Monday, November 26, 2012
The true value of Sebastien Bassong can be measured on his impact over those around him. Leon Barnett, Michael Turner and now Ryan Bennett have all operated in tandem in the Premier League this season.
All three have the raw materials to ply their trade in the Premier League, but Bassong is the common denonimator why they have looked so assured at various times. The Parisian is the glue binding a City backline together, one which has undergone a dramatic transformation since those hesitant early displays.
Bassong plays with a confidence and a swagger borne of a player who knows he has the gifts to shine among the best. This latest offering also proved he had the application and the leadership qualities to flourish alongside the young and inexperienced Bennett.
Steven Pienaar was a stand- out performer for Everton in the opening period despite a crunching introduction to Bassong. Or maybe it was because of, as Pienaar opted to seek solace in a wider right role after his heavy early collision in the centre of the park. Bassong is a proactive presence, willing to meet aerial challenges on numerous occasions or in his reactions to imminent danger with a series of block.
Bassong is also a major set-piece threat. Everton were warned in the opening period when he headed wide under pressure. There was no such let-off as the clock ticked towards stoppage time. John Heitinga didn’t appear to relish the prospect of dealing with Bassong. To be fair, you couldn’t really blame him.