Pablo Zabaleta 'stripped of Manchester City vice-captaincy'

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is said to have dropped Pablo Zabaleta as vice-captain.

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has reportedly axed Pablo Zabaleta as the club's vice-captain.

The Argentine acted as stand-in for the injured Vincent Kompany under former boss Roberto Mancini, but the Italian's successor is said to favour Yaya Toure for the role.

Toure has been leading the Sky Blues in Kompany's absence, and Pellegrini's decision to demote Zabaleta is said to have caused friction in the dressing room.

"Some of the players are surprised and disappointed that Pablo has been stripped of the vice-captaincy," a purported inside source told the Daily Star.

"Pablo is the ultimate professional. He is so influential on the pitch and in the dressing room that there was a sense of shock at that.

"He has worked with the manager before so the assumption among the group was that Pablo would continue to wear the armband in Kompany's absence."

Zabaleta was dropped in favour of Micah Richards for last weekend's 1-0 defeat to Sunderland.

Sunderland's Manager, Gustavo Poyet during the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and Sunderland at KC Stadium on November 02, 2013
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
3Liverpool23138254282647
4Chelsea23145441162547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal23116641301139
7Burnley239771920-134
8Leicester CityLeicester238783432231
9Everton2376102538-1327
10Watford2375113342-926
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2367102941-1225
12Crystal Palace2367102133-1225
13Bournemouth2366112435-1124
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2366111939-2024
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2365122131-1023
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
17Southampton2349102334-1121
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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