Has Bony missed chance at big time in Aguero’s absence?
Has Bony missed chance at big time in Aguero’s absence? Michu’s departure from Swansea completed his remarkable fall from grace, after scoring 22 goals in all competitions in a phenomenal first season in South Wales, but he is not the only former Swans hitman suffering at the moment.
In the absence of Sergio Aguero, Wilfried Bony’s chance had come. Since his £28m to Manchester City, Aguero has continued to be one of Europe’s leading marksmen, while Bony has toiled to make any impact.
However, with Aguero suffering yet another injury setback after City’s 6-1 demolition of Newcastle, Bony initially impressed as the focal point of the Manuel Pellegrini’s attack against Bournemouth, but lost his way – finding the net just twice in six games since.
Aguero will almost certainly go back into the starting line-up against Liverpool on Saturday, and more effective as a lone hitman, the awesome Argentinian could relegate Bony to the bench once more, and that curse of the former Swansea striker that hit Michu so hard could rise again.
Bony’s four goals in 19 league games since arriving at the Etihad is nowhere near the return Sheikh Mansour expected from his outlay on Bony, and with the loosest purse strings in the land, patience is not in the City owner’s vocabulary.
“It’s been the worst spell of my career without question – in the past five years I’d never missed more than two games in a row and at Swansea I only missed a handful of matches and that was mostly because of a red card I received,” Bony admitted recently, with a sombreness rarely seen in one so self-assured.
It must be so frustrating for a man who moved to Manchester with such an impressive record, playing with an aura of man fully aware of his capabilities.
The 26-year-old arrived in the Premier League in the summer of 2013 with an incredible average of a goal every 1.37 games in three seasons in the Eredivisie.
Under the tutelage of a young and innovative Garry Monk, and with a plethora of creative team-mates around him, Bony softened the blow of the incredible Michu decline to hit the ground running.
What attracted a host of suitors was not just his goals record. The Ivorian played with a calmness rarely seen on our shores, and his first touch and vision were up there with the very best.
Bony’s ability to hold up the play and allow runners to get ahead of him should have suited City perfectly, with the pace of Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne either side offering the perfect outlet for Bony’s exceptional passing range.
Yet, as with the lack of goals, the assists have failed to materialise, and at key times Bony’s touch and final pass has deserted him.
Two assists and a disappointing 77.5% pass success rate show just how little impact the Ivorian is having in the blue half of Manchester.
Much will obviously depend on Aguero’s fitness. Setback after setback has deprived City of one of the very best for long periods.
Games are coming thick and fast with City through to the knockout rounds of the Champions League, so Bony’s opportunity will come again, but it will be a real test for Bony to find his confidence with Aguero back leading the line.
What’s more, seeing Bony fail to produce the goods will have promoted the City hierarchy to assess options elsewhere – Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko will testify just how rare an oddity second chances are at the Etihad.
Michu’s demise has to act as inspiration to Bony. Football is the ficklest of games, and as soon as you lose your form, then the scrapheap is never too far away.
A spell on the sidelines seemingly awaits for Bony, but if the Ivorian can use that time to collect his thoughts, work hard and be ready for when his opportunity comes again, then he has the natural ability to become a belated hit in Manchester.
The Spanish fourth tier is not on the horizon, unlike Michu, but if Bony really wants to make the most of his god-given talents, he better be ready to grasps his chance when it comes again, and prove South Wales is not a place where strikers peak.