Belfast Telegraph

Clichy: Barry deserves credit

Manchester City defender Gael Clichy believes Yaya Toure could not be the dynamic force he is without Gareth Barry beside him.

Toure has given City's Barclays Premier League title charge a shot in the arm with two outstanding performances in victories over Blackburn and Bolton since returning from the African Nations Cup. City look a much tougher proposition with him back but Clichy also wants to highlight the role of a relatively unsung hero in Barry.

"Of course Yaya is impressive, but it's always the way in football that the players who score goals or make a difference in the final third are the ones we look at. But without Gareth Barry, Yaya wouldn't be the same player," said Clichy.

"You have to give credit where it's due. Yaya is a great player, and that is why he played for a team like Barcelona and won the Champions League and everything.

"But it's like Zinedine Zidane - at the time he was playing for Real Madrid he had Claude Makelele behind him.

"We have to know the qualities in our team and of course we are happy to have Yaya but we have to give credit to the whole team because we play good football and are defensively solid."

While City have excelled in attack throughout the campaign, the likes of Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Mario Balotelli, Edin Dzeko, Samir Nasri and Toure have most caught the eye.

England international Barry, 31, has also earned praise at times but not at the same level and Clichy does not want him, or any of the back line, forgotten when the season is reviewed.

The 26-year-old former Arsenal left-back said: "As long as you know that people within the team respect you for what you are doing, I am sure Gareth is fine with it.

"Maybe it's for the media to put these guys in the light, because sometimes without Gareth Barry, City are not the same team. You have to give credit to players like that, and goalkeepers and defenders - but that is the way football is today, unfortunately."

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