Pep Guardiola has warned Vincent Kompany that his place in the Manchester City line-up is not confirmed and that he has to show it on the pitch in order to get his place back. The Belgian is yet to make an appearance this season owing to injury but is back in training and is in contention for a start against Swansea City in the League Cup in midweek.
City have stumbled upon a good defensive pairing at the back in the form of Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones, winning their opening four games in the league, including a 2-1 win over arch rivals Manchester United in the derby last weekend. Guardiola has had a brilliant start to his City campaign, winning eight out of eight in all competitions, including a 4-0 thumping of Borussia Monchengladbach in mid-week, with Sergio Aguero scoring a sumptuous hat-trick.
Guardiola believes it would do his team a world of good should Kompany fight for his place than get a free pass to the first eleven, as it would help them later in the season, when they are competing for titles. The manager confirmed that the 30-year-old is close to a return but would be short for their game against Bournemouth.
On Kompany getting into the first eleven, Guardiola said, as quoted by the Telegraph, "Absolutely not. They have to compete with each other. We'll see on the pitch what is the best for that game. That's the best way to arrive in April or May with a chance to fight to win the titles. We need the players competing with each other. They have to know if they don't play good that there's another one beside them and the next time he is going to play.
"I need Vincent because I know his quality. I need him to put pressure on John, Nicolas, Kolarov – all of them. Vincent is close [to returning] but not yet."