When your team takes an early lead there’s arguably no better midfielder in the Premier League to have in your side than Rodri.
The Spaniard is a master in the art of keeping hold of the ball, strolling around the midfield at a walking pace as the game is kept ticking over and the opposition are afforded barely a foothold in the game.
Now, had Rodri played for City two or three years ago we’d probably be lauding him as a midfield maestro by this point – such was Pep Guardiola’s side’s dominance – however, the 24-year-old needs to learn that he’s playing in a very different team to the Citizens of old.
Saturday’s 1-1 draw with West Ham was just the latest in a long line of fixtures in which City have found themselves either level or behind with 20 minutes remaining.
As the game wore on there was a sense of urgency in the visitors’ play, with João Cancelo, Bernardo Silva and Kevin De Bruynedesperately striving to impact proceedings as they surged forward in search of a precious winner to avoid yet further dropped points.
However, the same could not be said of their Spanish teammate. Rodri continued to meander around the midfield, showing no desire to pick up the pace as he protected his 200% passing statistics for the day (probably) by lazily knocking the ball back and forth between the City full-backs.
While the midfield man’s game is built upon neat and tidy passes, he needs to learn to adapt his game to the requirements of his team. Once West Ham had taken an early lead through Michail Antonio’s superb overhead kick, it was evident that David Moyes’ side had no intentions of venturing much further forward than the halfway line.