Despite being part of the Manchester City squad that tops the Premier League, Aleksander Kolarov is not the man to fill the left back role at a club looking to embark on a sustained period of Domestic dominance.
Now before you all jump on me, I'm not saying he is a bad player, far from it. His thunderous left foot at times delivers inch perfect crosses and bullet shots on goal, the like that have not been seen at City since Michael Tarnat and his supercharged left foot departed the club.
But from a defensive perspective he is the undoubted weak link in what is a very strong team. Despite carving out an impressive reputation for himself in Italy because of his tough tackling and pace, Kolarov bizarrely excels in neither. Take for example this weekends win at Villa, everything was going smoothly with Alex McLeish’s side offering little to nothing going forward until deep into the second half when Charles N’Zogbia was introduced with the sole instruction to run at the lethargic Serb. Within moments insomnia had left Kolarov on his bakside and miles out of position for which he received a few choice words off the magnificent Joe Hart. Lesson one in the full back’s guide to defending is either go in early and tackle before the winger can get hold of the ball or stand off, show the winger outside and block the eventual cross. The big Serb usually takes the second option with limited success. He stands off but rarely stops the cross. It's not just the Villa game in which he has been poor, there are numerous occasions during this superb campaign where he has ultimately been found wanting.
As a defender your job is to defend first and foremost. If you can contribute in attack then it is a bonus
Operating on the left hand side from the pitch it's sometimes tricky to distinguish between Kolarov and Gareth Barry with their similar physiques and clean cut looks, however it soon becomes apparent who is on the ball when the Serbian International either overhits a pass or predictably fizzes the ball over the crossbar.
At best he is a backup for the impressive Clichy, but what puzzles me is why did we pay so much for him? £16 million is a hell of a lot to pay for a second, possibly third choice full back who in my opinion will never make it in the Premier League in that position. So whilst it maybe popular to slate him what is obvious is that all his positive attributes come in the form of attacking actions. As a defender your job is to defend first and foremost. If you can contribute in attack then it is a bonus.
One option would be to move him further forward. But as City don’t play with traditional wingers who go on the outside and are well stocked in midfield that route would appear blocked. In an ideal world, he’d play as a wing back in front of a left-footed central defender such as Lescott, but nobody plays 3-5-2 anymore. If Juventus come in with a firm offer in the summer, it would be best for all parties if he was sent back to Italy where his style of play is more appreciated.
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