Why Vincent Kompany is the best defender in the Premier League

April 17, 2011 - 0:0

For obvious reasons I pay a lot of attention to central defenders and I think Vincent Kompany is the finest in the Premier League. He is the best £6million Manchester City have spent. I urge my son to watch - and learn from - the way he plays. This is why.

THE PERFECT JUDGE
As brilliant as they are, you sometimes see John Terry and Nemanja Vidic going to ground early, getting done for pace and backing poor decisions - but you don't with Kompany. He is dominant, vocal and usually flawless. He makes quick decisions about when to drop off and deal with runners from deep and he is particularly good in one-on-one situations because he shapes his body to force his opponent away from goal.
SET THE SPEED TRAP
If an opponent tries to knock the ball past Kompany, he has the pace to keep up with them or the guile to get in a tackle and win the ball. Sometimes he will allow his opponent to turn, almost luring them into a trap because he knows he is quick and strong enough to recover. It reminds me of Sol Campbell and is the opposite of Vidic and Terry, who need to do things early.
SMASH OR SPRINT
Kompany has almost the ideal physique for his position. Although he is 6ft 3in, he has great mobility and is just as comfortable playing against a battering-ram striker such as Didier Drogba, as he is playing against someone small and quick such as Jermain Defoe.
COMFORTABALL
He is also incredibly comfortable bringing the ball out from the back and makes intelligent, calm passes to find his team-mates. The only question mark will be how well he handles the big occasion of the FA Cup semi-final. But nine times out of 10 he makes the right decision.
Most interceptions by defenders
Assou-Ekotto (Spurs) 102
Alcaraz (Wigan) 94
Clichy (Arsenal) 91
Nelsen (Blackburn) 85
Vidic (Man Utd) 84
Kompany (Man City) 78
Only two defenders have made more passes.
Clichy (Arsenal) 1,554
Terry (Chelsea) 1,536
Kompany (Man City) 1,506
And of teams in the top half of the table, only three players have made more blocks.
Distin (Everton) 34
Cahill (Bolton) 31
Vidic (Man Utd) 29
Kompany (Man City) 27