Manuel Pellegrini’s side found themselves 2-0 down after half-an-hour at Anfield on Sunday, in a defeat that puts the Premier League title in Liverpool’s hands and Manchester City’s fate out of theirs.
City captain Vincent Kompany is widely regarded as the best centre-half in the English top tier, and undoubtedly one of the best defenders in the world, but with doubts over his fitness prior to Sunday’s game there is now a question mark over his head after a number of costly errors made at the back by the Belgian.
Sky Sports’ commentary team discussed the game in the gantry, with debate over whether the 28-year-old should have played the game.
It is hard, in my estimation, to criticise the captain who has led the Citizens to title glory previously, but should the manager have started the skipper if he was lacking full fitness?
“Vincent Kompany just had a day to forget,” said Redknapp. “He was all over the place today.”
“If Demichelis makes that mistake, imagine the stick he’d have got,” he added.
Redknapp makes a fair point that Kompany had a bad game, but the difference between the Belgian and his Argentine colleague Martin Demichelis is that Kompany seldom has ‘a bad game’.
Demichelis has made a number of costly errors in decisive games this term – his sending off against Barcelona in the first leg the Champions League last sixteen tie at the Etihad ensure the Catalans virtually had the 180-minute tie in the palm of their hands after 54 minutes.
Kompany is one of the least ‘accident-prone’ defenders in the Premier League but, it remains true, if Demichelis had lost Martin Skrtel on the corner from which the Reds scored the first goal, or if Demichelis had miss-kicked his clearance in the manner Kompany did in the build-up to Coutinho’s winner, there would have been hell to pay.
I wouldd compare it perhaps to a bad day at the office.
If an employee is consistently punctual and committed to their work, never misses a deadline and always give their all week-in-week-out, the boss could probably forgive them the day they are late, but the same cannot be said for an employee who is consistently tardy and lacks focus.
It is about context – if Demichelis makes those mistakes, it is consistent in some ways with his season for City, but for a player and a captain like Kompany, it was simply out of character and can only be attributed to the injury struggle he had before the game.