In our latest instalment of the Flashback series, we take a look back at a certain moment and look at how things might have changed those initial reactions.
In the summer just gone, Manchester City and Vincent Kompany went their separate ways.
The Belgian centre-back had spent 11 years at the Etihad after signing from Hamburg in 2008, but he opted to leave the club and join Anderlecht as a player/manager (mancity.com).
He had been a key player at Manchester City, indeed he was the captain and was an absolute rock at the heart of their defence, helping the club win four Premier League titles, two FA Cups, four League Cups and two Community Shields.
Most would have thought that Pep Guardiola would move to replace him with a new signing in the summer, given that he only had three centre-backs left at the club in John Stones, Aymeric Laporte and Nicolas Otamendi.
However no new central defenders were brought in, and City now find themselves enduring something of a crisis at the back.
Laporte could be out until March as he recovers from injury (The Guardian), whilst Stones and Otamendi have both had problems of their own.
Guardiola has been forced to play Fernandinho and Rodri, both holding midfield players, at centre-back this season and they certainly don’t look as defensively solid as they have done in previous years.
Indeed, they have already shipped 16 goals this season, three more than newly-promoted Sheffield United and one less than rivals Manchester United prior to this weekend’s fixtures, with the Red Devils themselves marooned in mid-table.
They look to missing leadership and stability in their defence, two things that Kompany used to bring. After all, he was the man who came up trumps against Leicester City last season and, more importantly, stopped Mo Salah in his tracks at the Etihad back in January to help City turn the tide on Liverpool.
Even looking deeper at the numbers, the City legend recorded better statistics last season in terms of interceptions per game, clearances over the same period, as well as the number of blocks, than the likes of Otamendi and Stones have this time around via WhoScored.
You have to look at it and wonder if they shouldn’t have tried harder to keep the big Belgian around for another year at least.
Manchester City fans, do you think that you are missing Vincent Kompany this season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…
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