Midfielder Player Expectations for 2nd Half of season
Manchester City are soaring through the skies of success. Earning 2nd in the Premier League, most believe it’s only a matter of time before City take over as top of the Premier League table. The possibility of winning every Cup competition is within reach. Multiple trophies a season has become the expectation for Manchester City as a Football Club. What should we expect to see out of the individuals representing City on the pitch? Should more or less be expected from a player in the second half of the season? I will answer this query to keep your mind focused on supporting the better half of Manchester.
- Kevin De Bruyne
We have had the privilege of watching the World’s Best Midfielder for the last 2 years and appear to have that title on lock until further notice. In 21 appearances, Kevin De Bruyne has had 3 goals and 15 assists in all competitions. Kevin’s form leading into the World Cup had me worried. That was until Belgium’s locker room and coaching inadequacies were front and center for the entire world to analyze. Could the World Cup mishaps destroy his confidence and disrupt his ability? Manchester appears to be more his home than his national side, which is best case scenario for the second half. He can channel all the anger, pain, annoyance, and disappointment into creating the most dominant run of club football in modern history. Haaland could have stolen his Ballon D’or shouts, but if Kevin continues his buccaneering runs and the physic defying passes, he should rightly earn his 1st Ballon D’or. He will be on the way to breaking the single season assist record, Manchester City winning the Premier League, and their 1st Champion’s League.
- Bernardo Silva
Second Half expectations for Bernardo are tricky. He is an incredibly talented technical player who gives his all every moment he’s on the pitch. You could call him a “ride or die”, but the biggest question mark for Silva is his looming transfer drama. The last 2 years have been a circus brought to you by Barcelona media. Foden, Palmer, and Grealish need more time on the pitch combined with the possibility he could be leaving in the Summer. Why should Pep start Bernardo as much as he would like when that can affect the growth of young players? It’s similar to the Sterling saga and the year before he left for Chelsea. Will Bernardo start every match? No. Can Pep afford to keep him out of pivotal matches in fear of ruining next year’s continuity? Absolutely not. I believe we will see Bernie in more cup competition matches because he won’t take the playing time for granted. I do believe there will be matches where we will be screaming at Pep “where is Bernardo?” If he gets injured it will be tough to cash out on the Portugal star.
He is the most consistent player in Manchester because his position doesn’t allow an off match. You can not gauge Rodri’s success or failure off statistics alone. If you would like to discredit Rodri, looking at his goals and assists could be a way considering he is a midfielder, but you would be so wrong you could come off dense. He’s the team’s metronome, shutting down Rodri means shutting down Manchester City as a team. Rodri is in the top 10% in expected assists, passes, successful passes, pass completion rate, and aerial duels won. If I went to 14% I could name off 8 more statistics he’s near the top in. My expectation for Rodri is one that he has created for himself; to be one of one when it comes to defensive midfielders and do the things he’s been doing for years that we have become heavily reliant on. Handling incoming passes with ease surrounded by defenders, Rodri will take the ball from Ederson at our penalty area to ping the ball to a running attacker, and slow the pace when City start playing into another team’s tactic. Rodri will continue being lowkey the most important player on the squad.
- Ilkay Gundogan
Manchester City’s Captain, our multi-purpose tool capable of popping up anywhere on the pitch creating season defining moments. His roles as a line breaker and goalscorer have been diminished by Haaland. Rodri makes it where defending isn’t a priority and all the other players around him handle most of the pass distribution. The expectation for Gundo is a peculiar one unless you understand what is on the pitch for Manchester City. Ilkay needs to be fighting for those second balls, finding space in the gravity of KDB and Haaland. Ilkay needs to be there for Rodri to offload a pass when 3 defenders close on him. He needs to continue representing class and how a Captain should move.
- Kalvin Phillips
The only expectation you can have for Kalvin is he plays minutes in a match in any competition. He earns bonus points if he finds a way to start in consecutive games.