The best scorer on the Manchester City team that’s four points behind Chelsea in the Premier League title race is Edin Dzeko, someone who has started only once this season while coming six more times off the bench, and in all scoring five goals; most of them equalizers or winners.
I was never a super sub before I came to City. I used to play always from the beginning and I scored a lot of goals not as a sub. In the last few games it’s a situation like this and I am just happy I am scoring goals. But I will never be a super sub. I want to play.
In all competitions, Dzeko has 11 appearances, 8 of them off the bench, only one of them a complete 90 minutes performance. He averages a goal every 46 minutes, and his total equals the total of Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero and Mario Balotelli combined. This is a player that thanks to ability and scoring record should start. Having to claw your way out in the face of defeat every weekend isn’t the right path for defending the title, and Roberto Mancini knows it.
Of course it’s frustrating to watch from the bench, everyone wants to be there all the time, especially when you score. But I’m there when the team needs me and, even if I only played 10 minutes, I was ready to give everything to try and change the score. When you get 10-15 minutes, you can’t be sad or angry with the coach. You just have to play your game and do your best. That is in my mind always.
The same issue was up for debate after his winning ways against Fulham. He got the start against Dortmund in the champions league but like the entire team (except for Joe Hart), Dzeko failed to deliver an adequate performance, which sent him to the bench the very next match. Mancini has his favorites, and Dzeko isn’t one of them at the moment. Aguero, Tevez and the attention-seeking Balotelli are those he’d probably like to see as his starters.
But numbers are hard to argue with, and the match against Ajax will be a chance to keep Dzeko a bit happier. Playing this one the wrong way, and eventually upsetting the most talented goalscorer he has might be another setback in a season that hasn’t been exactly smooth sailing up until now, despite being undefeated in the league so far.