The evolution of City’s England international continued against Bournemouth

The evolution of Manchester City’s England international John Stones game continued in City’s tough 1-nil win over Bournemouth. Stones is one of the treble winners’ most important players and his value to the world champions has been on show in tough wins over Brentford and Bournemouth. At the Vitality Stadium, the evolution of Stones game and role was on show.

The role John Stones fulfils for Pep Guardiola’s side is an immensely valuable one. His ability to drift into midfield from centre half gives Rodri the support he needs in the middle of the pitch. It is a role of critical importance to the Manchester City set-up. There is no doubt when the England international isn’t in the City lineup they do miss his presence on the pitch. But at the Vitality Stadium, it appeared that Stones is continuing to evolve as a player in one of the toughest roles in Pep Guardiola’s side.

As seen by the touch map of John Stones game on Saturday evening the England international featured more prominently going forward. At times he became an attacking midfielder when City had possession. While Stones has done this in previously it did appear more pronounced against Bournemouth. On another day he could’ve set up a goal or two if not for some determined defending from the hosts. As the season continues it could be something that unlocks the packed defences Manchester City come up against.

Guardiola was full of praise for John Stones

Speaking post game Pep Guardiola was full of praise for his England international. He spoke of the importance of Stones game and that of his teammates. The City manager told the media that he needed players who had composure on the ball something John Stones has in abundance. Guardiola said: “He’s back and he played again really, really good. We needed players today that don’t play with one-touch, we needed to make a lot of touches every player, we needed a lot, a lot of touches because against man-to-man when you play one-touch, it is what they want. And we needed Bernardo (Silva) and Phil and John and Rodri, who have the ability to keep the ball, Manu and Nathan (Ake), everyone has two or three touches and that is what we needed today and they did it really perfectly.”

The role and game of John Stones continues to evolve. It was on full display against Bournemouth. It was a fantastic display from the England international and one that could set the scene for what’s to come from Stones this season.

While Phil Foden got the plaudits for his dominant display at the Vitality Stadium the role played by John Stones can’t be overlooked. It was a performance that was key in City coming away with three points. Manchester City are a better team with a fit and firing John Stones. The hope now is he has put his injury struggles behind him this season and can be a vital contributor in his team’s chase for history.

Tags Bournemouth English Premier League John Stones Manchester City Pep Guardiola Phil Foden Vitality Stadium