Fri. Feb 26th, 2021

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Michael Owen says Man City’s John Stones is ‘too good’ to be a defender

3 min read

Michael Owen reckons Manchester City ace John Stones is “almost too good” to be a central defender.

Stones has enjoyed a resurgence this season under Pep Guardiola and played a key role in City ‘s march to the top of the Premier League table and excellent defensive record.

The England international was left on the bench for Wednesday night’s Premier League clash with his former club Everton at Goodison Park.

But he was still the topic of conversation on Amazon Prime Video’s live pre-match coverage.

Former Arsenal defender Lee Dixon said: “I think there’s more to come from him. I’ve really been a big fan of his for a long time.

“He went through that rough spell and he talks about (seeing a) sports psychologist, and why wouldn’t you?

“If you’re a young player in this game now, at any standard, you train your muscles, you train your physicality. Why not train your brain as well, to think in a different way.

“I think he’s always been positionally very good. He’s always read the game really well. He just got caught up in his own talent.

“Because he was so talented on the ball, he was encouraged to play out a little bit and once he got into mistakes, he didn’t know how to get out of those.

“I think the fact he’s worked on his mind and how he thinks about the game has simplified it and we’re seeing him now in a great position, intercepting balls and being the player he was before – but he’s just matured a little bit.

“I honestly think he will go on and on and on, and get better and better.”

Former Manchester United and Liverpool striker Owen said: “I absolutely agree with where Lee is coming from there.

“I almost used to think he’s too good, he’s almost too good to be a centre-half!

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Manchester City consolidated their position at the top of the league with a routine 3-0 win over Spurs on Saturday.

Is the title all theirs already?

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“He’s so good on the ball. I used to watch him at Everton and he used to feint to knock it down the line, and Cruyff (turn). He was unbelievable, threading little balls into midfield…

“But sometimes, when players aren’t as good as you and you’re trying to do that, they’re not capable of taking a ball with a man on and things like that.

“He was getting himself into problems, because he was almost one step ahead of the game.

“I think he’s actually stripped it all back now and thinks: ‘Right, I’m not going to be doing all that now. If I need to clear it, I’ll clear it’.

“He still can be good on the ball but he’s taken the risk out of his game now. He’s gone back to basics and now he’s got a base to build from again.”

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