Questions were raised when Man City signed the Frenchman from Porto for €32 million. Most people criticized the rationale behind signing a defender for such an amount, especially one who is seen as being raw and young. Being the highest paid for defender in the premier league brought a certain expectation and already the knives are out, with critics arguing for and against him. Is he the much needed partner for Kompany? Will he live up to expectations are questions that were raised and are still being mooted, seeing his performances so far for City.
Having appeared three times for City, we will be examining his stats for each match and discussing how it helps his case. His debut for Man City was against Chelsea, and the match ended a draw despite City being down by a man. Partnering for the first time with Kompany, the Frenchman gave a good account of himself, and must have been proud of his performance. His rating for that match was 7.67 and he won all his aerial duels which were 6. He might as well have been man of the match but the extraordinary Milner deservedly took the award. Mangala alongside Kompany effectively rendered Costa harmless, being the only pair of defenders to deny him a goal in the league so far. He was successful in 4 out of 7 tackles he took and his take on was 100% (stats were gotten from squawka).
Against Hull, Man City however. It was a nightmare for Mangala. He scored an own goal and then conceded a penalty, while Man City were leading by 2 goals. This leveled the game, however, City were to end the match winners, scoring 2 more goals to end the match 4-2. His rating for the match was 5.5. The consolation from the game was that despite his mistakes, he didn’t regress, but rather did his job.
Despite not playing the next match which was against Roma, he started against Aston Villa, and we were treated to another good performance from him. His rating for this match was 7.41and City fans who were skeptical about him, will be rest assured that they have a star player for the present and the future. As regards the arguments about him being a hit or miss, I would say it’s still early days for Mangala to be judged; after all he has started just 3 games. And so far, out of the 3 matches, he has impressed in 2, and the brightest aspect of it is the fact that he impressed against the club presently topping the table. If he was to be judged by his performance and price tag, and the reason City signed him, I would say he has been a hit. Despite playing for the first time with Kompany, there was a synergy, a connection that seemed to say, their partnering is a match from heaven. Man City certainly have a gem of a player in their hands, who coupled with his young age will be a star for a long time to come.