Posts Tagged ‘Yaya Toure’

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Yaya Touré played his 316th game for Manchester City in what was a historic occasion both for him and, as it turned out, for the club.

City won the game against Brighton 3-1 and in so doing set a new record for points achieved – 97, goals scored – 105 and wins in a season – 31. These figures will probably change again when they play Southampton in the last game of the season but this is the one where the records were made. (more…)

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José Mourinho and the Manchester United supporters will hope it was just a blip, just one of those things. Losing to City was inexcusable but not a major shock. Feyenoord was a bad performance, which can happen. The Watford loss was the worrying one.

This was a game from which United would have been expecting three points, at worst one point, but they ended the day with none. The trip home would have been very quiet. (more…)

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(A captain, of course. What did you think I meant?)

Of the old top four only Chelsea have what I would consider to be a captain in the true sense of the word and this is possibly going to be his last season.

Vincent Kompany, at Manchester City is also topnotch, but misses too many games to be considered a great captain. His deputy is usually Yaya Toure and we all know how temperamental he can be. Sometimes a good example, sometimes a very bad one, he is more likely to shout at the referee than at his teammates.

The captaincy at Manchester United and Arsenal is a joke. Arsenal have Mikel Arteta, who can’t even get in the team and may leave soon. His deputy, the BFG Per Mertesacker, who has worn the armband for most of the season, is only inspiring in size, nothing else.

United, of course, have Wayne Rooney, who never was captaincy material. A lot of United fans are baffled as to why he is still there, never mind captain. Two goals against Newcastle do not excuse his woeful performances in general over the last couple of seasons.

So what is required of a captain? Does he need, for example, to be an ambassador for the club off the pitch? Yes, he does, but so do the rest of the players so this is not uniquely a captain’s requirement. (more…)

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Is Manuel Pellegrini ever going to realise what a liability Aleksandr Kolarov is to the team?

He is so lazy it is unbelievable. I don’t mean lazy in that he doesn’t run around or chase the ball, he does all that. The problem is when he has the ball or is attempting to win it.

He will invariably play a lazy pass straight at an opponent as though he expects the ball to magically pass through him. He does occasionally play decent passes in behind the defence or put in a decent cross or crack in a fierce free-kick but I am not sure that the positives outweigh the negatives with this guy.

Take the goal he scored for Watford today from a corner. Apart from being in danger of conceding a penalty by having both his arms around a Watford striker, he then deliberately flicked the ball with his head. He didn’t need to, Joe Hart had it covered and would either have caught it or punched it out. The flick from Kolarov took it past him and into the net.

Whilst I am sure that these mistakes affect him, he certainly does not give the appearance that they do. He appears not to care, but I am sure he does.

The main problem, for me, is that he never seems to learn and Pellegrini keeps picking him. Now, the argument may be that City don’t have a left back better than Kolarov, which is true if Clichy is the only back up. (more…)

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If you were to believe the hype on Sky Sports, this was going to be the game of the century, as usual. The fact that a win for either team would not take them above Leicester City and would only really create a larger gap between the two was not something that was made much of.

Sky has become a mixture of Opta and Football Manager. Every clip is followed by in-depth statistics about how many games are lost when certain players are missing, how many shots there are per game, how many goals per minute. All fascinating stuff if you are Arsene Wenger or Manuel Pellegrini. I suspect the fans only really care about the next game, who is playing, who wins and who scores.

Tonight’s game was variously described as a “title decider”, “title eliminator” and a “winner-takes-all match. All the usual hyperbole that goes along with Sky trying to make sure that the maximum number of viewers tune in to watch it. They would be better served reducing their prices now that people have to pay BT Sport to watch the Champion’s League. They may find more people prepared to subscribe by being magnanimous in their pricing rather than munificent in their match descriptions! (more…)

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Manchester City have a European tie on Tuesday night that may allow them to achieve what would be a “first” for them.

If they beat Borussia Moenchengladbach and Juventus fail to beat Sevilla, then City will qualify for the next round as group winners. This will be the first time they have achieved that in their Champions League history, following a failure to qualify and two second placed qualifications.

The more likely scenario is that Juventus will beat Sevilla, THEY will qualify as group winners and City will finish second again. All of which means that, in the first knockout round, City could face Real Madrid, Barcelona or Bayern Munich. They could be lucky and get a team which won one of the lesser groups but that would still potentially put them up against the likes of Zenit St. Petersburg, Porto or Atletico Madrid.

At the moment it is all rather immaterial as City can’t even take a point from a team like Stoke City so, even if they were to qualify as group winners, it is unlikely that they would then progress. (more…)

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Manuel Pellegrini has a fully fit squad. How does he know? Because his trusty Argentinian valet, Ruben Cousillas, has just told him so.
“Sergio Aguero is fit?” asks an incredulous Pellegrini. “Yes,” says Ruben, “Would you like your toast buttered against the grain or with the grain?”
Manuel turns over to face Ruben and, rubbing the sleep from his eyes, tries to come to terms with this startling piece of news.
“You bring me breakfast in bed and tell me that I have a fully fit squad, what’s the catch?” Manuel is starting to get a little suspicious now, too many good things are happening in one day, and he’s only been awake for two minutes.
“There is no catch, just like the toilet doors at the Etihad.” soothes Ruben, for he knows his boss of old. All this good news is likely to have a very negative effect on Manuel. (more…)