Former footballer Jason Cundy has accused Manchester City of underestimating Liverpool by lambasting Pep Guardiola’s decision not to replace Vincent Kompany in the summer transfer window.
However, the Belgian’s absence and a pile-up of injuries to the City backline have left the champions short at the back this year, with midfielders Fernandinho and Rodri filling in at times this term.
Cundy slammed the decision not to reinforce their defence on TalkSPORT, saying: “I said when he picked up [his] injury, that there’s no way that Manchester City could win the title without [Aymeric] Laporte.
“They’re now playing midfielders at centre-half. City have underestimated Liverpool – the best side to finish second in Premier League history.
“They’ve got rid of Kompany, their captain – a talismanic figure not just on the pitch, but in the dressing room. They picked up this injury to Laporte, and now [Guardiola’s] having to shuffle his pack.
“I just don’t understand it, and I think there is an arrogance about Pep that he felt that perhaps ‘I don’t need another centre-half, I don’t need to replace Kompany’.”
Cundy did indeed criticise the lack of depth in City’s defence following their first defeat of the season at Norwich City – which was also their first game since Aymeric Laporte was sidelined through injury.
Being forced to play two midfielders at centre-back last month (albeit in a 2-0 shutout against Crystal Palace) encapsulated the woes they have had at the back, making their failure to replace Kompany all the more alarming.
While Cundy believes Guardiola’s faith in his existing options demonstrated a lack of respect for Liverpool’s threat, their defeat to the Reds certainly makes them look worse, but the correlation is not necessarily authentic.
We saw the fine margins on which games can be swung by decisions on Sunday, and given injuries are, on the whole, down to bad luck, it was arguably Liverpool’s good fortune and superiority that made City look bad, rather than their transfer window shortcomings that were already well-documented.
Should Manchester City sign a central defender in January?
City fans, should you have replaced Kompany this summer, or have you just been unlucky with injuries? Let us know what you think below!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!