Clarin: Demichelis making plans for Robben
- 09 July 2014 07:12
- Posted by @markbooth_mcfc
A trio of City players will be hoping to feature for Argentina in tonight’s FIFA World Cup semi-final against the Netherlands.
Ten City players started the tournament just over three weeks ago (11 if you count Bacary Sagna who joined us on 1 July), but now only three stand after Fernandinho’s Brazil crashed out courtesy of their incredible 7-1 defeat to Germany last night.
Martin Demichelis, who caught the eye with a commanding performance in the Albiceleste’s quarter-final win over Belgium, is one of those three survivors and he is looking forward to the challenge of stopping one of the competition's star players.
The 33-year old is expected to retain his place in the XI, according to reports in Argentina, and he’ll need to make use all of his experience and skill to silence the threat of Arjen Robben.
Fortunately, he has a plan…
“We have to be aggressive, to show the passion of the Argentinian players to the Dutch – and especially to Robben,” he told Argentine newspaper Clarin. “He doesn’t like physical contact, so you have to make him feel it and get under his skin.
“Robben is a phenomenon and it is vital to know which way he goes. But he’s not got much edge, he’s not a fighter.
“Therefore you have to attack him because the more you stand off, the nearer to the goal you take him and the less margin of error you have.”
Tonight’s last four encounter also reunites Martin with Louis van Gaal, the manager who brought an end to the defender’s eight-year stay in Germany after a year in charge of Bayern Munich.
Van Gaal sold Demichelis to Manuel Pellegrini’s Malaga but the Justiniano Posse-born man harbours no ill will towards the incoming Manchester United boss.
“I was irritated [when left out of the side] but I always recognised he was the best football-wise, for the concepts he has and how he imposes them on a team,” Demichelis said.
“He has shown that in this World Cup. But I didn’t leave because of him, but because of my own decision."
“He has a real determination in thinking about the team and potential consequences. I learned a lot from Van Gaal.”
It wouldn’t be a summer media round-up without some transfer gossip and the Daily Mail’s Martin Samuel has provided it.
England midfielder Ross Barkley has been mentioned in the same breath as City on many occasions over the last few months and Samuel writes today that Jack Rodwell could be used as a makeweight in any possible deal.
Elsewhere, Football Italia are reporting that rumoured defensive target Medhi Benatia is training solo at Roma as speculation surrounding a move to the Barclays Premier League hots up.
“Mehdi Benatia is training alone at Roma, fuelling reports he’s waiting for a move to Manchester City,” the story reads.
“The Morocco international has made it clear he wants a switch to England, where he’d reunite with best friend Samir Nasri.
“Benatia returned has been spotted training separately at the Trigoria camp and is awaiting developments on negotiations with Manchester City.”
No more details on that one, but we’ll have confirmation of any transfer deals here on mcfc.co.uk if/when any further deals are tied up.