Continuing the various lists associated with City players and the statistics that often go unnoticed… but not anymore!
This week, we concentrate on the players who can read the game and spot an opposition pass before it reaches its conclusion. Speed, vision or just nous – what are the most important assets needed to cut out trouble before it really happens?
Judge for yourself with the interceptions list for the season to date…
1 Gael Clichy 50 interceptions
Gael Clichy’s pace and reading of the game means he has been able to get to the ball that much quicker than any of his team-mates so far this season. That’s 50 times he’s stopped an opposition move becoming threatening – a very valuable and perhaps unseen contribution.
2 Pablo Zabaleta 42 interceptions
Surprise, surprise – well, not really. It seems Pablo Zabaleta is there or thereabouts on every list we publish as his superb form continues. A not insubstantial amount of interceptions by our successive Etihad Player of the Month.
3 Vincent Kompany 37 interceptions
The skipper is always on the prowl to prevent danger before it happens and his timing is almost always spot-on. Sometimes, it takes an FA panel to prove he got things absolutely on the button, too! A healthy amount from the man who leads from the front.
4 Gareth Barry 31 interceptions
In his midfield spoiling role, Gareth Barry excels and is one of the first lines of defence ahead of the back four. Intelligent and always up with the play, Barry is having another excellent season in the middle of the park and the 31 interceptions underline his value to the team.
5 David Silva 23 interceptions
Not a list you’d expect to see David Silva in? His intelligence at spotting a pass for the Blues clearly swings both ways with his innate ability to read what an opponent thinking and cut out trouble at its source. His 23 interceptions along with his assists and chances created prove what an asset David is to Roberto Mancini’s side.
Note: Javi Garcia, with 19 interceptions so far, has the highest ratio of intercepted passes per games played.