City’s 2022 pre season: Player review

The main takeaways from our games against Club América and Bayern Munich.

Most improved:
Jack Grealish – So much more involved and looking a lot happier now we have strikers to pass to. Still a foul magnet, he should be wearing Balotelli’s “Why Always Me” shirt.

Stefan Ortega – Ederson levels of self confidence in his distribution and showed the ability to justify it. Remains to be seen how good he is at the keeping the ball out of the net aspect to goalkeeping.

Kalvin Phillips – Slotted in fine. The assumption that it will always be him or Rodri may be a bit misplaced. When we’re closing out a game with a one goal lead they may both feature, as we saw against Bayern. It worked well.

Erling Haaland – Gently easing in to his new surroundings. Will take a while for him to fully grasp Pep’s tactics, but the view of “keep him fit and he will score” appears justified.

Julian Alvarez – Looks every bit a Pep player. As with Haaland, it was clear he needs to get used to the team tactics, but looks better suited to playing the 9/false 9 than Foden and co.

Joao Cancelo – Has ended the last two seasons looking like he’s running on fumes and was similarly careless here. We need a new full-back to keep him and Walker from playing too many minutes.

Bernardo Silva – a bit careless against Club America, but back to his best against Bayern. With no-one else providing his levels of energy and ability in the middle, he remains central to how we play. With over a month of the transfer window still to go, any talk of offers from Barca must be quashed.

Cole Palmer – he looks ready. With five subs and two games a week, he should feature regularly. Hopefully this will be his breakout season.

Nathan Ake – Continued his decent form from last season. Suspect he always be a level below Dias, Laporte and Stones, but still important while we wait to see if Mbete, Harwood Bellis or Callum Doyle can make the step up.

Kevin De Bruyne – In great shape. Now he’s into his 30’s we need to not overplay him and keep him fresh for the latter part of the season.

Kyle Walker – a machine in terms of fitness. No worries with him.

Josh Wilson-Esbrand – promising, but full-back is such a crucial role in a Pep side that we’ll need to sign a replacement for Zinchenko, if not Mendy too.

Luke Mbete – Looks promising and will hopefully get the playing time he needs to improve, if he’s to be come a first team regular.

Liam Delap – Loan, don’t sell. There are so few strikers around these days, it would be criminal to lose one of England’s most promising.

Ruben Dias – Easing his way back to full fitness.

Rodri – Quality.

Riyadh Mahrez – His usual self.

Ederson – Ditto

Overall, the team looked in decent shape. Some of the passing was a bit sloppy resulting in the level of control not being as high as normal. That’s to be expected as players ease their way to full fitness.

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