Whilst a 2-1 victory over a side who is currently bottom of the Premier League is rarely something worth celebrating with much gusto, I’ll forgive those Manchester City fans who are feeling fairly pleased with themselves following the Blues victory over West Ham on Sunday. There were great performances all over the pitch and even Mario Balotelli looked fairly impressive despite toiling away without much reward.
I was disappointed with one performance however, from a man who has failed to impress me throughout the course of this season. City may well have one of the best defences in the country, but as far as I can tell at the moment it has one major weakness and his name is Aleksandar Kolarov.
It may be a little harsh to judge the Serbian left-back after just one season in the Premier League, but thus far I’ve seen little to suggest that he has the ability to make it in a team that hopes to challenge for silverware. Kolarov joined City last summer from Lazio for a fee of £16m and he came complete with an excellent reputation.
Watching him play, however, has been another matter entirely. He’s not as great going forward as was originally believed and he lacks conviction in his defensive duties. Just look at his half-hearted challenge in the build-up to West Ham’s goal on Sunday. Can you imagine Vincent Kompany or even Joleon Lescott make such a weak attempt to win the ball?
If it weren’t for Micah Richard’s injury it’s highly unlikely that Kolarov would be getting the chance he’s currently getting and he’s hardly grabbing at the opportunity with both hands is he? Richard’s injury necessitates Zabaletta playing at right-back and opens up a space in the left-back position.
As far as I can tell Kolarov isn’t a good passer, needs to work on his tackling, doesn’t read the game too well and can often lose track of his man. He’s distinctly lacking in pace and doesn’t get up and down City’s left-flank anywhere near as fast as is desirable. On the positive side, I will grant that the Serbian has a ferocious shot. It’s rare, however, that he manages to get these shots on target.
There will be fans who argue that it’s unfair to judge a player after just one season in the Premier League. To some extent, I’d agree, but for me to support Kolarov I’d have to have seen more from him this season that what he has offered up. You’re more inclined to grant players time to adjust if they show ‘signs’ or ‘flashes’ of brilliance or ability, but that’s simply not the case with Kolarov.
I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Serbian was moved on in the summer and a replacement was brought in to add more competition in City’s defence.
Read more of Harry’s articles at This is Futbol