Euro 2012: spotlight on Joleon Lescott
- 04 June 2012 13:30
- Posted by Mark Booth
Joleon's star is on the rise after a rock-solid season for club and country.
If there were an award for most improved City player of the season, the name of Joleon Lescott wouldn’t be far from the reckoning.
He wasn’t exactly a poor defender to begin with but his performances at the heart of City’s defence alongside Vincent Kompany this season have put him firmly in the running for a starting berth at international level.
Lescott’s has yet to play a role at a major international tournament but he did shine in England’s surprise 1-0 win over the World Champions Spain in November last year.
The former Everton defender stood up manfully to the tirade of opposition attacks and kept up with the fleet feet of clubmate David Silva and his colleagues, earning him the man of the match award.
Although he’s never been the paciest defender, Joleon’s positional awareness is just one facet of his game that has improved markedly this season.
You don’t need to be able to outpace the forward if you can pre-empt their next move and that’s what Lescott did time and time again this season – making a key contribution to the league’s most miserly defence.
When Vincent Kompany was hit with a lengthy ban and an injury at the start of 2012, Lescott held things together alongside Stefan Savic and kept City within touching distance of their rivals.
Perhaps the best illustration of just how high Joleon's stock has risen is that when Gareth Barry was withdrawn through injury in the recent friendly against Norway, he was ordered to pass the captain’s armband on to his City teammate.
Joleon revealed his pride at captaining his country after the match and, you have to say, the armband suited him rather well.
With Gary Cahill out of the tournament due to a fractured jaw, the stage looks set for Lescott to accompany John Terry in defence. He got his club captain Vincent Kompany's vote after another impressive performance against Belgium.
It seems that ahead of Euro 2012, Roy Hodgson is in agreement.
Come along and enjoy Euro 2012 at City Square, the only outdoor venue in Manchester showing the England matches. We are kicking off with England’s opening match against France on June 11, with City Square open from 2:30pm.
There will be free giveaways from the CityStore and EA, parking is free and The Summerbee Bar, Blue Moon Café and Star Bar will all be open.
Tickets are priced at £5 for adults and £3 for kids and are available now from the box office - advance purchase only.