Zabaleta warns Manchester City teammate of any further complacency
After witnessing Joe Hart getting dropped from Manchester City’s first-team, fullback Pablo Zabaleta has warned the rest of the squad of further complacency. The Argentinean defender has asked his teammates to stay on their toes or they too could join Hart on the bench. Zabaleta believes maintaining high standards will be paramount to Manchester City’s success.
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini left Hart out of the squad against Norwich City on Saturday, a match that ended up with the team’s best performance this season. Standing between the sticks now is Pellegrini’s new favorite Costel Pantilimon.
Presently, Zabaleta is the No. 1 choice for right back in the squad, but Micah Richards is challenging for the spot. Richards has already replaced Zabaleta at a couple of instances this season and the English defender is eager to cement his place in the first-team.
“The manager makes decisions,” Zabaleta said. “We know in this team now the performance of everyone should be good week in, week out because we have two players in each position who can play.
“Sometimes mistakes might cost [someone] their place but we are a big squad and we need to try to do well to keep the place in the team.”
Zabaleta believes Manchester City came back brilliantly after a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last Sunday. Zabaleta was happy to see that all of his teammates had managed to put their names on the scoresheet.
After an own-goal from Norwich City’s Bradley Johnson, David Silva, Matija Nastasic, Alvaro Negredo, Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko scored to pick up three points and give the goal difference a massive boost.
“It was a great result, 7-0, especially for the strikers -- Kun [Aguero], Negredo, Dzeko. Yaya [scored] another fantastic free-kick,” Zabaleta said. “We needed to respond well after the Chelsea defeat. I think it was a great performance by the team.”
Manchester City will now test their mettle in Europe with a Champions League battle against CSKA Moscow at Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.