Start Believing: Yaya's quest for perfection

The Ivorian’s notebook full of musings on the “mysteries of the game” features in the latest of our series chronicling the extraordinary power of belief

Unlike brother Kolo, who famously missed the start of the second half of Arsenal’s Champions League match against Roma in 2009 because he was waiting for William Gallas (who was still receiving treatment for a half time injury) to emerge from the dressing room so that he could be the last onto the pitch, Manchester City star Yaya Toure has adopted a more scientific – and intriguing approach to the game.

He carries a note book around with him in which he writes down ideas which he hopes “will crack the eternal mysteries of the game”. “Like physicists who try throughout their careers to crack a scientific code, I’m trying to break all the mysteries of football. I have complete faith that a deeper level of thinking will make me a better player,” Toure told France Football in 2013.

The Cote d’Ivoire international also added that within his note book, he critiques all his opponents, and makes notes on his own performance. It would be easy to mock Toure’s scholarly approach to football, but Toure insists that “deep thinking about my sport helps makes me a better player, and focuses my mind.”

He’s not the only foreign star in the Premier League to take a cerebral approach. Chelsea’s Samuel Eto’o goes through his own pre-match analysis of the opposition defence, noting precisely how players distribute the ball and which goalkeepers like to dribble, but Toure’s admission that he likes to study football, and his belief that the game “is a science,” is a refreshing change from the anti-intellectual dogma that has often blighted the English game. In time, Toure wants to utilise his findings as a coach.

Yaya Toure could be out out for two weeks, confirms Pellegrini

The club have revealed the midfielder’s injury is not as bad as first feared and also say that Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero are fit to face Sunderland

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has revealed that Yaya Toure could be out of action for two weeks.

The Ivory Coast international was substituted after just 19 minutes of Sunday’s 3-2 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield after picking up a muscle injury but the City boss says the problem is not as bad as first feared.

“Maybe it’s not as bad as we thought at the beginning but he needs at least ten days or two weeks to recover,” Pellegrini told reporters.

Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero have also been struggling with injury, but as has been revealed, the City skipper has returned to training, and Pellegrini confirmed both could face Sunderland on Wednesday.

“Vincent [Kompany] is fine – he on the squad list for tomorrow and so is Sergio [Aguero] – we’ll see tomorrow who starts,” he added.

Sunday’s defeat means the Chilean’s side are now seven points behind leaders Liverpool, but Pellegrini remains optimistic his side can still claim the title.

“[If] we win our two postponed games and we’re a point behind. If you don’t believe we can do it, you can’t believe in anything,” he said.

“It’s important we start with the same high performance we showed in the second half of the Liverpool game.”

Kompany trains as Manchester City await Yaya Toure scan results

The Belgian defender was back on the training pitch on Tuesday with his knee heavily strapped, while the club are set to discover if the Ivorian midfielder’s season is over

Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany returned to training on Tuesday, allaying fears that he could be absent for the entirety of their title run-in, Goal can reveal.

The defender, whose knee was heavily strapped for the session at the club’s Carrington training base, underwent scans following Sunday’s 3-2 defeat to Liverpool but the results have revealed no lasting damage.

The Belgium international suffered the injury in training on Saturday after clashing with Micah Richards although he was passed fit for the crucial meeting at Anfield despite initial fears that he would not recover in time.

Kompany endured a difficult afternoon on Merseyside, with the centre-back making a couple of uncharacteristic mistakes as City fell to defeat and drifted seven points behind Brendan Rodgers’s side at the top of the table.

The scan results will come as a positive for Manuel Pellegrini after losing ground in the title race, with City facing up to the prospect of needing to win all six of their remaining Premier League games to be in with a shot of being crowned champions.

The club are, however, still awaiting news on Yaya Toure’s injury after fears that his season could be over.

The Ivory Coast international was substituted after just 19 minutes of the defeat to Liverpool and, having undergone scans to assess his knee and groin on Monday, the results are set to be released later on Tuesday.

Yaya Toure limps out of Liverpool clash with knee injury

The Ivory Coast international lasted just 19 minutes at Anfield before being forced off after picking up a problem with Javi Garcia his replacement

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has limped out of his side’s clash with Liverpool at Anfield with a knee injury.

The Ivory Coast international lasted just 19 minutes of the crucial game at the top of the table before being forced off with the problem, with Javi Garcia coming on to replace him.

Manuel Pellegrini’s men had another injury concern prior to the game with captain Vincent Kompany a doubt after picking up a knock in training and only being cleared to play after coming through the warm-up unscathed.

Liverpool had earlier taken the lead in the game with Raheem Sterling scoring after just six minutes before Martin Skrtel added a second on 26 minutes.

The Reds went into the game four points ahead of Manchester City, with Pellegrini’s men having played two games less than their title rivals.

Liverpool trip will decide title, says Yaya Toure

The Ivorian believes there is more to Brendan Rodgers’ men than Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge and says a lack of European football has helped the Reds this season

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure believes Sunday’s clash with Liverpool will decide the destination of the Premier League title.

Liverpool sit four points clear of City at the summit with five matches left and on the verge of their first top-flight title in 24 years, although Manuel Pellegrini’s men have played two games less.

With those fixtures in hand, Toure knows that ending Liverpool’s 14-game unbeaten streak in the league will move City closer to a second Premier League crown.

“The game will be very important,” Toure told the Daily Mail.

“We know how difficult it will be [in the remaining games of the season] against teams fighting relegation but the important thing is going to Liverpool and trying to get a good result.

“After that we have to continue to perform because if we want to win the league we have to win all games.”

Liverpool have exceeded all expectations this season after finishing seventh last campaign.

Toure paid tribute to Liverpool’s resurgence, although he believes their absence from European football has proved beneficial.

“They have been amazing,” he added. “They have had the advantage of playing one game a week and so they have been fresh.

“With players of their calibre, it helps to train all week and prepare for one game. It’s going to be very, very tough until the end.”

Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge have led the way for Liverpool this season, scoring 49 league goals between them.

But Toure says that the league leaders are more than a two-man team.

“They score goals like a machine,” said the 30-year-old, who has netted 18 times himself throughout the campaign.

“Things are going to be tough for our defence and if we make a mistake, or we are not concentrating 100 per cent, we are going to pay.

Toure added: “Against Liverpool, everything is going to come from everywhere. [Steven] Gerrard can score penalties and free-kicks and Suarez is a danger man.”