Rating the Manchester City Players Against Newcastle

Phil KeidelContributor IIMarch 30, 2013

City could have done with a few more runaway victories this season.
City could have done with a few more runaway victories this season.Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Through so much unfairness, Manchester City took the pitch against Newcastle United with the XI that many thought would deliver a repeat Premier League title.

It did not quite work out that way, but it is a formidable XI nonetheless.

Particularly against a Magpies side that cannot decide whether it is up for another campaign at this level.

Players are graded on a scale of one (this season to date, for the most part) to five (days like this one, where the Sky Blues do in fact do what they want).


Joe Hart

The keeper rarely works very hard when the final line is 4-0. Hart was no exception to that rule. But a clean sheet is a clean sheet after all. 3

Pablo Zabaleta

Once upon a time, Newcastle was dangerous on the wings. And Liverpool used to be good, too. Years ago. 3


Vincent Kompany

How different might this season have been if the captain had been healthy all the way through? We will never know, sadly. 3.5

Joleon Lescott

Probably, there are not many editorial spaces where Lescott's value is still defended. This is one of them. Roberto Mancini has fallen out of love with Lescott. That does not mean he is right, necessarily. 3.5

Gael Clichy

He does what he does well. And his weak spots were never in real jeopardy against a Newcastle side bereft of threat. The phenomenal cross to Tevez for the ultimate game-winner is what earns Clichy the 4.

Samir Nasri

Just seeing him on the pitch is enough to set many City fans' blood to boiling, and your humble correspondent is no exception. Nasri is sort of damned either way at this point. If he plays well, like he did in this latest match, you question where this has been. And when he is garbage, like he has so often been, you want to strangle him. Just giving him this grade makes me sad. 3.5



Yaya Toure

Please, Yaya, please don't leave. United is not that good, after all, and they will be there for the taking next season if you stay. Please...4.

Gareth Barry  

Shanking gimmes yards over the bar, as Barry did against Newcastle, undermines the "Barry is so solid" narrative. Barry was OK in this one, at least a little more. 2.5

David Silva

Grading on a curve, you might pull Silva's rating down here. Newcastle did not do nearly enough to fluster Silva, and so, he predictably had his way in this one. But this exercise grades on output without reference to what the player would have done against better opponents, so it's a 4.

Edin Dzeko

Exactly how many times does Dzeko need to no-show when allowed to start before City fans just admit that he's a great supporting actor, but a mediocre leading man? There's no shame in that, by the way. 2.5


Carlos Tevez

These are strange days, what with Tevez serving as the stalwart striker with the calming influence and the reliable output. When the season started, Tevez seemed the most likely to leave midyear. City has to be happy Tevez is still around, though. 4

Sergio Aguero (71st minute for Nasri), Javi Garcia (73rd minute for Kompany) and Scott Sinclair (83rd minute for Silva): The score was 4-0 when these men came on. So what could anyone learn from their appearances? Right. No grade

Rob Elliot

Yes, he played for Newcastle, but between holding the ball for interminable periods and otherwise failing to keep it out of his own net, he merits a 1.