering his legendary status at Manchester United, where he is often hailed as one of the club’s greatest-ever players, reflects his eagerness to refine his managerial skills. Despite the historic rivalry between Manchester United and Manchester City, Rooney’s acknowledgment of Guardiola’s managerial prowess underscores the profound impact the latter has in the world of football management.

£15m Man City player was simply outstanding in 1-0 win over Brentford

Manchester City secured a hard-fought victory against Brentford at the Etihad Stadium, closing the gap to just one point behind Premier League leaders Liverpool.

Despite City’s dominance in possession and numerous chances, they faced a resilient Brentford side that proved difficult to break down, with goalkeeper Mark Flekken thwarting their attempts.

Erling Haaland eventually broke the deadlock, securing the crucial goal for City. The match required patience, as Brentford adopted a defensive approach, camping in their own half for most of the game. Ivan Toney and Frank Onyeka posed occasional threats on the counter, but City’s persistence paid off.

In a game where City’s center-backs found themselves in advanced positions due to Brentford’s deep defensive line, Manuel Akanji, preferred over Nathan Ake on the left, delivered an impressive attacking performance. Akanji, usually a center-back, ventured forward, showcased excellent ball distribution, and tested Flekken with a remarkable curling shot in the first half.

Despite his limited experience in the left-back position, Akanji looked comfortable, completing an outstanding 106 out of 108 passes (98%), making 123 touches (second only to Rodri with 124), and contributing three clearances and two interceptions, according to Sofascore.

Akanji’s commendable performance on the left side, a position he rarely occupies, deserves recognition. While his overall season may not have matched the high standards set in the previous campaign, his adaptability and effectiveness in this role could be a positive sign for City’s future strategies, potentially prompting Pep Guardiola to explore this option more frequently.

Stuart Pearce admits he’s spotted one worrying weakness where Man City can ‘get done’

Stuart Pearce has identified a potential vulnerability in Manchester City’s gameplay despite their recent win against Brentford. While City secured a narrow victory after a disappointing draw with Chelsea, Pearce observed a pattern in recent performances.

In an interview with TalkSport, Pearce expressed his concern, stating, “They are too composed on the ball, not giving it away easily. They lure you into chasing, and then they turn and move beyond you. It resembles a basketball defense, defending the goal area while allowing width. However, in both the Chelsea game and yesterday’s match, City has shown susceptibility to being exploited behind.”

Pearce elaborated, “They play with a relatively high line during turnovers, and Brentford missed a couple of chances in the first half. Teams with pace and the ability to break City’s press quickly can expose this vulnerability.”

While City’s recent win elevated them to second place, just one point behind Liverpool, Pearce highlighted instances where opponents have exploited their high defensive line. He pointed out the challenges City faced against Wolves earlier in the season and how Chelsea scored by capitalizing on defensive lapses.

Although City’s pressing game is formidable, Pearce emphasized that teams capable of repeatedly breaking through and exploiting their defensive line with speed have found success. Despite occasional vulnerabilities, City’s overall dominance and pressing prowess make it challenging for opponents to capitalize consistently.

‘The smartest’… Vitaliy Mykolenko says Oleksandr Zinchenko used to rave about one Man City legend in private

Certainly, Zinchenko had the opportunity to both play alongside and train with the esteemed Spanish midfielder at the Etihad Stadium. The current Arsenal defender asserted in August of the previous year that David Silva, the retired maestro, stood out as the best player he had ever shared the field with. The Ukrainian player acknowledged feeling “fortunate” to have experienced playing with someone of David Silva’s caliber, emphasizing the midfielder’s exceptional ability to comprehend the game at an elevated level.

Zinchenko and Silva, as teammates, clinched the Premier League titles for the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 seasons, along with the FA Cup and two Carabao Cup triumphs. Given his role as a left-back, the 27-year-old had the unique opportunity to be on the same side as the World Cup winner, who was strategically positioned as a left-sided midfielder by manager Pep Guardiola. When asked about his Premier League dream teammate, Vitaliy Mykolenko disclosed that Zinchenko consistently praised David Silva, describing him as the smartest and most technically adept player. “Second one, David Silva. [Oleksandr] Zinchenko said about him he’s the smartest player. Technical, smart,” Mykolenko shared in an interview with Sky Sports.

Leighton Baines, a legendary figure at Goodison Park, was the first choice of the Everton defender when asked about his preferred Premier League icon. In December, Unai Emery expressed his desire to have David Silva on his current Aston Villa team when given the opportunity to select any player from past Premier League icons. It comes as no surprise that David Silva has left a lasting impact on teammates, players, and managers throughout the football community. His prowess on the field was not only mesmerizing for spectators but also appeared to be a valuable lesson in football every time he graced the pitch, particularly during his stints with Manchester City and Valencia.

Scroll to top