Anybody who has been following football for more than a few years will know very well the recent history of Manchester City and the role that a rich owner has played in their subsequent rise to prominence. Sheikh Mansour bought the club in 2008 bringing with him seemingly boundless amounts of wealth.
Mansour’s influence over City really shows just how much of a draw a rich club has, with many of the world’s top talents arriving for hefty fees. Two such talents would be David Silva and Sergio Aguero who both came from Spain to join City who have been forced to watch the continued success of Manchester United for decades. The Spaniard and Argentine arrived in 2010 and 2011 respectively for a huge combined total of £59 million.
It is truly remarkable to note the level of success that City have obtained with successful transfer dealings and the change of thinking from Manchester, changing from a submissive role to a club rivalling Chelsea and Manchester United for the Premier League title. Silva and Aguero; in addition to significant others, have been crucial to converting The Citizens into a world-class outfit. Despite securing the club’s ‘Player of the Season’ award last season, I don’t believe that Sergio Aguero is the most pivotal player in the team. This game-changing influence lies with City’s number 21; David Silva.
I can almost hear Martin Tyler’s voice cracking as he screams,”Aguerooo,” in defiance of my hypothesis. However, without taking anything away from Sergio Aguero’s heroics, I cannot help but feel that it is still Silva who has that all-powerful influence over the play that can be seen at The Eithad. When City ripped apart Newcastle and Aguero recorded five goals, the headlines were justifiably all about City’s top goal scorer for the last three seasons. Nevertheless, a factor that has been missed by many is that the extraordinary turnaround was sparked by a piece of individual brilliance from Silva to deftly lift the ball of the Newcastle defence to create a chance on goal.
Such is the nature of football that strikers who are on form usually get more praise than their team-mates. It is down to the fact that goals scored is a very easy way to indicate whether or not a forward is playing well. It is much the same with goalkeepers while indeed it can often be even worse, as a mistake is often more costly than just spurning a chance on goal.
David Silva played a few positions under Roberto Mancini when he arrived from Valencia in 2010 including right wing, central midfielder, as well as being deployed as a trequartista – which is really just a pretentious way of saying central attacking midfielder. His influence is maximized when playing in the number 10 role, being given a licence to roam and pull the strings as he wishes, allowing his creativity to drag him across the park. This freedom is what is frequently lacking when Mesut Özil plays in a restricted formation for Arsenal, and it is proof of how creative a player can be when he is given license to roam.
In the 2011-2012 season, Silva notched 17 assists and was the division’s leading creator. Since the tricky little Spaniard decided to trade Valencia for City, he has become pivotal to the ambitions of the English club. When he is on he pitch, he has a certain swagger as he dictates proceedings that is impossible to teach and .
This reliance on Silva can be highlighted by how easily he threaded passes straight down the middle of Chelsea’s back four to put Aguero through on goal three times. Kevin De Bruyne; Manchester City’s record signing, was handed his debut after David Silva was ruled out after picking up a knock on the wretched international break. De Bruyne showed glimpses of why City forked out £55 million to sign him as he tried to reconcile his massive price tag but ultimately failing to fill Silva’s boots in his absence. While Silva was absent from proceedings, the team lost two Premier League clashes with the most notable one being the abomination against Spurs.
An issue with Aguero is how prone he is to being injured. Miraculously, he scored his record-equalling five goals against Newcastle while struggling with a hamstring strain. In this instance, it turned out terrifically for him but in other cases it is more likely to result in a lengthy lay-off in which City are not able to rely on Aguero for his goal-scoring abilities.
The 2015/2016 season has not yet developed enough for an informed prediction to be cast, especially with Liverpool and Chelsea yet to turn up for the party. With that being said, I am very much assured that David Silva will be the one to influence City the most with his reliability being more steady and his importance in big moments undeniable.
Featured Image: All rights reserved by James Kuslov
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