Ex-Manchester City defender Paul Lake believes though it is a season of reflection for his old side, there are still a lot of reasons to be grateful.
Ex-Manchester City defender Paul Lake believes though it is a season of reflection for his old side, there are still lots of reasons to be grateful.
City find themselves 22 points behind runaway leaders Liverpool who have blown the league away with their performances this campaign; Klopp’s men are yet to lose a single game.
Whilst even Pep Guardiola has conceded himself any hopes of a third successive title are all but over, his team still have plenty of trophies left to play for.
With an upcoming Carabao Cup final against Aston Villa, progressing to the fifth round of the FA Cup and a Champions League clash against European titans Real Madrid, the season is hardly a write-off.
However there will be plenty of things for Pep to ponder in the off-season, as Lake explained to Andy Hodgson’s Kicking Off on Love Sport.
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“I think there is no getting around the fact not replacing Vincent Kompany was significant, not just in terms of the player himself and how strong a player he was, even when he wasn’t fit he was still a huge part of the squad, a real leader.
“He’s a huge character, they’ve not replaced the club captain of that stature and that’s a learning curve. Not replacing him as certainly cost them.
“There is still the possibility of Champions League success, there is a lot to play for and a lot for City fans to be thankful for.”
Lake also spoke in depth on a story that could potentially derail City’s hopes of European and FA Cup success; Raheem Sterling’s hamstring injury.
“It is difficult to recover from a hamstring injury, it’s not just the mechanism of the injury that’s one thing but also the site of the injury, whether it’s high up, low down or in the middle. So they can be quite complicated, especially with players who rely on their speed like Raheem does.
“Sterling is one of the quickest players in the league so it’s something City will have to monitor to make sure he isn’t rushed back. Obviously, he’ll be sorely missed but it might actually be a good time for him to get a little break.
“In terms of hamstring injuries of that ilk, he’ll get the best treatment possible but you can’t cheat nature. There is no point in rushing him, especially when they have a big squad of players who can quite easily substitute for him. They’ve got some huge games coming up.”
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