City’s 2-1 win over Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup final featured a man-of-the-match display by Phil Foden.
“It is the timing of the run from Foden. It is really clever. Just watch him on that right-hand side. He just holds his run and loses Matt Targett in that left-back position. It was clever from Foden. The timing of his run was absolutely perfect.” Said Gary Neville.
Sergio Aguero provided the finishing touch for Manchester City’s opening goals against Aston Villa. But, it was Phil Foden’s run that made it all possible. The latest glimpse of his vast potential was enough to earn the 19-year-old the man of the match award.
The Wembley stage is where Foden belongs and where he will deliver such performances in decades to come. He is too good not to. The close control is flawless, the turn of pace impressive and the wight of the pass just oozes quality.
“I just couldn’t wait to play. What an unbelievable day. I am very proud. Every minute I do my best. I’m just happy to help the team.” Added Foden.
Nobody could deny he did just that when making his first start for City in over a month.
Ernest Hemingway once said one should never confuse movement with action. And it was Foden’s willingness to stand still near the flank that often seemed to ensure the action came to him.
“The big thing that has impressed me is his patience in holding his position out there.” Said Neville.
“He has not chased the game as sometimes young players do when they are not getting the ball all the time. He has shown great composure.”
After setting up Aguero, Foden almost had a goal of his own after another delightful first touch helped him open up space and fire a shot just wide of the far post.
Most of his work was glorious for its simplicity. However, he found a team-mate with 24 of his 25 passes in the first half, providing the width that so troubled Aston villa and helped sustain attack after attack.
In the early stages of the second-half, Foden began to enjoy himself. Receiving a pass inside Villa’s half, he proceeded to juggle the ball four times before allowing it to touch the ground. Foden is humble off the pitch but there is an arrogance to him in possession.
Clearly, Foden is still learning. Nonetheless, it would be a waste if he is not given many more minutes on the pitch to elevate his development before the season ends.