How much football can Rodwell expect to play at City this season?

The former Everton midfielder has struggled to make an impression since switching to the Etihad Stadium and is seemingly well behind in the pecking order.

England international midfielder Jack Rodwell has stated that he is looking forward to impressing new boss Manuel Pellegrini, as the former Everton man looks to improve on an underwhelming debut campaign at the Etihad Stadium.

Rodwell suffered from debilitating injuries last term and found the going tough in a City squad full of international quality midfielders. A total of 11 Premier League appearances, six in the starting XI, is nowhere near enough for a player that many consider to have a bright future on the national stage.

Despite the fact Rodwell has not featured in City’s opening three Premier League games this term, he is remaining positive about his chances of featuring regularly this season.

"It’s a little bit like starting again when a new manager arrives and you have to win him over," he said.

"But that’s the same for everyone. The previous manager Roberto Mancini brought me here, and obviously I was a little bit sad to see him go.

"But that’s football. Obviously Manuel Pellegrini is a great manager and I’m happy to see him come in as well so everyone is in that position where they want to win him over and I’m no different.

"I think everyone feels it’s a fresh challenge more than anything. Everyone has come in and is trying to win the manager over which has brought a new lease of life."

Rodwell’s chances of playing regularly have not been helped by the club’s summer recruitment. Fernandinho has been brought in from Shakhtar Donetsk for a whopping £40 million, and has formed the first-choice central midfield partnership with mainstay Yaya Toure.

This pair will take some leapfrogging and Rodwell can really only expect to play on a consistent basis if one of them is injured or Pellegrini opts to change his tactics.

The competitiveness in the boiler room at City has been highlighted by former England captain Gareth Barry being forced to go out on loan to Everton. Despite a career in the Premier League and playing a significant role in City’s Premier League success in 2011-12, Barry is seemingly surplus to requirements at the Etihad Stadium.

If the chance to deputise or replace one of the first-choice central midfielders does arise, Rodwell will certainly not be the only contender to play. City also have Javi Garcia – another player signed last summer for an extortionate fee that has failed to live up to expectations. James Milner could also be deployed in central midfield.

Rodwell will have ambitions of improving as a player at City and playing a role in the club’s Premier League title push. Despite this, something dramatic is going to have to happen for him to match and surpass the 11 appearances from last season, as he seems well down Pellegrini’s pecking order currently.

images: © geetarchurchy

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