Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips says he had a bit of a stinker against Leicester City yesterday, and admits it’s ‘very difficult’ being behind Rodri in the pecking order.
City made it 10 wins in a row in all competitions yesterday, beating Leicester 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium.
Erling Haaland scored another two goals, after John Stones had bagged a brilliant early goal with his left foot from the edge of the box.
It was an absolutely dominant first-half performance from City.
There was a feeling that it could have finished with the home side scoring about six or seven goals.
But Guardiola made some changes at half-time, as did Dean Smith for Leicester.
It resulted in City losing a bit of intensity in their play.
Kelechi Iheanacho pulled one back for the Foxes, and then they had a couple of really good chances to make City sweat. James Maddison squandered a really good chance, with Ederson saving when one against one.
In the end, City got the win but it was not a comfortable finish to the game.
Phillips came on early in the second-half for City, replacing Rodri.
The England international has really struggled for minutes in his first season at the club. It has been surprising to see him be used as little as he has.
Rodri’s world-class level has made it tough for him, and after the game with Leicester Phillips admitted as much himself.
He said (via BBC Sport, 15/04, 7.40pm): “I come to this club to play football and I want to be involved but when you’ve got a player like Rodri in front of you it’s very difficult. I always want to learn and grow.
“This squad is unbelievable. The whole club is unbelievable. The way we push each other forward and how confident we are. Other than with Leeds pushing to get out of the Championship I haven’t been in a squad as together. We are confident and looking forward to each game as they come.”
Phillips has come in for a bit of criticism for his display. And the former Leeds man actually wasn’t all that happy with his own display either.
“First half we played really well and second half our standards sipped a little Towards the end there were a few mistakes and we had a couple of substitutions. I had a bit of a stinker to be honest, as Ederson saved it onto me and that resulted in their goal. Overall we are happy with the first 60 minutes or so.”
Kalvin Phillips needs to take a leaf out of Jack Grealish’s book at Man City
Phillips did not give a particularly good display against Leicester.
He was very safe in his play, and then he was slightly at fault with the away side’s goal.
But he is probably being a little harsh on himself.
It is interesting to hear him talk about how it’s difficult behind Rodri in the pecking order.
He needs to believe in himself. At the moment, it feels like he’s in a similar position to Jack Grealish in his first season.
The winger lacked confidence, although to be fair he did play a lot more in his first term than Phillips has done.
Grealish is now one of City’s best players. He must serve as the inspiration for Phillips moving forward.