x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Kompany: No problems with Tevez over captain's armband

Manchester City's Belgian defender says the team has several leaders on the pitch and that former captain Tevez is one of them.

Vincent Kompany, right, could not stop Napoli's Edinson Cavani scoring on City's Champions League debut on Wednesday.
Vincent Kompany, right, could not stop Napoli's Edinson Cavani scoring on City's Champions League debut on Wednesday.

MANCHESTER // Vincent Kompany has revealed that he was confirmed as Manchester City's new captain in the summer and is confident Carlos Tevez, his predecessor, will not cause him any problems after losing the armband.

The Belgian defender's promotion was only formally announced by Roberto Mancini last Friday although, with Tevez not starting a game this season until Saturday's 3-0 win over Wigan Athletic, he had been leading the side anyway.

"I knew it from a while back, but people have talked about it because the manager has only mentioned it lately," he said.

"It's just been quiet because it's never been an issue. It's never been big news for us or something unnatural towards the back end of the season when Carlos was injured for a while. It was just normal."

Although Tevez had asked to leave the Etihad Stadium for family reasons, resulting in Mancini making Kompany the captain, the centre-back said the striker remains very much a team man.

"We are a side of professionals and everyone gets along so well," he said.

"I'm happy for him when he's captain and he's happy for me and so it was when Kolo [Toure] was also captain. We are a mature enough squad to understand you need to have many leaders in the team."

While the 25 year old has gone from a substitute to captain of one of the world's most star-studded teams inside two years, he is adamant it will not affect him.

"My role in the team doesn't change," he said. "You don't become a captain just because you have the armband. If someone else had it, I would still behave in the same way and still be happy for that person.

"The armband is something symbolic that I take great honour and great pride in, but it's not something that changes my attitude towards the team. It's something that happened naturally and not too many big words are needed."

City began their inaugural Champions League campaign with a 1-1 draw against Napoli on Wednesday and a bullish Kompany said: "I can't see many teams holding a result like that against us in future."

Bayern Munich and Villarreal complete the pool and Kompany said: "It's the toughest group, no doubt about that. I speak to a few Italians and they tip Napoli as one of the favourites to win the league this season."

Gareth Barry made his Champions League debut in midfield and said: "It was nice just to be part of it. That was one of the reasons I joined the club."

Barry's misplaced backheel led to Edinson Cavani giving Napoli the lead and the England international said City may need to be less cavalier in future.

"We've been a lot more open than we were last season," he said. "There's a lot of attacking players now that the manager sends out and now and again you can get picked off on the break.

"When we go away we'll have to be wary of attacking in numbers as we like to. We're going to have to adapt very quickly to the Champions League."