Manchester City: How Players Rated vs. West Ham United


If I was looking for advantages…I’d say that it was nice to experience such a good game of attacking football (something that isn’t often uttered near West Ham). If I was being realistic, I’d say that the game didn’t look good from a City perspective…AT ALL. Where does the problem lie? Some say it’s in their failure to score, some say it’s down to defending, others even blame Manuel Pellegrini’s tactics. For me? It’s a foul mix of all three, but it’s mostly the second. City were unlucky not to get a point but didn’t help themselves at all…


Joe Hart: 7 – Hart has been brilliant lately, getting his first run of real consistent form. Couldn’t do much to keep West Ham’s first goal out, and very nearly pulled off a mind blowing save to claw Sakho’s header off the line, but alas, he was unlucky to see it just edge over the line. Damn goal line technology.

Pablo Zabaleta: 6 – Hate that this day had to come, but Zabba was pretty poor in this match. Being the linchpin of Manchester City for so long, against West Ham he was sluggish and failed to pass as well as he normally does, particularly in a terrible City first half.

  Vincent Kompany: 6 – Very hard done by to be given a yellow early on, but he was lucky not to be given a second. Often too eager to dive in and make a challenge, which led to poor fouls on Valencia and Sakho. Wasn’t as rock solid under the constant and endless pressure from the entire West Ham side, but still a lot stronger than Mangala has been so far.

Eliaquim Mangala: 6 – Although his debut against Chelsea looked to be a preview of his great defensive qualities, in the last few matches, it would seem that his defining characteristic is simply his great pace. Without it, he would be pretty lackluster. In the first half he displayed poor decision making, but as usual he did improve as the game went on.

Didn’t shy away from any challenges though, which is always good to see. Saved by his pace, as his defending hasn’t been 100 percent, I can tell he’ll definitely improve (given his age).

Gael Clichy: 5 – Left back is undoubtedly Man City’s weakest position, whether it’s Clichy or Kolarov playing there. I’ve said before how much I prefer Kolarov, but I’ve also always said that I do believe that Clichy is the better defender.

Today, I began to rethink that hypothesis. Clichy gave nothing at all going forward, constantly playing stray crosses and soft passes. He didn’t contribute anything defensively either, both West Ham goals came as a result of his poor defending.


Jesus Navas: 5 – I’m starting to give up on Jesus Navas. Yes, he’s quick. Yes, he can beat any wing back on his day, but he does very little with the ball when he gets it. When he is running down the right flank, it is always one of two possible scenarios: he’ll float the ball into the box towards Aguero or Silva, or he’ll stutter on the ball for a few seconds before deflecting it off the left back for a corner.

Neither of these plans have shown any signs of working thus far. Milner or Nasri on the right — not Navas.

Yaya Toure: 6 – It’s funny how as a defensive midfielder, Yaya Toure does very little tackling, redeeming himself only with one or two good shots a game (well, this season at least). Does he want to leave? He’s certainly playing like he does.

Aside from hitting the bar late on, a lethargic Yaya Toure did little to help City’s efforts against West Ham.

Fernando: 6 – Wasn’t very noticeable, but battled hard to get — and keep — the ball in the center of the pitch. He defended way more than Toure did, but he was pushed around by Song a bit too much for my liking though.

David Silva: 8 – After a less-than-brilliant game against Spurs, Merlin hoisted himself back into the limelight. He was City’s best performer today, and if it wasn’t for him moving in behind Aguero in the 60th minute, City wouldn’t have been anywhere near as good in the second half.  His goal was an individual piece of orgasmic skill — enough said.

If Pellegrini doesn’t start playing Silva in behind the striker/s more often — rather than on the left wing — we could have an ‘Ozilgate’ scandal on our hands.


Sergio Aguero: 7 – Looks to be riding the wave of great form, coasting past defenders like they’re not there, trying — and very nearly succeeding — with shots from all sorts of ranges. At the start of the first half I thought he’d definitely add to his tally, but wasn’t quite lucky enough to get that breakthrough. His link-up play with Silva is great though.

Edin Dzeko: 5 – I don’t even want to talk about it. I would’ve forgotten that he was even playing, if he didn’t play so poorly. He was offside far too often, and controlled the ball like Joleon Lescott (which is most certainly not a good thing). I would be more annoyed about his bad game if I wasn’t already used to Dzeko not turning up every week.

Perhaps this just proves beyond all doubt, that he is best playing for City as a lone striker.

Dzeko didn’t leave his mark at all on the game, being out-shined by Sergio Aguero then being subbed off for Stevan Jovetic.


Stevan Jovetic: 7 – Back from injury for a short while now, he seems ready to play regularly for Manchester City. When he came on in the 60th minute, the team seemed lifted, and really picked up. Why? Silva moved in behind Aguero, and Jovetic exhibited his pace and energy in all areas of the pitch — something Dzeko doesn’t provide. His shot late on nearly went in too — unlucky.

Aleksandar Kolarov: 7 – Didn’t have too much defending to do, but definitely played better than Clichy during his limited time on the pitch. In the last fifteen minutes he was threatening when crossing into the box, and did well to contribute to the attack. He should have been on from the start.

James Milner: 6 – Would have thought that he would start against a physical side like West Ham, but only got to join in the 80th minute. He did alright — not given much of a chance to make an impact.