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We Need To Talk About Kevin

You could be forgiven for thinking that we were discussing a commanding routine win on the ATP Tour for Roger Federer when you hear the score line ‘6-0, 5-0, 5-0’ but in fact we are here to discuss the juggernaut that is Manchester City.  

Cast your minds back to the start of the 2016-2017 season and you will remember that City had a similar start to this season, running riot against opposing teams, before injuries and defensive mishaps curbed their assault on another Premier League title. But something seems different this season. There’s a steely edge and a backbone to Manchester City this season. Opposition managers beware; just ask Mark Hughes.

This season teams genuinely fear the blue side of Manchester. Only time will tell if this Manchester City side can go on to convert these sparkling performances into titles and trophies but until then – I’d advise to just sit back and enjoy the delights of total football.  

Image courtesy of Dulich4you via Flickr

In comparison, although the red side of Manchester might have made an improvement to this season and look on course to be the only side who could go toe to toe with Guardiola’s men over the course of a full season. The difference in styles couldn’t be more different. The 0-0 draw away from home against fierce rivals Liverpool on the weekend, still a sign that Mourinho sticks to his core principles; a draw away from home is 1 point more than a defeat away from home.

Time will tell if Manchester City travel to Liverpool with a similar mentality, but after thrashing Liverpool already this season at home 5-0; I suspect that they won’t.

Last weekend saw us reach 8 games played in the league, in other words just over a 1/5th of the season has passed us by. In that time, the Citizens have already amassed 29 goals in the league, at an average of over 3 goals a game. To put that into context if they continue at that rate, they will score 137 goals this season. The current Premier League record is 103.

Astonishing.

A factor behind the Blues start to the season is down to one man; Kevin De Bruyne.

Image courtesy of Mbah Patrick via Flickr

The Belgium International is flying at the moment, just ask some of the defenders he’s come up against this term. Not for the first time this season, De Bruyne took on the architect role against Stoke City and eased Man City to a 7-2 demolition win. Leaving the pitch to a standing ovation not only from the home fans but also the away fans too. Clearly, he is a very special player.

Beginning to specialize in the spectacular assist, his vision and perception of where his team-mates are around him is phenomenal. Not one but two, inch perfect diagonal crosses followed in the 2nd half, both threaded through a forest of legs and both ending up in the back of the net to put the game completely out of reach for Stoke City.

Famously rejected by Chelsea in the early stages of his career, which led to some time to reflect on his career. Looking back at it now, it seems the best decision of his short career to date. Wolfsburg swooped in for the dubbed ‘wonderkid’ and after some scintillating performances which saw him crowned ‘Footballer of the Year in Germany’ it wasn’t long until he was subject to a big money move back to the Premier League.

Image courtesy of chao1989 via Flickr

But what really happened all those years ago at Chelsea. How could a player of De Bruyne’s sheer quality be allowed to disappear into the sunset so easily? Some reports suggest that De Bruyne had a self-proclaimed vision of himself which Mourinho didn’t share. Whilst KDB fans are eager to point out that he was unfairly treated at Chelsea and not given a proper run in the side.

Perhaps to get the very best out of Kevin, it is down to player management. Mourinho is notorious for having squabbles with players, hoping to inspire them. It would appear Pep has gone down the route of putting an arm around De Bruyne, and only praising not criticizing in the public eye.

Either way, this is Kevin’s redemption and the boy from Ghent has catapulted himself into the very top bracket of footballers on the planet. From an English perspective, let’s hope we don’t come up against Belgium at next year’s World Cup.

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