New Manchester City signing John Stones

John Stones: His Chelsea idol & why he’s not a ball-playing defender

John Stones & Mail on Sunday

The season is so far going extremely well for Manchester City.

After six rounds of the Premier League, City are in first place in the table above Man United.

The Sky Blues have a plus four goal difference over the Red Devils following a 5-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday.

But will City keep that run going next weekend? Pep Guardiola arguably faces his toughest match of the season in just under a week when they face Chelsea in the league.

This weekend, City defender John Stones has given an in-depth interview to the Mail on Sunday. During the Q&A, Stones has revealed who his Chelsea idol was growing up:

There isn’t really anyone I modelled myself on.

Everyone assumes it was Rio. I did watch Rio and loved how he played but John Terry did it, too, and didn’t get the credit for it.

I was such a big football fan in general, I just watched as many games as I could and I picked up things from every game. 

Stones: ‘I’m not a ball-playing defender’

When pundits often talk about Stones, the same cliches are rolled out.

He’s cultured, good in possession, and he’s a ball-playing defender.

But for Stones, those taglines seem to wind him up somewhat.

Forget about passing from the back. The former Everton defender wants to be recognised for the basics.

Stones talked about how much he loves tackling to the Mail on Sunday, saying:

I don’t want to be known as the ball player. I want people to say that I have got that in my locker as well. But I want to be known as a defender first. 

That’s what I love to do: make those last-ditch blocks. When we played Feyenoord the week before last, they had a break away and an attacker was about to take a shot. I made a last-ditch block and that was as good as scoring a goal.

I did actually score two goals in that game, which was great because it doesn’t happen often but making that block was as much of a buzz as winning and scoring.

Also see: John Stones loves Chelsea & Alvaro Morata as his PR team screw up badly.