Manchester: Manchester City striker Wilfried Bony has criticised manager Manuel Pellegrini’s team selection after being denied a place in the starting XI in the defeat to Arsenal in their last English Premier League (EPL) tie.
Pellegrini preferred an unfit Sergeo Aguero in the starting XI ahead of the in-form Bony. Aguero, who was out for around three weeks with an injury, was struggling with his fitness before being replaced by Bony after 63 minutes as City went down 1-2.
The manager’s decision came as a shock to Bony, who has displayed excellent form since Aguero limped off with a heel injury against Southampton on November 28. The Ivory Coast international had started in three of City’s four matches since then, finding the net against Hull City, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Swansea City.
“I’m disappointed that I didn’t start. I’m not the coach. The coach does what he thinks is best for the team. He just has to choose 11 players. So when I come on I just try to do my best to try to score or to give an assist to the other players to score to help the team to win,” Bony was quoted as saying by the British media on Tuesday.
Aguero has been struggling with injuries ever since he scored five goals against Newcastle United on October 3. He injured his knee playing for Argentina six days later, ruling him out for six weeks. On returning, he started three games, never lasting 70 minutes, and injuring his heel in the third.
When reminded that Aguero was handed a starting role since he is one of the best strikers in the world with a proven track record, Bony pointed to his team-mate’s lack of match fitness.
“He is coming back from injury. He hasn’t played for a couple of weeks,” the 27-year-old asserted.
“That is what I mean. Everyone on the team wants to play, but the coach has to choose 11 players. Everyone must be ready to give 100 percent. That is my feeling.”