Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Don't Be Surprised If Blues Survivor Extends His Stay. KOLAROFF?

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Don't Be Surprised If Blues Survivor Extends His Stay. KOLAROFF?

Article excerpt

ALEKS Kolarov last season put in more tackles, won more headers, and made more interceptions and blocks - per game - than skipper Vincent Kompany.

And yet, if you ask the average City fan, to compare the two players, they are likely to laugh in your face.

Kompany is a huge hero to Blues fans, and rightly so, for his years of service, the passion and commitment he has to the cause and his eloquent leadership off the park.

But Kolarov has, for many, become a scapegoat.

It was typical that, when the M.E.N. Twitter feed recently pointed out Kolarov has been at City for seven years, one of the first replies was: "Then we should have got rid of him six years ago!" And yet from the present squad, only Kompany, David Silva and Yaya Toure have actually been at the club for longer - and the latter two only precede him by days in that heady summer of 2010.

The Serbian was Roberto Mancini's pick and the Blues backed him with £17m cash - a sizeable chunk for a full-back then.

City fans had been wooed with internet footage of his stunning goal in the Rome derby, as he seared down the flank, all power and purpose, before thrashing the ball into the far corner and sending the Lazio fans crazy.

He also came with the reputation of being the natural heir to Sinisa Mihajlovic, Mancini's old Sampdoria teammate, as a world-class free The fans have taken to Kolarov, he has made contributions Stuart kick specialist.

With Wayne Bridge marking time and Pablo Zabaleta asked to fill in occasionally, Kolarov was City's first choice, but Mancini was not convinced.

He brought in Gael Clichy the following summer, and that began a rivalry for the left-back spot which has served City well - even though the support has never been entirely convinced of either player.

Clichy took control of the position in the 2011-12 season as City won the Premier League title, and the following summer Kolarov was seeking an exit.

He later admitted he was tempted by interest from Juventus and Inter Milan in the summer of 2013, but said: "I didn't want to leave here when I hadn't shown people what I could do."

" The fans have never truly taken to Kolarov, and yet he has made somenever truly and yet important important contributions to the City cause - think of his link-up with Samir Nasri and cross for Sergio Aguero's opening goal in the 4-1 thrashing of United in 2013. …

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