It can be unsettling for anyone in a foreign country to know that back home, your people are not safe. They are being attacked, even bombarded. Sadly, that is still happening in the world today.
So many people have become victims of rather unnecessary conflicts. That’s the current situation in Ukraine at the moment, as Russia continues to pile on the pressure.
Ukraine-born Oleksandr Zinchenko is at a difficult place right now. Not physically, of course, but mentally and psychologically.
The 25-year-old participated in a protest against the Russian invasion of his country in the city centre on Thursday night. He has also posted some harsh words on his Instagram page directed at the Russian president, Vladimir Putin. But the post was later deleted.
With so much going on, it is understandable that he may not be in the right frame of mind to feature against Everton. But the midfielder-turned left back has assured Pep Guardiola of his readiness to play if needed.
The City boss revealed in his pre-match interview ahead of the game at Goodison Park that he has had a discussion with Zinchenko on the matter.
“We spoke all of this, I spoke with him,” Guardiola stated. “Everyone, the friends.
“These are the headlines all around the world, it’s a concern. Aleks is incredibly strong, a really brilliant guy.
“Of course it’s not easy but today and yesterday in training he was brilliant. He’s ready to play in case he has to play.”
It is noteworthy that Zinchenko is currently the captain of the Ukraine national team. He therefore bears a huge responsibility towards his people.
Over the past couple of days, alongside some of his famous compatriots like former AC Milan striker Andriy Shevchenko and former professional boxer Vitali Klichko, he has been very outspoken against Russia´s invasion of his homeland.
But he still maintains his cool in training, working hard to be ready to be picked by the manager when City play.
Having declared his readiness to feature, it’s now up to Guardiola to make the decision whether to pick him or not, although given his emotional state at the moment it will not be surprising if the manager chooses to leave him out of the squad.
We at @bitterandblue stand together in support of Zinchenko at this trying time.