This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Former Manchester City defender Micah Richards believes Nicolas Otamendi is often used as a “scapegoat”. The City icon has also praised the Argentine for his performances in the title-winning season of 2017-18.
Otamendi has had a tough start to this season and has found his position at centre-back under threat. As Vincent Kompany left and Aymeric Laporte got injured, the 31-year-old needed to step up. However, calamitous errors in the defeats to Norwich City and Wolverhampton Wanderers have shone a light on his glaring frailties and lack of reliability.
However, Richards has defended the Argentine, claiming that he is used as a scapegoat for the club. The ex-City star told BBC 5 Live Sport: “I know he’s not played and he’s been going through a tough time,” he said.
“In these big games, this might be a game where he has a good performance and that can set his season up to have a great season.
“It’s a little bit difficult for him because where City are in the league, everything is under the microscope and I feel like sometimes he can be the scapegoat of Man City.
“Yes, he does dive in too much for my liking, but the season when they won the league they were calling him the General, he really had some really good performances. He just needs to get his confidence back and hopefully, it can be this Sunday.”
There can be little doubt that Otamendi has had a tough demise over the past year. His shocking error against Norwich led to Teemu Pukki’s goal and three points dropped. Not long after this, the defender was unlocked at the back by Adama Traore twice in the game.
Otamendi has indeed been used as a scapegoat for City and yes he has had a tough time of late but, should be be selected in the starting XI on Sunday, he may have the perfect chance to redeem himself against Liverpool.