Belfast Telegraph

I was never off form, insists Man City's Yaya Toure

By Sam Wallace

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure said that his form never went away despite a relatively low-key season last time around.

While City surrendered the Premier League title to Chelsea their Ivorian star was beset with a series of off-field problems throughout the season.

Toure scored in City's 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion on Monday night and he also had a major role in the first goal as he turned in an impressive performance that augured well for the season ahead.

The death of his brother Ibrahim last year, as well as the furore over his relationship with the club and infamous birthday cake saga the previous May cast a shadow over the performances of one of the most influential players in the Premier League.

Toure said: "I think last season people are talking all the time about my performances. For me, I'm quite surprised.

"Last season was not the best season for us, but second in the table I think is not bad at all.

"There's been a lot of criticism of me, but it's not been a bad season. Twelve goals and I won the Copa (African Cup of Nations) for my country, it's not bad at all.

"I know what I want, I know what I have to do, I don't care what people are saying about me."

Asked whether he was back in form, Toure said: "I'm not 'back', I'm always there. People have to understand football is not talking about one player, it's about the team.

"The team did a massive job against West Brom and we played very well against a difficult side.

"West Brom have a good manager, good players and experience in the Premier League and the team played brilliantly. Full credit to the team."

He added: "Sometimes people have to understand that we are human beings.

"Things can go wrong when you're fully focused in your job, when you love your job and want to win all the time. My job is to make people happy and myself happy as well."

Toure said that he would try to claim the first goal that went in via David Silva and Craig Dawson.

His goalscoring dropped by half last season and his lacklustre performances, especially, in the Champions League drew criticism from pundits.

Nevertheless, Manuel Pellegrini said after the game that he had full faith in the player who has one year left on his contract after this season.

Belfast Telegraph


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