There have been 75 minutes on the clock on the Etihad Stadium when Ederson switched from goalkeeper to bodyguard, charging shoulder-first into Burnley’s Connor Roberts then dragging him away as he tried to sq. as much as the 19-year-old Rico Lewis.
“I’ll again up my team-mates beneath any circumstances,” Ederson tells Sky Sports activities as he displays on the flashpoint in a first-floor assembly room at Manchester Metropolis’s coaching floor.
“I’ll at all times attempt to shield them nonetheless I can, particularly younger gamers like Rico, who was solely asking the query as a result of there was off-the-ball contact on John [Stones] earlier than the pushing. I used to be simply defending him. It’s a part of the sport. However I might do it beneath any circumstances.”
Ederson was booked for the incident. However there have been no complaints from Pep Guardiola. A yr in the past, he accused his gamers of missing “abdomen and guts” for failing to defend Lewis from persistent fouling in opposition to Tottenham. This time, he cherished the response.
“It makes us really feel alive,” he mentioned in his press convention afterwards. “Final season was flat in that interval, so that is higher. Now we have to defend ourselves as a result of no person goes to defend us.”
Clearly, the message has obtained by way of to the gamers. Having roared again from final season’s stoop to win the treble, Metropolis are bringing the struggle once more, their dedication summed up by their goalkeeper.
“Sure, completely,” Ederson says when requested if he sees extra fireplace within the group now. “I feel loads of it’s all the way down to the mentality we’ve got created within the squad. This is essential, particularly after final season, once we received every part and loved immense success.
“I feel sustaining that’s much more troublesome. However the group has this mentality to maintain going and to win every part once more.
“This shall be our goal till the top of the season.”
Ederson is aware of in addition to anybody what it takes to recover from the road. He has been there for each one in every of Metropolis’s successes beneath Guardiola. Having arrived at 23 in 2017, he’s now one in every of their longest-serving gamers and a frontrunner. Does he benefit from the added duty?
His reply gives an perception into the dressing-room dynamics fuelling Metropolis’s relentless quest for but extra silverware.
“Not many gamers are nonetheless right here from after I arrived,” he smiles. “Solely 5 – 6 if I am not mistaken. In fact, they take into account me as one of many leaders. Not simply me however all of the older gamers within the group.
“However I feel respect comes earlier than the rest. The gamers right here take issues on board regardless of who they’re chatting with, whether or not it is a 20-year-old or a 33-year-old within the case of Kyle [Walker].
“We’re not valuable right here. We pay attention to one another and we take issues on board very effectively. Whoever has to speak, to present some recommendation to a team-mate to push the group ahead, is welcomed.”
It’s partly for that cause that Metropolis have been in a position to soak up the departures of senior gamers corresponding to Ilkay Gundogan, Joao Cancelo and Aymeric Laporte within the final yr. The facet is youthful, its common age dropping beneath 27. And but, in accordance with Ederson, it’s steelier and extra skilled too.
“I feel the group is an efficient mixture of 30-year-olds and children,” he explains. “And even the younger gamers are very skilled as a consequence of what we’ve got received. For instance, Rico, Phil [Foden], these are actually younger guys however they’ve received loads of trophies.
“Julian [Alvarez] and Erling [Haaland] have additionally received loads. This expertise stands out. Our group has loads of it regardless of being so younger. And I’ve to say the mentality once more, of at all times wanting extra and at all times eager to play good soccer. It shines by way of in every single place.”
It definitely shines by way of in Ederson, whose essential function in final yr’s treble was just lately recognised with the Finest FIFA males’s goalkeeper of the yr award. He has reached the head. Excellent along with his fingers; even higher along with his ft.
And but, in his seventh season at Metropolis, his urge for food for enchancment stays. “I attempt to enhance day by day and work day by day to get higher. I feel each participant has to have this mindset, as a result of in life everybody can enhance. Day by day you possibly can be taught one thing new.”
In the future Pep must go away however I do not see that occuring now, I see it in a extra distant future
It helps, in that sense, to have Guardiola as your boss. The supervisor’s future has been introduced into focus by Jurgen Klopp’s revelation that he’ll go away Liverpool on the finish of the season. However Ederson feels there may be extra to return from the 53-year-old at Metropolis.
“In the future Pep must go away as effectively however I do not see that occuring now, I see it in a extra distant future,” he says. “In fact, we will not stroll in different individuals’s footwear. I do not know what’s going on for someone else, or what’s going on in another person’s head.
“However, principally in Klopp’s case, a call like that entails plenty of components past soccer – household, I do not know what else. He’s a human being, and that comes earlier than his career.
“Any human being has to place their household first, their psychological well being, their household’s wellbeing. I hope he can have a superb interval of relaxation as a result of he is a superb supervisor. He has performed loads for Liverpool.
“He has led one of the troublesome groups we’ve got confronted over the previous couple of years. I want him loads of luck for the longer term.”
Ederson’s outlook exhibits he has “matured”, to make use of Guardiola’s time period. However catching Klopp’s facet is the precedence and it’s partly due to their goalkeeper that it now seems like a chance.
Metropolis’s season was drifting. However Ederson helped to make sure the FIFA Membership World Cup in Saudi Arabia served as a turning level.
“It wasn’t simply an vital competitors for us as gamers, however for the membership as effectively,” explains Ederson. “The membership hadn’t received this trophy, so it was an vital competitors.
“It stands out particularly for South American gamers corresponding to Julian and myself. In South America, they reside this competitors extra. We all know that the followers are captivated by this trophy.
“I attempted to move on the significance of this title in South America to my team-mates. I feel they absorbed the recommendation that I gave them and, from there, we’ve got regained some momentum.
“We had a much less robust interval simply earlier than the Membership World Cup, however the group has discovered good kind once more. Our mentality stands out once more as the primary cause we’ve got been in a position to do it.”
The result’s that they face Brentford on Monday Night time Soccer on the again of eight consecutive wins in all competitions.
The journey to west London is an ungainly task. They misplaced twice to Thomas Frank’s facet final season. However Kevin de Bruyne and Haaland can be found once more. It seems like Metropolis are hitting their stride.
“I feel the few occasions this season that we’ve got had a full squad, we’ve got been extra targeted,” says Ederson. “We’re again coaching usually. Erling is again from harm and so is Kevin after a very long time out. It is nice to see all of our gamers collectively once more on the pitch, wholesome and able to play the subsequent match.”
For his or her rivals, in the meantime, it’s ominous. Latest proof suggests Ederson, specifically, is up for the struggle that lies forward.