Vincent Kompany hasn’t featured much since his return from yet another spell on the sidelines, but Pep Guardiola has his reasons for keeping him out of the starting line-up so far. It’s not as a precautionary principle though, it’s purely tactics.
When asked whether he was protecting Kompany from further injuries, Pep said:
“It’s not about that, I think he’s fit now – I’m so happy. For three or four weeks he’s trained.
“The reason why he didn’t play, like Nico Otamendi, against Swansea, was because we knew that Fernando Llorente is a striker but was going to mark Yaya Touré, so our central defenders would be free without the ball and we needed two guys with good build-up.
“On the left side, Kolarov is really good for the passes on the other side, the passes inside, and John Stones had the qualities to build out from the back as well – that’s the reason why.
“We knew that in the first half, we were going to defend far away from our box, they are going to use not too much counter-attacking.
“That’s why it was not necessary to have central defenders in the box defending a lot of crosses.
“But Vincent, I’m so delighted and happy he’s back, because I know how well he can play, and of course we are going to use him in some special games.”