City not feeling blues over loss of Kompany
PEP Guardiola refuses to accept that City have missed Vincent Kompany this season.
The Blues head to Burnley 11 points behind leaders Liverpool, having won just once in the last five games in all competitions.
And with first choice centre-back Aymeric Laporte injured, Guardiola has moved Fernandinho back into defence to cover, after the club failed to sign a replacement for the Belgium international in the summer.
Kompany’s injury record has meant he did not play a lot in the last three seasons, but he stepped in at vital stages and was a key man – both as a player and a leader – at difficult times last season.
City tried to bring in Harry Maguire to take his place but walked away from Leicester’s £80m valuation, allowing United to pay a world record fee for a defender to land him.
Fernandinho has been City’s best central defender, with John Stones suffering from injury and inconsistent form, and Nicolas Otamendi proving prone to individual mistakes.
But when asked if City were missing Kompany, who turned down the chance to stay in order to become player-coach at Anderlecht, Guardiola refused to be drawn.
“Vincent decided to go to Belgium. We have another alternative – other players and I’m thinking of them,” he said.
And when asked whether the veteran captain’s influence was being missed around the squad, he said: “No. This group is extraordinary, the group is incredible.
“They take care of themselves perfectly and are an incredible unit.
Of course Vincent is/was an important player and person for this club but he decided to go to Belgium and we have other incredible players to do the job they have to do.”
City’s only defensive signing in the summer was right back Joao Cancelo, with Danilo going the other way to Juventus, when it seemed a centre-back was priority. Guardiola said that, once Maguire proved impossible, there was no other option – and that, and Kompany’s decision to go, meant Nicolas Otamendi
Pep Guardiola on Vincent Kompany
changed his mind about leaving.
“We could not sign a centre-back. You know the history, we could not sign it,” he said.
“Nico continued and we decided to adapt Fernandinho in this position, and that’s all.
“Sometimes the club wants to try to do their best but we cannot.
“We have to adapt and adjust with the players that we have and next season we will see.”
City legend Vincent Kompany