Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Are We Short On Leaders?

There are a few big football stories dominating the back pages at the moment, the return of that odious cheat Luis Suarez, 'Arry and his mysterious tax bill and of course our 'brave English lion' John Terry, a man who I dislike almost as much as the aforementioned Liverpool striker.

The debate surrounding his removal as England captain got me thinking about City (in truth most things ultimately result in me thinking about City!).  Whether or not you believe it was right that he had his role taken from him before a judgement had been made on his legal problems, it has brought about an interesting debate.  I was listening to a piece on 5Live yesterday and the discussion had moved on from Terry and was now looking at whether in the modern game we need a captain at all.

It was being suggested that in this era there are no decisions left for the captain to make, the decision making part of the job no longer exists, so what is the role of the captain?  Well personally I believe leadership on the field is vital to a successful team.  It obviously can be argued that if you have a group of leaders then one specific captain is unnecessary, and I can definitely understand that point of view.  Whether it be one leader as captain or 3 or 4 leaders spread throughout the team it is vital that they do their best to organise and motivate their team mates.

To bring it back to City, I am beginning to wonder if this is something that we are short of.  Clearly Vincent Kompany was the best choice for club captain, he is vocal, intelligent and understands what is expected of him and the team.  When he was out serving his suspension, we were not the same side, we didn't look as organised and there was something missing, and I wonder if they can be put down to the lack of leadership on the field.  Last year Carlos Tevez may have worn the arm band, but we all new that it was Kompany who was rallying the troops.  

Someone else who may be less vocal, but has the same qualities is Yaya Toure, and with him missing as well we had a bit of a 'quiet' team through January.  As skilled as Samir Nasri, David Silva and Sergio Aguero are, screaming instructions and lifting their team mates is never really going to be part of their make up.  It was Micah Richards who wore the armband for most of the month, and there is no one more deserving of that role, his work rate and drive are a fantastic example for the team, but does he really have what it takes to lead his men into battle? I am not so sure.

It is not just an issue of rallying the team, organisation comes into the art of leadership.  If we are honest, we beat Fulham quite easily on Saturday and if the truth be known we probably never really got out of first gear.  I still felt however that defensively there was something lacking, now obviously we missed the quality of Kompany in terms of his defensive ability (which team wouldn't?), but we also lacked that organisation at the back and at times our back line looked a bit all over the place.

What can we take from this therefore?  Well to return to my original point, it made me consider if perhaps we were short on leaders in our current squad.  We have a quiet team, and maybe we could do with one or two more capable of barking instructions.  Hopefully Kompany will be back on Sunday, and the return of Yaya is imminent and these additions will help massively, but we could always do with more.  De Rossi would definitely have helped with that, but that move is now dead in the water. 

I am not saying we need to go out and buy a load of other teams captains, but I think it is something that should possibly be considered as time passes, the role of the captain may be diminishing, but to be successful, good leadership is a must!

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