Sergio Aguero Updates
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Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has said that he is confident about Aguero getting back to scoring ways soon.

Sergio Agüero
Last season's Premier league topscorer has struggled to score goals this season. He has scored just one goal from six outings in the league so far but remains an invaluable member of Pellegrini's squad.
Aguero broke a five game scoring drought with a penalty against Sunderland in the mid week Capital One Cup tie and his manager believes that it can be a platform for him to get back to the form he is capable of.

Aguero missed some good chances against West Ham in their 2-1 loss against West Ham last week but Pellegrini has backed his star striker to find his scoring boots against Tottenham on Saturday. Pellegrini says that Aguero is finally back to 100 percent fitness and that it is just a matter of time before he starts scoring on a regular basis again.

Despite the stats , Aguero remains a vital cog in City's attacks and has participated in the build up for a lot of goals. City's other choice upfront, Wilfred Bony is also not in great form and has yet to score this season.

Tottenham has been one of Aguero's favorite teams to play against and the Argentine has scored nine goals in his last five games against the North London side and will be hoping that he can replicate that kind of form on Saturday.

The only goal Aguero scored in this year's league was against Chelsea in City's 3-0 win. Aguero suffered an injury in City's 1-0 win over Crystal Palace and has now returned to full fitness according to Pellegrini.

The Argentine forward was substituted on the 25th minute against Crystal palace after suffering a challenge from the Eagles' captain Scott Dann.

Sergio Aguero
Although he continued playing, the striker himself asked Pellegrini to take him off the field as he was not feeling entirely comfortable playing with his injured knee. The striker later took to twitter to tell City fans that the injury wasn't serious.

But later he tweeted : " Keeping you updated - I had studies done today, to be completed tomorrow. We'll have a clearer picture then. Thanks for all the support!"

All does not seem to be well with Aguero's knee and he could miss City's Champions league opener against last year's finalists Juventus. With key players David Silva and Raheem Sterling also being doubtful for the clash, the Citizens certainly wouldn't want another of their star players to miss the next game.

Manchester City has been playing really well in the Premier league so far and are yet to concede a goal this season, leading the table by 5 points after just five games. But the Champions league is a different test, and having been drawn in what is this year's death group, Pellegrini would want his team to start strongly with a win against Juventus. Manchester City has always struggled in the Champions league and despite performing well in the domestic competitions in the past five years, they have never managed to get past the round of 16 in the UCL.

They must be relieved though as their opponents, Juventus, aren't doing well domestically, having picked up just one point from three league games so far this season.

Maradona tackles his grandson with fierce tackle. Maradona's grandson Benjamin is the son of Manchester City hitman Sergio Aguero.

Diego Maradon and his grandson Benjamin Aguero
Benjamin gave his grandfather the run-around despite a terrible challenge on the youngster from the Argentine legend.The 6-years-old skipped past Maradona in a garden and even though he fell by a thigh-high challenge from the former Argentina legend, Benjamin showed all the tenacity of his dad to get up and sprint off to score.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE:



Manchester City, as has been pointed out endlessly in the last 5 years, have the backing of a multi-billionaire owner, and can offer a seemingly endless amount of money to players, meaning that in theory, they could attract any footballer they want to the club.

Sergio Aguero [Image by Stuart Grout]
So why is it then, that the loss of explosive forward Sergio Aguero is so bemoaned, so notable, so disappointing?

Whilst it is true that Aguero is a world-class forward, a man who can, and has, single-handedly win games for his team, surely with 2 other forwards who grossed almost £50m between them they can cope?

To find out why it seems that City can’t cope without him, why he’s so important to them, we need to look at what he brings, compared to Dzeko and Jovetic.

Aguero is blisteringly quick, which is an obvious asset to any team. If you can threaten in behind a defence, it’s one of the easiest and classic goals you can score. Failing that, in order to combat his pace, you have to drop deep to close the space behind the defence, giving the likes of Toure, Fernandinho, Nasri and Silva more room to fashion chances for the Argentinian. Jovetic is not a slow player, but his nature is to drop deep for the ball, more like a traditional number 10 or even a ‘False 9’, which can at times make it easier for defences to push up and squeeze the space. Dzeko is no slouch, but he doesn’t have the explosive acceleration and low centre of gravity that Aguero has which makes him so scary.

Adding to his ability to make teams drop deep is purely a fear factor. Defenders are scared to close him down, to mark him tightly, as his quick feet, acceleration and strength allow him to roll them easily. Man City are a frightening opposition with Aguero, yet far less so without. Assuming Dzeko and Jovetic both start, teams will naturally push higher and be less afraid to attack the heart of City’s defence which, as has been shown, is frail.

On a purely goal scoring front, Aguero outstrips both forwards. Dzeko has 48 in 114 Manchester City appearances, Jovetic has 7 in 20; Aguero this season has 10 in the league, but also that incredible hat-trick against Bayern Munich. An overall record of 66 in 101 games is absolutely incredible and any team would miss somebody who adds that many goals.

So what can City do to try and combat the loss of the diminutive striker? Though he has not scored yet for the club in the league, Jose Angel Pozo is an option should Pellegrini wish to go like for like in terms of playing style, however Pozo is inexperienced and putting too much pressure on his shoulders may be counter-productive.

Firstly, I think playing Jesus Navas could be key, as though he lacks the guile and creativity of Silva and Nasri, his pace is an asset and may stop teams pressing so high, creating space for Toure and Fernando in midfield. In order to make the most of this pace out wide, Dzeko should naturally start as he is, despite his inconsistencies, the best finisher other than Aguero at the club. He also has some aerial presence due to his height, which can be very useful. If Pellegrini wishes to play Silva and Nasri as well as Navas, dropping Jovetic and playing one centrally could be an option.

In bigger away games, Nasri, Jovetic and Navas could be a very frightening counter-attacking trio, allowing Pellegrini to play 3 central midfielders. This also gives Toure a bit more freedom to roam, knowing he is covered by 2 midfielders. This could play like a variation of Barcelona’s famed system, as Jovetic naturally plays quite deep, which may drag defenders about, leaving space for Toure and Nasri to exploit. Navas’ pace is an asset on the counter and for pushing teams back, so I feel he may be absolutely key in the coming weeks.

Man City can cope without Aguero – as one would expect given the amount of money their team costs – but it will make things a bit harder, especially with Dzeko’s poor form of late.

Article contributed by:  Elliott Griffiths

Blog: Just Like Watching Brazil

Twitter: @ElliottBCFC

Manchester City last night managed to beat the imperial Bayern Munich in Manchester, but the brilliance of Sergio Aguero once again papered over the cracks of a weak City team.

Sergio Aguero
Sergio Aguero
After a brilliant start which saw City dominate the German giants, they took the lead through a penalty. Mehdi Benatia got the wrong side of Aguero and cut him down, receiving a red card in the process. It should have been plain sailing, from there, as you’d expect a team of Manchester City’s quality to dominate against ten men, but that was not the case.

Bayern came back into the game with ten men and, if anything, looked a much better outfit. Alarm bells rang when Xabi Alonso coolly slotted home a free kick from just outside the area as though it were a penalty, but it was Lewandowski’s goal which displayed a snapshot of City’s problems.

City were too narrow, leaving Rafinha way too much room to pick a chipped ball towards Lewandowski. Sagna allowed the Polish striker to shrug him off and bundle the ball into the net. Two soft goals in 5 minutes left City behind at the break despite such a promising start.

Fortunately for City, they have one of the best strikers in the world at their disposal, and he got them out of a tough situation. Aguero rolled a tidy finish off the inside of Manuel Neuer’s post to equalize, before capitalizing on a defensive error before composing himself to slide the ball past the imposing figure of Neuer.

City will, and obviously should, enjoy this victory – after all, it’s not so often you beat a Guardiola team, or the champions of Germany, but it’s not all perfect just yet. It could, and should, have been so much easier.

Many people talk of Liverpool’s defensive frailty, but not of Manchester City’s. Not only do City have big problems at the heart of defence, a big issue against better teams seems to be the midfield balance.

Yaya Toure is a wonderful footballer, but what he is not is a terrific defensive player. His strengths lie in his technique, passing range and ability to carry the ball, but as he is a big, strong player it is often assumed he is strong defensively. Against lower Premier League teams you can often afford to drop him deeper and control the game from deep, but playing him in this role against better teams can be dangerous.

Fernando is the opposite and does his best to shield the defence, but due to City’s system, a double pivot is required to shield the defence, as the wingers push high up. Whilst Fernando does a very good job in that role, he requires a little bit of help to stop teams who will play more than one player in an attacking midfield role.

To Pellegrini’s credit, he has at times tried a pivot of Fernando and Fernandinho and this should, in theory, make the team more solid. However, Fernandinho’s poor from has meant that relying on him is becoming a less enticing prospect.

Not all the blame can be put on the midfield, though. Vincent Kompany is a terrific player, but he makes a lot of decisions that can put his team in danger. Maybe it’s unfair for an outsider how to tell Kompany how to defend, but his insistence on defending on the front foot can cause him to be out of position and often give away silly fouls. For Lewandowski’s goal last night, he let the striker get in behind him and sit on the shoulder of Bacary Sagna, though this could have been a breakdown in communication.

It could also be argued that he has to defend so aggressively to cover up the issues behind him. Mangala again put in an unconvincing performance and though he looked impervious against Chelsea, he has really struggled since. Joe Hart is a little bit error prone for somebody so key and should have done better for the first goal.

While this all sounds a bit bleak, it’s criticism that is fair considering the talent on show. These players are not bad players despite what I have said, it’s just that at the top level these slight flaws become exaggerated. It must also be said that Sergio Aguero is utterly brilliant.

Aguero had 3 chances last night against one of the best teams in the world and took all 3 of them. My only criticism of him 2 or 3 years ago was he seemed to miss a few too many chances to be considered one of the best. Now, he not only retains his ability to create chances and beat defenders, he is absolutely deadly in front of goal too.

In fact, all of City’s forward talent will make them a great team regardless. Little has been said of Jovetic last night, but his introduction was key in changing City’s fortunes. He assisted the last 2 goals, through industry more than guile, but he has the ability to be a key player for City if he can avoid injury. Silva and Nasri can carve the best defences in the world open like the Red Sea and with Aguero up top, they can outscore anyone on their day.

While there are a few issues for Pellegrini to address, they have just beaten one of the best teams in the world and have probably the best striker in the world on current form. City fans should be optimistic, if a little tempered with their expectations.

Article contributed by:  Elliott Griffiths

Blog: Just Like Watching Brazil

Twitter: @ElliottBCFC

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