Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes believes Yaya Toure’s performances lie at the heart of Manchester City’s struggles in Europe – branding the Ivory Coast star “a liability”.
Toure has helped to inspire City to two Premier League titles since moving from Barcelona in 2010, also scoring in FA Cup and League Cup final triumphs.
The 32-year-old, who won the Champions League playing as an emergency centre-back in the Barcelona team that beat Scholes’ United 2-0 in Rome in 2009, has largely failed to scale similar heights in European competitions while at the Etihad Stadium.
City beat Bayern Munich and Roma in consecutive games to salvage their group-stage campaign last season as Toure sat out following a red-card received in a 2-1 home loss to CSKA Moscow.
His return could not inspire a last-16 success against eventual winners Barca and he was on the losing side once more when City began their current Champions League tilt with a 2-1 Group D defeat against Juventus.
Manuel Pellegrini’s men will look to atone for that false start at Borussia Monchengladbach on Wednesday but Scholes, speaking in his role as a pundit for BT Sport, was unimpressed with the manager’s team selection and suggested he would have picked defensive midfielder Fernando over Toure.
“I don’t think City’s problem is scoring goals, they have goals all over the pitch,” he said.
“In big European games, Toure has been a liability.
“He is one of the best midfielders going forward but he switches off defensively.
“I thought Pellegrini might have gone with Fernando but it’s a case of City not changing anything [in Europe] again.”