Kompany: Young squad gave everything
- 06 July 2014 08:56
- Posted by @porter_mcfc
As the dust settles on the World Cup quarter finals, now just four City stars remain in Brazil.
However, the City and Belgium skipper refused to be too downhearted after the Red Devils went down to a single Higuain goal, and explained to the waiting cameras how proud he was of his young side.
Sports Mole’s Alex Meyers explains: “Kompany has been proud of everything his country has achieved in Brazil and believes that they will come back stronger when the World Cup is hosted by Russia in four years time.
"‘It has been a great adventure for us,’ Kompany told VRT. ‘We gave it everything. Maybe in Russia we will have more luck and more experience.
"‘After all, this is one of the youngest teams at the World Cup.’
“The average age of Belgium's squad at this year's tournament was under 26 years old.”
Great stuff from the captain, who had a great game against Messi & Co, but then Blues fans wouldn’t expect anything less!
In their selection of “unheralded players who will be vital” at the next stage, Pablo Zabaleta is an early entrant after a number of crucial performances for Argentina.
Given he’s one of the final four in the race to be crowned Etihad Player of the Year 2013/14, perhaps he’s more heralded in Manchester than with headline writers obsessed with Messi, Di Maria et al.
Anyway, the site’s Rob Goldberg reckons Zaba will be crucial if La Albiceleste are to book their place in the final a week from today.
Goldberg writes: “Although Belgium (and Chelsea) fans were expecting Eden Hazard to get the better of Pablo Zabaleta on the left side of the pitch, the talented player was held in check throughout the match and could not help his squad get onto the scoresheet.
“This is the type of performance Zabaleta has to provide once again in the next round against the Netherlands. The Dutch like to use width on the attack, and Argentina will need their full-backs to hold up defensively.
“Of course, defence will not be the only role for Zabaleta. If he can be aggressive and provide a few crosses to Messi and Higuain, Argentina will be in good shape.”
But what about transfer gossip, I hear you cry?
Never fear, the rumours are here.
First up, Alexis Sanchez has been linked with a whole host of teams in recent days, and now City make it onto the list.
The winger is reportedly set to depart Barcelona, and the Daily Star claim that Manuel Pellegrini wants his compatriot at the Etihad.
Writes Chisanga Malata: “According to reports, City boss Manuel Pellegrini is keen to added his fellow countryman to his star-studded team and is willing to pay Barca £40m for the winger.
“Sanchez, 25, has been told by Barca club officials and new boss Luis Enrique that he is surplus to requirements and that he can leave the Nou Camp this summer.
“His impressive form for Barca last season and his good performances at this summer's World Cup has seen the former Udinese star attract interest from a host of Europe's top clubs, including City's Premier League rivals Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool.”
So he’s reportedly going to just about anywhere. Right then.
The Bosnian Diamond played an integral role as Pellegrini delivered the Premier League title back to the Etihad Stadium in his debut season in England, and the Blues are said to be keen to retain the striker’s services.
Reports the paper’s Simon Mullock: “Manchester City insist there is no panic at the Etihad Stadium over Edin Dzeko’s failure to sign a new contract.
“The Bosnia striker is one of six City players with just 12 months left on their current deals and was expected to agree an extension after playing a key role in their title triumph last season.
“But while Sunday Mirror Sport has been told that “nothing is imminent” there is a strong desire to keep the 27-year-old despite continuing interest from Italy.”
As ever, no ins or outs are confirmed until you see it here on mcfc.co.uk.
That’s all for today, enjoy your Sunday!