Premier League

Understanding the logic behind Man City’s Jack Rodwell deal


There was once a time when Manchester City were building a side they had nurtured through their youth team. Micah Richards, Nedum Onuoha, Michael Johnson, Stephen Ireland and Daniel Sturridge all featured and that was in addition to the investment that was being made in promising young English talent such as Joe Hart.

The feeling at that point was that with enough patience and good coaching, Man Citycould have had a group of players to potentially rival Manchester United’s class of 1992.

That Manchester City team was one that would have been a perfect fit for Jack Rodwell, a 21 year old who has shown glimpses of promise but ultimately needs consistent first team football at the top level to help him realise his potential. However, since Manchester City was taken over by owners who have cash in abundance, the vision of a team blooded from within was soon forgotten about.

Is there a problem with the approach the City owners have taken? Not at all, the evidence clearly shows that Manchester City have transformed in the short term to become champions and have put in place the infrastructure to ensure a bright future as well. The difference is that the club is now bustling with top class talent from around the globe, so much so that they were still touted as favourites to retain the title without having made any signings, while their rivals had strengthened.

So why sign Jack Rodwell? For Manchester Citythe logic is simple. They get a player they wanted last summer for an estimated £10million less than the £25million they were quoted last year. This revised figure is a sum of money that City have no worries about paying as it adds a player that provides them with greater strength in depth at the very least. Although they will be hoping that with time under Yaya Toure’s wing, he could become a top class player.

The justification for Everton to sell is equally clear. The demand for Rodwell has never been short and while there was a lot of promise early on, years has gone by without him really taking the team by storm. So, by selling him now, Everton receive a much needed cash injection to help Moyes reinforce the squad further for the season ahead without losing a key player.

The only party that it seems to make little sense for is Jack Rodwell himself. Obviously, the bumper pay packet he will receive is an appealing factor, but from a football perspective he looks set to be spending the majority of his time on the bench at a stage of his career when he needs as much game time as possible. Furthermore, he will be expected to grab any chances he does get in the first team with both hands, because if he returns any less he will quickly find himself back on the bench. He only has to look at the likes of Adam Johnson, who has struggled to get a consistent run in the team during his time at the club, even after putting in some stunning performances.

The only hope is that things fall his way and that he gets to feature next season, with a view to stepping up to the next level in his career. But for now, it looks like he will spend the 2012/13 season as nothing more than a squad player.

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  • jac says:

    Name one game in which Adam Johnson put in a stunning performance.

  • Rolee says:

    “He only has to look at the likes of Adam Johnson, who has struggled to get a consistent run in the team during his time at the club, even after putting in some stunning performances.” This is not true.

  • Melon Man says:

    Every player at City is a squad player, apart from maybe Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany and Yaya Toure – all the rest are regularly rotated.

    Squad rotation particularly benefits those players who are injury prone, it keeps them fresh, and means they aren’t pushed beyond their limits when carrying niggles, or when becoming “tired” – Jack Rodwell will love this system, as would RVP if he signed.

    City had the best record last season for keeping their players injury-free, which is a massive advantage, just ask United.

  • Not blinded by sky blue says:

    Rotation is great with established players. For young players such as Rodwell it is simply stifling his development.

    • Melon Man says:

      I disagree, for the aforementioned reasons, and to repeat – less injuries lengthens careers, wins leagues, improves the individual’s profile, as they aren’t playing thru pain and injuries which make them appear lesser players.
      When Tevez first came to City, many commentators and fans rounded on him, as he was carrying an injury, was exhausted from international duty during pre-season etc.. and wasn’t appreciated at his best. Fast forward six months and he was everyone’s darling, scoring goals for fun and the focal point of the team. However, because at the time City relied upon him, he became exhausted and fed up once again, leading to his well documented attempts to leave, culminating in six months golfing holiday.
      That was probably the best thing to happen to him in terms of fitness and general well-being. He now knows he can play for City without worrying about painful injuries, tiredness etc.. as others will step up and cover for him in the squad rotation system.
      Rodwell can similarly take his time and become the strong, fit player we all hope he can be – and he will develop just fine as he’s playing alongside arguably the best midfielder in world football, Yaya Toure, in training every day, not to mention the other “galactico’s” such as Silva, Barry, NDJ etc..
      In amongst all this, the one person who counts, Jack Rodwell, thinks he’s good enough, as does Mancini, so who are we to think we know better?

  • Not blinded by sky blue says:

    First things first, Rodwell is good enough to fit in, but Tevez, Barry, Toure, De Jong, Silva, Aguero, Lescott, Nasri et al all came as established players near enough the top of their games. The younger players that have gone on to do well at City (Hart and Kompany) have become so good because they play week in week out. I can only hope the same will happen with Rodwell now that barry is out but lets see. For England’s sake, I hope this move helps Rodwell step up.

    • Melon Man says:

      Only time will tell, but for Rodwell this move might be the only time in his life he gets such a chance – you’d have to be completely lacking in self-confidence or bonkers, or both not to at least give it a go.
      Did anyone question the likes of Chris Smalling or Phil Jones, both similar ages, going to United to better themselves? despite all those players who have failed at United in the recent past, Tosic anyone?

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