Published on April 1st, 2014 | by Ian Cheeseman0
How costly might Aguero’s injuries prove to be, come the end of the season?
As I sat at the Emirates watching City’s draw against Arsenal, a thought kept flashing through my mind, “if Sergio Aguero was fully fit and playing today, the Blues would be winning this game”.
Throughout the season, there have been moments when his goals and brilliance have given everyone, fans and players alike, a huge boost, and although there have been times during his absence when the goals have still flowed, I’ve always had that concern that his absences have cost City.
I’m not suggesting the argument is black and white. Aguero played at Cardiff and Stoke, in the defeat at Chelsea, and against Bayern Munich, but I’d still suggest his absence makes a difference.
Only this week I’ve read that he doesn’t want to rush back this time because it could put his summer at the World Cup in jeopardy; a legitimate concern in view of his recent track record with injury. Against that, City travel to Anfield a week on Sunday for the game that could decide this season’s Premier League title race.
I’d expect, and hope, that Aguero plays 30 minutes against Southampton and then starts the game at Liverpool, but if the World Cup is now in the back of his mind, his return might be delayed even further. I’m not saying City can’t win at Anfield without him, but frankly I’d rather have him in the side than not.
At Arsenal City started really well, and could have bagged a few early on, but couldn’t quite get that second. Maybe a fit Aguero would have made the difference. The second half saw Cazorla play very well (their David Silva) and in the end a draw was probably a fair result.
Those three tough looking away games, plus the visit of Southampton, now look like the decisive encounters, so City may need to win at Liverpool. I hope Aguero is right in body and mind for that game.
I had the great pleasure of seeing two other City games over the weekend. On Friday night City’s EDS team were imperious against Sunderland, a 6-2 win which included one of the goals of the season from Seko Fofana, a real screamer. It won’t be highlighted on TV – because it wasn’t on TV! I remember, years ago, seeing Mick Docherty scoring a cracker in a reserve game at Maine Road, I bet few people believe me, but it was a beauty.
On Sunday, after my latest “commentators tour”, I watched City Women beat Aston Villa 2-0 at the Regional Athletics Arena. Betty Hassett was the player who impressed me most, close skill and always on the move.
Talking of great players, I chatted to Colin Bell on Monday, trying to persuade him to chat to me for Blue Tuesday, but he said, in the nicest possible way, that his days of doing interviews or appearances out and about are over, which is a real shame because he loves the game, and when I’m chatting in private with him, he’s full of passion for City, as always!
We’re chatting about City heroes, past and present on Blue Tuesday this week, so who better to be on the show than Ali Benarbia and Peter Barnes.
I’ll leave you with this question: “When we look back at this season, would the injury absences have made any difference to the outcome of the title race?” If City win it that question probably becomes irrelevant, but if the Blues miss out…….
– Ian Cheeseman