Published on September 26th, 2014 | by webmaster1
“The Pozo poser” | Ian Cheeseman
Written by Ian Cheeseman
I’ve seen Jose Angel Pozo play in City’s Junior teams, most recently in Munich in the u19 UEFA Youth League and I’ve seen the clips of him on YouTube, but during the Capital One Cup win against Sheffield Wednesday I got to see him, as did those lucky enough to be inside the Etihad Stadium, in the first team. I was impressed. I’d expected to be impressed, which sometimes leads to an anticlimax, but not in this case.
Video highlights of a player can often lead you to the wrong conclusion, I’ve made a few mistakes down the years when looking at these edited compilations, put together with a thumping back beat. I remember studying just such a video when City were on the verge of signing Georgios Samaras from Heerenveen (is there any other word with so many E’s in it?)
Georgios looked like a world beater, but 30 minutes into his City debut I’d deduced that the likeable Greek would never be good enough for City. It took a while for the majority to see it, but by the time he left to join the backwaters of Scottish football, most had seen it too.
I’ve seen many young players dazzle in the youth team or reserves, but never fulfil their potential at first team level. I wasn’t as impressed as I should have been by Paul Lake when he was a gangly kid, and boy did he prove me wrong, whereas I was convinced Ian Scott (another product of that youth team) would be the next Colin Bell.
Having been impressed by Jose Pozo at youth level, the question was, could he cut it in the first team? He came on with about half an hour to go, with City leading 4-0 and with Sheffield Wednesday down to ten men, so it was a perfect time to bring him on, but perhaps not the game to judge him on, but I really enjoyed his cameo and I was delighted to see him score.
So here comes the Pozo poser, should the talented 18 year old be used like Marcos Lopes was last season, with a few Capital One Cup appearances and more EDS games, only to be sent out on loan a year from now? Or should he be kept in the first team picture and make regular appearances from the bench, even if there are times in games where he doesn’t impress as much?
Sometimes being thrown in at the deep end is the right thing for a youngster. Raheem Sterling, who’s apparently a target on Real Madrid, is just nineteen years old, Messi was 17 when he made his senior debut, Colin Bell was also 17, so on that basis Pozo should be ready, but only by playing in the first team can his coaches and us fans, and perhaps most importantly, can the player himself find out if he can be a great of the game.
At this stage I’d be willing to take the gamble, even if there are a few minor bumps along the road, because I believe there are enough signs, although none of us should get too carried away, just yet, that Pozo could be a real star. The great news is, there are others coming through too, so the future seems very exciting.
I interviewed Jose after the 7-0 win against, Sheffield Wednesday, his scoring debut. He admitted to being nervous but told me that the other players helped him to settle down. I wondered if being called the mini-Messi had heaped extra pressure on him? He said “I don’t think about things like that I just play football and enjoy this. City convinced me to come here by showing me their plans for the future.” – what would your answer to the Pozo poser be?
You can hear whether he makes his league debut at Hull City this Saturday. It’s a rare 3pm kickoff, and it’s not on any UK channels, but Fred Eyre and I will provide full match commentary for those is Greater Manchester on 95.1FM or DAB, and for those further afield via the City website on mcfc.co.uk via the match day centre.
Up the Blues!