Sunday, 4 May 2014
Man City's Signing of the Season
Fernandinho is an important cog in Man City's midfield machine
When Fernandinho signed for City, he crept under the radar as players were being sold and bought like wild fire. Arsenal signed Ozil, Real Madrid signed Bale,Tottenham signed Soldaldo, Barcelona signed Neymar, but who was City's marquee signing? At the time this was a hard question as they had signed 5 quality players, amassing over 100 million pounds. The Sky Blues brought in Jesus Navas, Alvaro Negredo, Stevan Jovetic, Martin Demechilis and a Brazilian named Fernandinho, the latter I believe to have earned the tag signing of the season, not just for City, but the Premier League itself.
Yesterdays performance after coming on for Aguero against Everton in the first half sums up the importance of Fernandinho to the title chasers. The Brazilian shifted in a dominant performance in the middle of the park, demonstrating pace, power, vision, technique, workrate and awareness.
In the build up to Manchester City's second goal, Fernandinho found the better side of Leighton Baines, sped away, and sent a pass in between the defence to give Dzeko a scoring chance. Howard saved Dzeko's effort, but the ball spilled to Milner, who whipped the ball onto Dzeko's forehead to make it 1-2. It was Fernandinho's awareness to tuck inside of Baines for Kompany to find him and unleash a run that led to the goal. This whole season for City Fernandinho has shown he has the stereotypical pace of a Brazilian footballer, and that attribute has been a secret weapon for the 2012 premier league champions with aggresive pile driving runs from the center of the park.
The power that Fernandinho exerts is phenomenal for someone of his stature. This is why the former Shakthar Donetsk man and Yaya Toure make the perfect pair, they are both epicenters in the middle of the park sending waves of force towards the opposition when the ball is at their feet. Defenders and midfielders struggle to put challenges into the path of him, as he is more of a charging rhino than a running Brazilian.
The vision and passing of Fernandinho is majorly underrated compared to holding midfielders such as Ilkay Gundogan, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Sergio Busquets and his midfield partner Yaya Toure. According to football statistic website WhoScored.com, Fernandinho ranks 4th in Manchester City on terms of pass accuracy in the premier league and 3rd for the club in the premier league. The Brazilian has created 41 scoring opportunities for his team mates in 31 appearances, and assisting his teammates 3 times.
The dribbling technique of the Brazilian has been seen many times this season. The build up of the Edin Dzeko's first goal involved Fernandinho gliding past Leighton Baines, then slowing the ball down and giving himself two important aspects of dribbling; space and time. When Fernandinho is on the ball, he manages to take the ball that is glued to his feet to dangerous areas, and giving himself space between the defence and himself. The pace and power he demonstrates helps him accomplish this. When carrying the ball through the Everton line of midfield to defence, he decelerated and found open space, rewarding him with the time to play the perfect pass, which he performed, resulting in the build up to a goal.
Perhaps the most important quality of the engine that runs the midfield is his workrate. If someone were to watch him for the first time, that person would assume there is two of him on the field. Non-stop running and not finishing until every blade of grass is covered, his never stop working mantra has saved and helped Manchester City dominate the midfield in games. This workrate merged with awareness of where to be has acted as a catalyst to City's domestic dominance of midfield. When his partner in crime Yaya Toure attacks, Fernandinho knows to stay back and screen the back four. If the attack seems dull and needs a spark to ignite the fuse, he knows to push up and help the forwards crack the shell of the defence.
Fernandinho's is a rare player that has all these qualities, demonstrating them in all the games he plays. It is the tireless performances he puts in like the game at Goodison Park that has earned him such praise and an assured spot in the Manchester City starting eleven.