clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Expectations For 14/15: Aleksandar Kolarov

New, comments

Kolarov may have changed hiss number to that of a left winger (11), somewhat emulating the great Sinisa Mihajlovic, but I wouldn't expect too much to change in terms of the Serbian's playing style or performance.

Ross Kinnaird

Questions

What's his history?

Signed from Lazio in 2010 after a rumoured transfer battle with Real Madrid. Kolarov cost a whopping £16m back then.

That's a lot of money, has he justified the fee?

At first blush, one would say no. But he has grown since those early days and looked a lot more dependable under Pellegrini, as did quite a few players, actually.

When is he contracted to?

An extension signed last season takes him up to 2018 and 33 years of age.

Will he still be with Manchester City at 33 yo?

What do you think.

What type of players is he?

Slightly shifty rather than quick, adequate rather than outstanding, Kolarov offers far more in the attacking final third than he does in the defensive final third.

In the attacking third he is able to skillfully time overlaps, work the one two and constantly offer a crossing option. He has a cannon of a left foot and uses it to create havoc with low driven crosses.

In the defensive third, it is probably fair to that he is not an outstanding defender. He can be beaten for pace but not strength. His first step quickness sometimes lets him down, but he isn't a glaring, watch-through-nail-bitten-fingers type of defender.

This will be Kolarov's 29 yo season, any sign of decline?

Not that we have seen so far. Sometimes that decline creeps up slowly, sometimes it hits like a hammer, but I don't think Kolarov is at that stage yet. Maybe at 31 we will see a slowing down and by 33 it will almost be over for him at Man City.

It's not like he has been a workhorse for City so maybe his career can be stretched out if he continues to be used sparingly?

Maybe he can stretch his career out. There's not many miles on the legs here:

Korov_mins_13_14_medium

Whoa, that is not a lot of minutes played?

Some of that was due to injury, some of it due to selection and manager preference, but he played the most minutes of his career under Pellegrini even though he was job sharing with Clichy.

The trend looks like this:

Kolarov_top_13_14_medium

.Kolarov has played 40% of the available league minutes and that was far lower than I expected. As I said before, injury hasn't helped, but neither has his consistency and previous defensive weaknesses. It will be interesting to see how he used as his career progresses.

How will he be used in 13/14?

I think Kolarov will continue to get more of the easier games (home games, weak opposition) than Clichy does. I also think Kolarov will continue to be used as that left midfielder late in games and in tricky away games when Pellegrini wants to tighten up that left side.

But it will be more of the same really from a player who rarely wows and rarely looks lost.

How many games will he play?

27 would be a fair guess. A lot of sub appearances in that number and a good few soft starts.