There was a sighting of the lesser seen Yaya Toure yesterday at Selhurst Park.
The subject in question had been missing since the summer. However, his return to action for City was the key to the Citizens recording a vital 2-1 victory at Crystal Palace.
Toure had featured in just one of City’s games this season a meaningless 1-0 win over Steaua in the Champions League play-off round.
He was surprisingly named in the City line-up against Palace and repaid Pep Guardiola’s faith with a brace and a top performance.
Looked like he was finished at Manchester City
Since Pep Guardiola’s arrival Yaya Toure has struggled to get into the City squad. The fact that his agent Dimitri Selcuk has been very vocal and criticised Guardiola over his treatment of the midfielder has not helped.
Selcuk is obviously paid to talk up his client. However, it could be argued that Toure would be better off if his agent stopped coming out in the press so much and just shut up.
Toure seems like a decent guy. However, some of the statements made on his behalf have been simply ridiculous.
The midfielder has actually recently apologised to Guardiola for any misunderstandings earlier this month. Toure deserves credit for coming out and apologising. It seems his words, and more importantly his actions have been taken on board by Guardiola.
Guardiola has a certain way of doing things
Like any great football boss, Pep Guardiola has his little quirks and certain ways of doing things. The Catalan boss realised that Toure was not in great shape when he arrived at the club. For the good of the team and the player, he waited for the midfielder to get into a better physical condition to play him.
As Guardiola has now stated the 33-year-old is in a far better physical condition. Hey presto he was back in the team and scoring a brace. The City boss is not stupid and does certain things for a reason. He has not won a huge amount of titles by making poor decisions.
Guardiola played Toure when he felt it was best for the team. The veteran star showed a new desire that some would argue was maybe missing last season. Maybe it was a masterstroke from Guardiola or maybe the Catalan boss just got lucky, who knows.
One thing is for sure is that if Toure can get back to his best to close to his best, then even at 33-years-olds he can still be a major asset to City.
Guardiola was full of praise for Toure after the Palace win and told Sky Sports: “Of course for the two goals [he was good] but it [Toure’s performance] was more than that.
“Nobody has doubts about his quality. The last month and a half he’s trained and his physical condition has improved.
“His weight is now perfect. When he arrived he was not like this but now he’s like a young guy. Of course, we have a new player now to help us achieve our targets. I’m so happy for him and for his family.”
Toure can still contribute majorly to City’s campaign
Manchester City are favourites to win the Premier League title at odds of 11/4. Toure has played a big part in their two previous Premier League title victories. He can still have a major say in this season’s campaign.
At his age, it seems unlikely that the midfielder will play every week. However, he has always had the knack of scoring crucial goals for the Citizens and he has not lost that in his short exile from the City team and squad.
Manchester City have a strong squad. However, for a title-challenging team, there is no better asset than a player that has been there, done it and picked up the medals.
Yaya Toure falls into that category. He may have been away from the team for a while. But it seems he has come back stronger and more determined to do well for City.
Just when we thought Toure was out Guardiola pulls him back in. Getting Toure fit and more determined could prove to be a masterstroke from the City boss. It seems the Ivorian still has a bit to give City over the next few months. It will be interesting to see how he performs for the rest of the campaign.
Was Pep Guardiola right to exile Yaya Toure?