Jack Rodwell: Assessing His Contribution to Manchester City so Far

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistAugust 29, 2012

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 19:  Jack Rodwell of Manchester City in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Southampton at Etihad Stadium on August 19, 2012 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Right before the English Premier League season started, Manchester City shocked a lot of people and brought in Jack Rodwell from Everton.

The addition of Rodwell to the City squad was billed as a move for the future.

After all, Rodwell is just 21 years old and has a promising future with the English national team.

In a squad full of international superstars, there will be less pressure on Rodwell to succeed immediately and he will able to have a chance at playing in the UEFA Champions League.

Rodwell will be used as both a starter and substitute due to the amount of depth in Roberto Mancini's squad.

The midfielder has already had that happen to him in his first two EPL matches with the club.

In City's opening match against Southampton, Rodwell started and played the full 90 minutes of the match.

In that match, Rodwell's club debut was overshadowed by a come from behind victory that was started by the attacking forces at the club.

Rodwell was surprisingly not taken out during the match as his club were down a goal with only 20 minutes left at the Etihad Stadium.

In that situation, most managers would have removed a defensive-minded player like Rodwell for a player who has a tendency for going forward and joining the attack.

While Rodwell's impact on the first match of the season was minimal, he was a big part of the Citizens' match last Sunday against Liverpool.

Rodwell started the match on the bench and came on the pitch in the 60th minute to a serenade of boos from the Anfield faithful.

From the time he made his first step on the pitch, Rodwell had an impact on the match.

By replacing Samir Nasri on the pitch, Rodwell moved to his regular spot in the defensive part of midfield and he allowed Yaya Toure to play in a more advanced position on the pitch.

Three minutes after the midfielder's introduction, it was Toure who scored the equalizing goal for the visitors after Liverpool failed to properly clear the ball from the penalty area.

After another three minutes of the match passed, Rodwell was the center of attention for all the wrong reasons.

In the 66th minute, Rodwell was called for a handball about 25 yards away from the goal and that foul set up a free-kick for Luis Suarez.

That free-kick by the Uruguayan forward curled perfectly around the wall and past City keeper Joe Hart to give the Reds the lead again.

Luckily for the newest Man City player, his club were able to equalize and earn a 2-2 draw as Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel misplayed a back-pass, which Carlos Tevez intercepted and went on to score City's second goal.

While it is very difficult to gage the lasting impact of Rodwell at Manchester City through two matches, there are a few things that fans and pundits alike have noticed about how the club will utilize their new midfielder.

If Mancini continues to use three defenders in the back, the position of defensive midfielder will be a crucial one in matches to come.

With experienced players Nigel De Jong and Gareth Barry in front of him on the depth chart at the club, Rodwell will be able to learn from the two veterans.

Another thing that is visible about City is that Mancini has no problem rotating players in and out of his squad.

In the first two matches alone, 16 players were inserted into the starting lineup.

The final thing to take away from Mancini's use of Rodwell is that even though the England international is only 21, the Italian manager has the utmost confidence in using him on the pitch.

Whether or not Rodwell makes the starting lineup for the high profile matches like the Manchester Derby in the future remains to be seen, but having been already used twice in two games is a sign of confidence from Mancini to Rodwell.

While two matches is a very small sample size of matches to critique Rodwell's performance at City, it looks as if the club and player will get along quite fine.

Rodwell has made the right move for his future with the England national team as he will now get playing time in high-profile domestic and continental clashes.

There is no telling what the future holds for Rodwell at both club and national levels.

However, in the present Rodwell is doing all of the right things as he's in the process of becoming a world football superstar for years to come.


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