Mertesacker and Terry BETTER than Kompany claims pundit

Arsenal and Chelsea stars praised ahead of Manchester City captain by French journalist.

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has been slated as overrated by French journalist Daniel Riolo who works for the RMC radio station.

Speaking after Barcelona's narrow win at the Nou Camp in midweek, Riolo claimed there were as many as 15 central defenders in Europe who were superior to the City man.

He commented that Gerard Pique was a far more accomplished centre-back, stating: "He is far from the hierarchy of best defenders at the moment. There are at least 15 better than him. I know Kompany is very trendy right now, but Piqué ten times more class than him."

Riolo elaborated, as reported by, with his comments making big headlines in Belgium: "In England, I still take John Terry, David Luiz I take even if he does not always play at the back, I even take Mertesacker.

"In Spain, Pique, Mascherano behind and when he plays he plays more often behind Sergio Ramos, Pepe. I also take Thiago Silva, Hummels. Chiellini and Barzagli I add, I add Benatia, Alex PSG and both Bayern and the other from Dortmund Hummels."

There are certainly a few suspect names on his list, former Chelsea defender Alex and David Luiz for example, and Javier Mascherano whose best position is defensive midfield.

To claim all three are better centre-backs than the 2011/12 Barclays Premier League Player of the Year is quite outrageous.

Whichever the in's and out's of whether John Terry in his prime was better or not as good as Vincent Kompany presently is, right now there's one winner and it's the Manchester City man.

Riolo quantified his comments, adding: "Those who meet you and argue are those who play video games a lot especially Fifa 14 I know very well. Kompany is tough and it confuses the minds of those who do not watch many games. There are qualities that emerge in the game, that you can not find necessarily (in real life). For example Fifa 14 plays with Lucas, he is one of the best players in the world, is that true in real life? No. And Kompany is ust like that. "

Here is a look at how the statistics of the Premier League season bear out:

PlayerTeamPosEffective Clearance / appsWon Tackle / appsInterception Won / appsAerial Won / appsOutfielder Block / appsAppsMins
Vincent Kompany Man City DF 6.12 1.59 1.82 1.41 0.53 17 1,455
Per Mertesacker Arsenal DF 6.58 1.00 1.73 2.81 0.31 26 2,340
John Terry Chelsea DF 6.96 0.63 1.11 3.30 0.59 27 2,430

While making less clearances per game, Kompany wins out in key defensive areas like tackles on and interceptions made.

John Terry however leads in terms of shots blocked per game and aerial duels won, with Per Mertesacker failing to top the list in any of the above six categories.

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