Vincent Kompany (25 league appearances): 5/10
I love Vincent Kompany. That is an important disclaimer to make at the beginning of a mostly negative season review. When Vinnie is on his game, few players can touch him. He is a one man-wrecking crew who is able to break up a play, make a key pass, and move up into the midfield to kick-start a counter-attack.
This season, he has been inconsistent at best. Here are some of my problems:
- He had 7 yellow cards in the Premier League, the most per game in his time at City. When Vinnie gets on a yellow, he becomes much less effective.
- We lost 7 league matches this season. Kompany played in all 7 of those matches. His record in games played was 14W - 4D - 7L. In games he didn't play, we were 9-3-0.
- Vinnie got eaten alive in the Champion's League. Although players will have bad games against the likes of Messi and Suarez, his overall record was 1-2-4.
- Our best stretch of the season (between 22 Nov and 1 Jan, 9 matches), he only played in 3. As soon as he came back, our form fell off again. Obviously there were other injuries to key players (mostly Aguero), but there is something very worrying about that.
I fully understand that there are mitigating circumstances with his season. Coming back from injuries is tough, and he never really seemed to get into a good rhythm.
The worst part is that Kompany played amazing at the World Cup in the summer. Check out this breakup of play.
More than any other City player, Kompany seems to over-think things. It takes him a while to trust his defensive partners, and he didn't ever get comfortable with Mangala. The two of them did not combine well, each of them playing better with Demichelis.
In general I have a lot of issues with the way that City defend. There are games where we get away with it due to our possession, or due to poor passing by the other team. We were not able to get away with it against Barcelona, as they repeatedly made our defense look like we were a man (or two) down. We need a different approach to defending, and some of that needs to come from our captain. There needs to be a lot less of this.
Hopefully this season was just an aberration, caused by a convergence of events: a World Cup summer, the delay in Mangala's transfer resulted in 6 days practicing together before the season started, injuries, and bad luck.
I look forward to watching him get back to form next season, as he destroys Costa, Hazard, Mata, and the likes.