Gael Clichy believes team-mate Gareth Barry deserves his fair share of plaudits for helping Manchester City to the top of the Premier League, and says it is because of the England internatinoals presence that Yaya Toure has been able to shine.
Barry has been forced to take a backseat as Toure was lauded as one of City’sbest players this season, while manager Roberto Mancini described the Ivorian as ‘irreplaceable’ when he went awy to represent his country at the Africa Cup of Nations.
However Clichy, a summer signing from Arsenal, believes Barry is the unsung hero of City’s rise to the top and says Toure would not be able to operate without the presence of the former Aston Villa man.
“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,” said Clichy.
“But without Gareth Barry, Yaya wouldn't be the same player.
"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’s irresistible attacking unit has drawn praise from all corners this season their defensive strength has been the cornerstone of their success so far.
Mancini’s side have conceded just six goals at home all season and have kept six clean sheets in their last seven game, and Clichy is keen to ensure that every facet of City’s side gets the recognition it deserves..
“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,” he commented.
"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."