Sergio Aguero; some have dubbed him the greatest striker the Premier League has ever had, whilst others have seen him as nothing more than a flat track bully.
Sergio Aguero has scored vs. this season:
No huge side there
— James McManus (@JamesMcManus1) January 2, 2017
Truth is, both sides of the fence are right – because an opinion can’t be wrong (and I know that might shock some of you football fans, out there) – but those who view the Argentine as the greatest forward the top flight of English football has ever seen cannot argue about, is that the City striker seems to have lost a certain aura; an aura that has surrounded him since arriving from Atletico Madrid.
Perhaps it’s the questionable discipline creeping in – seven games missed through retrospective action isn’t even worth pretending Aguero ‘isn’t that kind of player’. And that would make sense, with Diego Costa the perfect example of how the British football community responds to petulant, vicious and vile human beings. However, you now look at the Chelsea striker, who is being appreciated for his goalscoring abilities, due to the fact he’s cleaned up his act.
It’s all too easy to point the finger at the Manchester City striker’s injury record for the slight fall from grace, as Aguero arrived from Spain with a poor track fitness record, and that hasn’t hindered the public opinion on him, previously.
That then leaves the way Pep Guardiola has utilised City’s greatest ever player since taking over the hotseat at the Etihad Stadium.
Early fan theories suggest that Guardiola, a man of unwavering beliefs and tactics, is continually frustrated with Aguero’s lack of work off the ball – hence links to Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez; a footballer who combines goalscoring with tenacity, work ethic and dedication.
And it’s a theory that certainly fits, with something Manchester City legend, Frank Lampard, recently revealed supporting the belief that Pep isn’t Sergio’s No.1 fan:
“Aguero picked up a fair few. He just didn’t care. He was so laid back and would just stroll out to the training pitch like five minutes late.
“[The coaches would say] ‘right you’re fined” and he would say ‘OK, no problem. Wait until the weekend and I’ll score a hat-trick and everyone will be happy’.”
The change in public opinion in Aguero highlights the truly terrible fickle nature of the beautiful game amongst fans. Look at the Fantasy Football figures, 737,595 had the Citizen forward still in their side for his final suspension against Hull City, and come his return match against Liverpool, this figure was up to just 786,816.
Aguero could quite easily become the second fallen pawn in Guardiola’s games, something Yaya Toure managed to avoid becoming after the shoddy treatment of Torino legend, Joe Hart.
Guardiola’s decision to barely play Kelechi Iheanacho during Aguero’s spell on the sidelines, and then to play the Nigerian against Burnley, once Aguero was back, kind of felt like a bloke a little bit lost; a guy not quite sure what to do or where to start.
Don’t be surprised to see Kun Aguero pulling on the white of Real Madrid in the summer. And certainly don’t be surprised when the Citizens don’t put up a fight.