• TJ

Kayky makes Manchester City debut in bruising week – Week in the Academy 6

Manchester City’s EDS side suffered their first two losses of the season. In a week where some main players returned from injury, rhythm and sharpness seemed to be an issue as they fell to a couple of heavy defeats. Head coach, Brian Barry-Murphy was pleased with the effort in both games, but this will be an important learning curve in the development of the talented youngsters.

Manchester City EDS 1-3 Tottenham Hotspur U23s


City’s Elite Development Squad suffered their maiden loss of the season at the hands of Tottenham on Saturday gone by. Barry-Murphy’s Blues had been on a 27-game unbeaten streak in the Premier League 2, dating back to November 2020, up until this point.


The match started well for City, going 1 nil up 11 minutes in through Oscar Bobb. The talented forward who has had a stellar season so far slotted his shot into the bottom corner to take his tally this season to 3 goals and 7 assists in 13 appearances across all competitions. Due to the overflow of talents coming through the City Football Academy right now, expectations for Bobb will not be focused on breaking into the first-team plans, but the Norwegian is certainly a player who the club will rate highly and will surely have a successful career across Europe’s top leagues.

Spurs replied with a goal of their own 20 minutes later. Jack Clarke crossed to Dilan Markanday who fired past Slicker in the City goal. And then just prior to halftime the away side took the lead through Harvey White. Barry-Murphy told the team at half-time “to really focus on trying to play the way we have done all season: bounce back from every setback and they did. We just didn’t manage to score the goals today.”

Tottenham scored their third goal of the match to secure all three points on the hour mark with Dilan Markanday getting his second of the game. The EDS boss “praised the efforts of the team” and said that “losing is as valuable a tool as winning every week in terms of how you assess what we can do better when we suffer defeats, and it is a very valuable experience for us all.”


It is actually quite remarkable that the first EDS loss of the season has taken so long to come. The squad has not been stable at all thus far and has been badly affected by injuries. Players such as Shea Charles, Oscar Bobb and Kwaku Oduroh have all had to deputise in unnatural positions to cover.


The younger age groups have been called upon with Rico Lewis, Nico O’Reilly, Luca Barrington and Jadel Katongo featuring several times with Joel Ndala and Dire Mebude called up recently as well.


Some of the big names, Liam Delap, Kayky, Jayden Braff, Carlos Borges, Micah Hamilton, CJ Egan-Riley, Darko Gyabi and Tai Sodje have been side-lined while Cole Palmer and Sam Edozie have been part of first-team squads throughout the season.


Factoring in all this, to be unbeaten in the previous 13 games, is a great achievement, which the team and players would probably not have been expected to reach.


The defence has become sloppier over recent weeks, with Lavia, Burns and Mbete making quite a few more uncharacteristic mistakes than usual. This week’s results should hopefully be a bit of a wake-up call and cut out some of these lapses in concentration.

Rotherham United 5-0 Manchester City EDS


City’s final group game in the Papa John’s trophy was against the leaders Rotherham United. Missing Sam Edozie and Cole Palmer to the first team, the youngsters fell to a heavy 5-0 defeat. A solid first-half performance was followed by a disastrous second half in which their senior opposition scored 5 times without reply. Liam Delap returned while Kayky played his first minutes as a Manchester City player.


The first half was rather dull, but City were the better side. James McAtee and Romeo Lavia were orchestrating the game from midfield and showing a glimpse of their incredible ability. But they struggled to make an impact in the final third.

Photo courtesy of George Wood/Getty Images

Micah Hamilton and Liam Delap returned from injury and started in the front three and their rustiness was quite evident as they return to full sharpness. As Barry Murphy said after the match, the most important thing was that they got through the game comfortably and didn’t aggravate any injury.


The second half was the total opposite. Possibly because of the gap in experience, Rotherham kicked on blitzed the Blues. 5 goals on the trot while City barely had a sniff at goal.


Cieran Slicker had a torrid time in goal, his kicking was off, and he had little chance with 4 of the goals. One of Rotherham’s goals did seem to slip through his hands at the near post. Rico Lewis struggled in the game and didn’t get to show his abilities like he has done for the U18s this season, but he is still only 16 years old, competing against grown men and experienced professional footballers. It will be an important and necessary learning curve for the fullback.

Burns and Mbete were run ragged for most of the game, Burns gave away a second-half penalty, and Mbete made a couple of errors in possession. Wilson Esbrand, Lavia and McAtee were the good performers on the night and did manage to show their talent at times. Wilson Esbrand managed to complete 8 out 8 dribbles in the match before he was substituted with cramp.


Kayky had a rather forgettable first 45 minutes in English football. It was his first game since injury, in very new settings against a rigid Rotherham side filled with experienced professionals and alongside teammates he is probably still getting used to, but he did show some of the ability which came with the hype around him. He created one big chance for his teammates and had a big chance of his own which he, unfortunately, lifted over the bar.


A tough loss for the EDS to take especially after losing to Tottenham a few days prior but an important PL2 match against Brighton is the perfect opportunity to bounce back.

Photo courtesy of George Wood/Getty Images

Elsewhere


Man City U17s won 3-0 in the U17 Premier League Cup with goals thanks to Luca Barrington, Daniel Ogwuru and Liam Smith.

Written by: @_TJ9320


Follow @cityreport_ for live coverage