It’s fair to say the arrival of Pep Guardiola hasn’t been good news for everyone in the Manchester City squad.
Deadline day alone saw four players dispelled via loan deals with Joe Hart, Samir Nasri, Wilfried Bony and Eliaquim Mangala all biting the bullet. The ex-Barcelona boss isn’t wasting time when it comes to asserting his authority at the Etihad Stadium.
However, despite having avoided the chop during the summer, Yaya Toure has suffered the ignominy of missing out on City’s Champions League squad. The Ivorian hasn’t taken the news lightly though.
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Just weeks after Guardiola was announced as Manuel Pellegrini’s successor, many pundits feared for the future of Toure with the Sky Blues.
Despite the 33-year-old’s history with the Spaniard at Barcelona, his style of play isn’t complimentary to his new boss. Toure can often be seen walking around the pitch with minimal effort when City are without possession.
Considering Guardiola demands maximum effort from his players, the blasé wandering of Toure was bound to prove a discouraging factor.
Given the fact even Pellegrini reduced the Ivorian’s game time, it’s no surprise the man who benched Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Barcelona wouldn’t further this action. It’s proven an abrupt reality check for the midfielder.
The culmination of this game time purge has been Toure’s absence from City’s Champions League group stage squad. Despite all the summer outgoings, Guardiola has snubbed the once starting XI staple.
According to The Mirror, the 33-year-old’s agent is not best pleased with the decision. Dimitri Seluk stated: “It is Pep’s decision and we must respect that.
“If he wins the Champions League for City this season then I will travel to England and I will say on television that Pep Guardiola is the best manager in the world.
“But if City don’t win the Champions League then I hope that Pep has got the balls to say that he was wrong to humiliate a great player like Yaya.
“But what I can tell you is that Yaya will spend the season at City. He will not be leaving in January. He hopes that he will get the chance to prove himself.”
So while the Toure camp is suitably angry with the circumstances, they are determined to sway Guardiola’s opinion. For the Spanish manager’s sake it’s a minor victory as such a bold decision could have frayed tensions in the dressing room.
Regardless of whether Toure eventually changes his boss’ mind though, the current climate exemplifies his Premier League decline. Still an extremely talented player, but his influence at the Etihad is withering by the day.
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