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Manchester City 2014/15 Player Ratings: Martin Demichelis

Our Best Defender? Okay, Our Best Defender.

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Martin Demichelis (31 League appearances; 42 appearances overall): 7.5/10

If you (and I mean any of you, dammit) came to me before the season and bet all the money in your pocket against all the money in mine that Mr. Martin Demichelis, born before Ronald Reagan's presidency and our slowest center back by half-a-yard at least, would be our best defender... well, you would have won all the money in my pocket.

Twas not supposed to be thus.

Demichelis, owner of the best mane seen in these parts in many a blue moon, was coming off an inconsistent season that started badly and ended wonderfully. In spite of Pellegrini's obvious confidence in him, the 14/15 season saw Demichelis as a placeholder for the most expensive defensive signing in the history of the Barclays Premier League (hi, Eliaquim!). Kompany was supposed to be best, Mangala was supposed to be next and Demichelis was supposed to be here for maybe the whole season but then again, maybe not.

And then the season actually happened.

Here's what was clear to me after watching every minute of every game:

  1. Vincent Kompany, who had his worst year in a City shirt, was at his best playing alongside Demichelis.
  2. Eliaquim Mangala, who had his worst year in a City shirt, was at his best playing alongside Demichelis.
  3. Neither Kompany nor Mangala played all that well when they weren't playing alongside Demichelis.
  4. Martin Demichelis made comparatively few mistakes this season (certainly fewer than Kompany and Mangala).
He helped more than he hurt. He is, by all accounts, a helluva nice guy and will always be remembered for this. He's by far our most vocal defender; calling out the offside traps, demanding without being overbearing. All of this is true and good.

But something else is true and not so good:  the fact (and fact it was) that he was our best defender underscores the gap between where we are and where we want to be. City wants to be one of the best teams in the world. They can't be that with Martin Demichelis as their best defender. That's no fault to the man who is eminently likable in nearly every sense. However, if City are to be great, City simply has to have players produce better in the back than the otherwise fine season Demichelis offered in 2015.