Is It Time For Man City To Say Ta-Ta To Yaya Toure?


I think people are going a bit over the top criticising Manchester City after Barcelona knocked them out of the Champions League.

That was an extremely tough draw as Barca are more than capable of knocking any team out on their day!

But City’s season as a whole has raised a few questions about their squad and how good they actually are.

Ever since 2008, when the club was taken over by Sheikh Mansour, City have been seen as challengers for the English Premier League (EPL) throne. They won that title in 2012 and again last season (2014).

Midfield maestro Yaya Toure has been an integral part of City’s successful years. The box-to-box man has played in over two-hundred games for Man City and scored sixty-one goals. As well as the two EPL titles that he’s won, Toure has also helped City win an FA Cup and last seasons League Cup trophy.

At times Toure has been the lifeblood for this ‘Sky Blues’ squad, everything good seemed to go through him. He made key passes, ball winning tackles, surging runs and scored some extremely valuable goals.

His signing looked to be the catalyst for the trophy-laden years. Toure was the ‘go to guy’ to help his teammates overcome rivals such as Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal.

At times it would seem as though the four times African player of the year winner would win City games on his own.

But something seems to have changed this term.

Last year Toure banged in twenty league goals as his side charged towards the double and he also claimed nine assists.

Yet so far this term, the Ivorian only has seven strikes and a solitary assist to his name. That’s only two more league goals than Frank Lampard, who has only started just three times this campaign. Astonishingly the duo have the same amount of assists.

So Toure’s form has dropped.

But then again he did play in last summer’s World Cup and also left in January to play in the African Cup of Nations.

In May, the middle man will also turn thirty-two. So he can’t be the figurehead all the time and probably needs more rest time.

At the moment he looks weary playing in the heart of the midfield. Maybe Manuel Pellegrini can push him forward into the number ten role for the remainder of the season. Giving Yaya more of a free-role might at least bring a glut of goals and some much needed assists as City hunt down Chelsea’s six point lead at the top of the table.

But in the summer Manchester City need to overhaul this squad no matter what. Sitting back leads to complacency. As Sir Alex Ferguson continually proved during his time at Old Trafford, even the best winning squads need to evolve.

A lot of debate surrounds head coach Pellegrini and his future. Well you can’t blame him for the poor signings. I tend to think he’s doing the best with what he has. Maybe make a change if Carlo Ancelotti becomes available.

You look at the squad and think do they still need Martin Demichelis? Both Clichy and Kolarov? Is Fernando good enough? Should they say bye-bye to Stevan Jovetic and Edin Dzeko?

Lampard and James Milner look set to be leaving in the summer no matter what.

But the really big question is what do they do with Yaya?

As well as his form dipping, questions have been asked about his appetite.

Does he really want to be at the Etihad?

He has repeatedly asked to leave or at least questioned his future at the club. On certain occasions that might have just been a ploy by his agent to get a better deal. But the whole birthday cake affair last year seemed different. That reaction to me , suggest that the player had had enough of England and wanted out.

If he isn’t an entirely happy camper, then you will never see the truly best Yaya Toure. Although as I said, I think he can no longer produce his best from the heart of midfield.

Although his agent Dimitry Seluk has since changed his tune asking for a new deal and even hold an executive role at the club after retirement.

Seluk recently said this…

“Yaya loves Manchester City and, despite what is sometimes said, he is happy at the club.”

“In fact, he would like to stay for life. He would love nothing better than to finish his playing career with City and then work for the club after that.”

Why the change of heart?

Well maybe he too sees and ageing footballer whose skills are slowly diminishing. Would a PSG or Inter Milan pay out big wages for the player now?

Sometimes a club just needs to bite the bullet and say goodbye to those that have given them the most. Yes he is a fan favourite, damn it he will rightfully go down as one of the best Man City players ever!

But it seems as though he is now holding this current City back. Plus on the European stage he has never been as effective as he has been on the domestic setting.

It will be interesting to see what happens next for Yaya Toure at Manchester City. He might need to change his game and accept that he plays less games per season or he might have to depart whether he wants to or not.

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