Pep Guardiola has finally delivered the answers as to why the once mighty Yaya Toure is not in his squad. A supreme and dominant figure at the heart of Manchester City’s Premier League winning team just the season before last, his fall from grace hit a new low after the arrival of Guardiola. Now Pep has suggested that Yaya was essentially removed due to the antics of his agent.
Describing Toure as, “A good, good guy,” Guardiola indicated that leaving him out of his Champions League squad was, “Not easy.” But seemingly, Yaya’s team going straight to the media (rather than addressing his concerns with the club over early-season absence from first team football) has only exacerbated the problems. Now will the forgotten figure be able to force his way back into calculations? Guardiola seems to suggest that an apology to the club and his teammates will give him every chance.
According to the manager, Toure, “will have the same chance to play all the games,” should he apologise to both club and teammates for the episode’s handling. However, what are the chances of the stubborn Yaya bending to Guardiola’s wishes? Currently collecting his significant wages whilst teammates dominate the early stages of the premier league, there seems little motivation for him to do so. Following a distinguished career at club and international level, it is hard to see him suddenly performing an about-face and saying, “Sorry Pep,” when the saga has already gone on for many weeks.
Yaya would surely be all too aware that while an apology may be welcomed by Guardiola and seem him back in training, that is most likely where it would end. It is hard to see him regaining a spot in the first team at all, and certainly not any time soon. At this point in his career, it appears working exceedingly hard to prove himself to a new manager with whom he has gotten off on the wrongest of feet, is not part of the remit. So why not just take the pay check and see out his time at City before heading off to China or the US for one giant payday.
It seems that with our without an apology, Toure’s time at City is all but up. And given how well the blue side of Manchester is travelling, that may not be the worst thing for either party. City needs motivated players in and around their group, Toure has seemingly been there and done that in his mind. Time for both parties to move on, if not in the January window then certainly come the end of the season.