What a wonderful World Cup that was to watch. Unfortunately it’s over and following the Germans’ win we are staring down the barrel of transfer season boredom and a long pre-season before the Premier League kicks off again. Here’s a final look at how the City were represented in Brazil. *
(* This article does not include the various liggers and wage thieves that have populated our ranks over the years, such as Jo. There’s a place for honouring City legends, but scraping around for the merest hint of refracted glory is demeaning – sometimes to the point of unintentional performance art.)
Starting on a positive note is good for the soul, so let’s do that. Zabaleta had a rather good World Cup. His ability and talent is beyond doubt and he was always the City player nailed on to do well in Brazil.
He showed the world everything we have come to love when watching him in a City shirt – Strong in the tackle, relentless surges forward, apparent imperviousness to pain. That was the full back we know and love.
Aguero didn’t have the best time in Brazil. He picked up another little injury which kept him out for a few games near the beginning and looked jaded when returning towards the end. No goals (apart from a penalty in the semi final shoot out), no shots of note, and not a World Cup he will want to remember.
His best game was the Final after replacing Lavezzi as a second half substitute. He repeatedly got the better of Hummels and played a hold up game that Argentina were desperately in need of. In reality there was nothing he could have done on his own to stop the Germans but his tears at full time told the story of his, and Argentina’s World Cup campaign.
Demichelis put on a good show. After Federico Fernandes practically omitted himself from the starting line up following some extensive ineptitude Demichelis was drafted in and carried on his solid form from the second half of last season.
With the mooted signing of Mangala or an equivalent in central defence and Nastasic’s recovery from a mystery knee injury it remains to be seen how much involvement Demichelis will have from August. He’s getting old and there will be a natural limit on the amount of games he can play, but we all wrote him off once before and he proved us pretty badly wrong so… who knows.
I… have no idea. Whatever you thought of Milner beforehand you will still think of him now.
This is tricky. On the one hand we know he can be so much better than he was. He was actually not too bad, but in a tournament of which one theme was excellent goalkeeping, Hart looked below par despite doing nothing which was egregiously wrong. On the other hand, it was rather pleasant not seeing a Robert Green style cock up, so I’ll call this one as a win for Hart.
His problem is that there are a lot of people, due to both City and previous England blunders, who just don’t like or trust him anymore. An average performance is painted as bad and a good one as the standard he should always be at. There’s nothing wrong with that – we should be demanding higher standards from him – but there will always be people who see a Head & Shoulders advert and start frothing at the mouth.
The newly arrived W*lly Caballero will surely test him. The Argentine had a pretend debut in Dundee the other day – a place surely reminiscent of his old home of Malaga – and that will not be the last time we see him in our colours. Caballero is no Pantilimon to sit meekly at the back of the class.
The second half of the City cohort is to follow…
Written by Alex Timperley who is on Twitter