Friday, January 27, 2023

Know Your Players: Nicolas Otamendi, Aoife Mannion, Ellie Roebuck

When you see Nicolas Otamendi play, you’ll understand exactly why the best offence often starts with a solid defence. That’s right – it’s that time of the week to Know Your Players, the QNET series that looks at all the fun facts about our favourite Manchester City football players.

In today’s edition, we have three of Manchester City’s best defenders, players who protect their teammates first to give way for a tactical offence in every match. Read on and find out some fun facts on Nicolas Otamendi, Aoife Mannion and Ellie Roebuck!

Nicolas Otamendi

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Hailing from Buenos Aires, Nicolas Otamendi is a top defender with a strong presence. Playing centre back at number 30, his style is imposing but not impulsive, prioritising strategy above zeal. Always on the lookout for steal and assist opportunities, the Argentine never makes it easy for the opposing team – and that’s great for us.

Fun Facts:

  • One of his nicknames is ‘The General’, referring to his customary salute to the fans in celebration of a goal.
  • A student of the game as much as a practitioner, Nicolas Otamendi began to flourish, and make impressive defensive plays under the coaching of master tactician Pep Guardiola. In January 2018, the Argentine was quoted saying, “We are in a certain timeframe where we all enjoy his football – [Guardiola] is mad about sport and tactics. I am really enjoying it and am very grateful to him.” The learning never stops!
  • Since joining our Blues in 2015, Otamendi has made 131 appearances, 265 tackles and 417 accurate long balls.
  • He’s always been a fighter – aside from football, he also used to box in his youth.
  • His last name, Otamendi, is an anagram for ‘dominate’. Coincidence?
  • In April 2018, he broke the record for completed passes in a single Premier League season, registered at 2,902 with 5 matches still ahead.

Ellie Roebuck

Next up is number 26, and one of the goalies in Manchester City’s Women’s Team, Ellie Roebuck. She joined City in 2016 at just 15 years old, transferring from Sheffield United’s Centre of Excellence. A young footballer with high ambitions, she’s on track to becoming a world-class goalkeeper.

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Fun Facts:

  • So far this season in the FA Women’s Super League, Roebuck kept 10 clean sheets out of the 16 matches she played in.
  • Her first breakthrough was in February 2018, in a match against Chelsea. Stepping in for the injured Karen Bardsley, she gave a jaw-dropping performance and kept a clean sheet for City that day!
  • She took her biology GCSE exam at the British Embassy in Minsk while competing at the U17 Euros. Now that’s dedication!

Aoife Mannion

Third on our list today is number 2 in our Women’s Team, Aoife Mannion. An accomplished defender who’d previously played for Birmingham City, she joined our Blues in July 2019.

Fun Facts:

  • She played for Birmingham City from 2013-2019, during which she made 93 League appearances and scored 8 goals.
  • In December 2017, she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Economics and graduated from the University of Birmingham with first-class honours.
  • Outside of football, her interests are in philosophy/ethics, behavioural economics and corporate governance.
  • Last season, she made the second-most passes in the FA Women’s Super League, behind only City captain Steph Houghton!


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