Player Analysis – Manchester City’s Kalvin Phillips: A tactical analysis on Kalvin Phillips as he signs for Premier League champions Manchester City
I don’t rate Kalvin Philipps as well as the general public does. I think he’s a fine player, though, especially in a double pivot. However, compared to someone like Zambo Anguissa, LOL Leeds should be very happy with that money.
Kalvin Phillips shone as a lone 6 in Bielsa’s chaos-ball. That alone tells you about his quality. I wouldn’t call him elite technically like Rodri, but he can still spray the ball around. His closing of space & ball-winning is class too, that is to say he is a good stylistic Fernandinho replacement at Manchester City.
Kalvin Phillips is a defensive midfielder with a superb passing range and great tactical awareness. He’s used mostly in a single pivot at Leeds and in a double pivot with England. Kalvin Phillips withdraws into deeper positions to assist the team in building phase in the defensive 3rd.
A player with impressive stamina, he protects the backline and is sometimes given the task of man-marking the opponents’ key players. Subsequently, his work rate and physicality allows him to play the full game with the same intensity and cover maximum area on the pitch.
At Manchester City though I suspect given their compactness Phillips will have to cover less ground which makes life easier for him. He is not much of a progressive midfielder by in the sense of carrying the ball but can shift the ball to the wings with his long-range passes.
His timing and weight of pass has improved a lot this season and will likely improve more under Pep. Kalvin is very comfortable with the ball and thus always building a triangle or a diamond to help his teammates. He ( Kalvin Phillips) is also a bit good in tight spaces.
From his starting position in the middle of midfield, Kalvin Phillips can manage the tempo of his team’s possession. He looks to draw defenders to one side, before using his awareness of both space and his teammates’ positions to change his body shape and switch play.
Kalvin Phillips is not the best at it but good enough. He’ll need to improve a bit in terms of long range passes if he wants to become a deep lying playmaker. In order to be a good Defensive Midfielder, you need good tactical discipline, understanding and positioning and tackling combined with good passing.
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