So FC Pune City finished their transfer window with two last signings in the form of Matthew Mills and Jonathan Vila. Both of them, I feel, will end up in the first eleven as both are big names in the context of the Indian Super League. Let’s see what these two will bring to the table, shall we?
FC Pune City have brought in Matthew Mills, or Matt Mills as he is more commonly known, for his stability and leadership. He is a very reliable defender who never excels but always remains consistent. In the ISL, consistency in a central defender shouldn’t be scoffed at. While in other more high-profile leagues, consistency may be seen as an absolute minimum in our league, it is a quality to be revered.
This is why I think Matt Mills is going to do very well for FC Pune City. His other great quality is his leadership. The man has been the captain for 4 of his 7 permanent clubs and that’s very impressive. I’m not counting clubs where he went on a loan but only his permanent clubs. His leadership qualities have been lauded by most of his manager, even those where he didn’t captain the side.
So I think that there’s a good chance that Mills will captain FC Pune City even though there’re bigger names there. If Portugal focuses only on leadership qualities and not the “brand” or “nationality” of the players, I think Mills will get the nod.
There’s another quality that will come in very handy to Pune. Mills is an excellent reader of the game. While his intuitive understanding of what happens on the pitch helps him defend well, it also helps him score on set pieces. He augments his movement in the box with his 6’3”, physical frame and ends up scoring a few as his tally of 28 goals shows. He’s even managed to assist 14 goals in his career, probably on set pieces also.
FC Pune City’s last signing of this transfer window was Jonathan Vila, a defensive midfielder. It makes sense that they’ve wrapped up their transfer business with two defensive signings since they already have Emiliano Alfaro, Marcelinho, and the newest Iain Hume.
It is worth noting that Vila is Pune’s eight foreign signing even though the ISL rules only allow for 7. It has been allowed because of Hume’s injury. There’s been no projection on when Hume will become available again but it is expected that he’ll be out for the next two months. Since ISL allows replacements for injured players, Vila’s signing was viable. What I wanna know is what happens when Hume comes back. Which of their foreign signings will take a backseat?
Again with Jonathan Vila, FC Pune City have gone for consistency. He is a Spanish defensive midfielder who can be relied upon for interceptions and tackles. His defensive abilities are far more evolved than his attacking skills. He will win you the ball, most likely by way of tackling but he isn’t averse to interceptions either, and then short pass it to a teammate.
Despite what the Pune City coach says, he isn’t that great at launching attacks from deep. His passing is average so even if he attempts Hollywood passes, he will most likely miss his target. It is in defence where his value lies and it would benefit Portugal if he depends on him for that and that alone. You should also know that Vila once famously clashed with Messi. This shows to me that the man doesn’t get cowed by big names or scenarios. He’s definitely not a choker. Maybe that’s why FC Pune City got him, eh (wink, wink)?
I should also add that Vila can put in a shift in central defence as well. He’s tall enough (6’1”) for that role and his defensive focus makes him ideal for a backup central defender. He may even move into defence to turn it into a 5-man defence in the middle of a game if FC Pune City find themselves under the cosh.