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Jesus Navas is a Game Changer for Manchester City in His Debut Premier League Appearance

jesus navas Jesus Navas is a Game Changer for Manchester City in His Debut Premier League Appearance

Manchester City’s new Manuel Pellegrini era began with an emphatic 4-0 victory over Newcastle United tonight. The Blues created chance after chance throughout the match, which is nothing new for City against the Magpies. Newcastle has fared worse against City for the last several years than any other current Premier League side so it unwise to read too much into this result. However, the play of Jesus Navas really stood out for City.

The Spanish international who has proven time and time again to be a game changer for the European and World Champions showed his pace, quality and creativity today. Navas showed an ability to push inside and take on defenders, play great crosses from the flank and track back to break up play in wide areas tonight.

Navas’s pace on the wing gave City a different option for outlet balls than the side had last season when everything was narrow and slow even on the counter. My biggest critique of last year’s side managed by Roberto Mancini was the inability of the team to take plays, broken up in midfield by the likes of Yaya Toure and Gareth Barry, forward quickly. The buildup on counter attacks for Manchester City last season was slow, and painfully predictable and often the last ball would go wanting.

Under Mancini, Manchester City lacked width. Often times Manchester City would lineup last season without any natural wingers, or would try to force width using  a 3-5-2 formation where Aleksandar Kolarov and James Milner would feature as wing backs. Both would put in decent shifts in that role, particularly the workmanlike Milner but both lacked the pace and final product to really make the formation effective.

Today’s 4-0 victory against Newcastle is just one match albeit against a side City has dominated in recent years, but you can already see the stylistic differences Pellegrini is seeking to implement as well as the potential game changing ability of Jesus Navas.  The width and quick ball movement/countering ability was dramatically different than anything Manchester City provided last season on a consistent basis.

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About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC.
View all posts by Kartik Krishnaiyer →

12 Responses to Jesus Navas is a Game Changer for Manchester City in His Debut Premier League Appearance

  1. Matt says:

    Looked class along with Fernadinho today. It will be interesting to see the rotation with so much talent on the bench.

  2. Matt Jones says:

    He was superb. Gave City the added attacking dimension which they were crying out for last season.

  3. Dry Martini says:

    Absolute class. This is not going to be the boring, boring City it was under Mancini.

  4. CTBlues says:

    Hate seeing him in powder blue. It’s a shame that La Liga is so poorly run. It’s been hard seeing Sevilla making the champions league to having to sell all of their quality players to stay afloat.

  5. jtm371 says:

    he needs to lose the La Liga drama of rolling around on the ground trying to get a second yellow on his opponent.he did get his foot stepped on but the way he reacted was obscene.thought he lost a foot or bone sticking thru skin.very talented needs to act like a professional.

  6. Dust says:

    LOL…slight over reaction on a performance against a team in motivational quagmire due to madness since Kinnear darkened their doors…let alone the Cabaye debacle.

    Yes he had an impact, but just off that game tape alone, he will now get doubled up on just like people did with bale, the questions is…what happens next, what will he do?

    He could very well be he is incredible all season, but to see all this hype after 1 game v Pardew’s Newcastle is quite funny…

    • Mufc77 says:

      Don’t forget Newcastle had 10 men for the entire second half.

    • Dry Martini says:

      I sincerely doubt Kartik was overreacting to anything. All he was mentioning was that Navas adds a dimension of width to the City attack that was woefully lacking during the Mancini years. Which was really the story of the match.

      Why the unnecessary Bale comparison?

  7. Steven P. says:

    For once City didn’t overpay for a player. best 15 million pounds spent by any club this summer. A bargain given what he is capable of.

  8. Brn442 says:

    I don’t often agree with Kartik but when I do, I drink Dos Equis.

    But seriously, Narvas was brilliant. Beyond his searing pace, he has a footballling brain and the composure to use it. His clinical picking out of Clichy was pure class. Are you watching Stewart Downing?

    It’s one match however and wingers, even the best ones, can be about as consistent as a cheap buffet. So far so good though.

  9. Frill Artist says:

    Just one match. Keep your hat on.

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