Blaming Yaya Toure for Manchester City’s struggles is lazy


Pundits such as Jamie Carragher are too quick to assign Yaya Toure blame every time Manchester City struggles

I wonder if pundits like Jamie Carragher ever get tired of blaming everything that goes wrong at Manchester City on Yaya Toure? Carragher blasted Toure as “selfish” after City’s 2-1 loss to Arsenal, but that’s just a lazy way explanation of City’s woes.

Fans and pundits are right to criticize Manuel Pellegrini’s team based on their performances this season, but Toure just isn’t the culprit. To hear most TV analysts describe it, Toure has been at fault for the majority of City’s dropped points on the season. That idea is just nonsense. Toure has been one of their most consistent, and best performers through 15 matches.

Statistically speaking, Toure has been Pellegrini’s best player. His player average of 7.4 is the highest on the team and he’s contributed a solid three goals and give assists on the campaign. The numbers certainly don’t back up the popular narrative that Toure’s inconsistent form is to blame for City’s struggles. The more fair question is how far down the table the Citizens might be if Toure wasn’t still performing at such a high level.

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I suppose it’s easier to criticize Toure than some of the team’s other stars because he’s on the pitch more frequently than many of his high-paid teammates. Only Fernandinho and Bacary Sagna have more starts than Toure on the season which means that many of the team’s other “star” players have missed substantial time.

Their other world-class talent like David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling have all missed siginificant time. Perhaps if they’d played the same amount of matches as the much-maligned Toure they’d share in the criticism.

Another reason Toure gets to much stick is because he has such an incredible amount of talent. We simply expect him to be dominant on the pitch every time he competes. He has a dominating physical frame and is capable of such immense skill that our imaginations can frequently carry us away by thinking of what he could be doing.

He’s shown us such magic throughout his career that anytime he doesn’t produce something fantastic on the pitch we consider it a below average game.

Pundits also get wound up about Toure’s performances because of the way he carries himself on the pitch. WHen he’s playing well, he makes things look remarkably easy and when things aren’t going according to plan, his body language can be very poor.

Highly paid pundits should be able to look past his facial expressions when evaluating his play though. To see his shoulders shrug and assume he isn’t playing well is just being lazy. Pundits should focus more on what he does on the pitch than how he looks when going about his work.

Pundits will continue to pin City’s misfortunes on Toure whenever they get the chance. It’s his lot in life as a superstar who makes the game look so simple. If you evaluate his play though, you’ll see that he’s been the squad’s best player and deserves our admiration, not criticism for what City’s been able to accomplish this year.