Many observers wrote off the Blues’ senior players over the summer but the 32-year-old midfielder says their clutch of big dressing-room characters can lead the way to success
By Sam Lee
Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has praised the importance of his fellow senior squad members, insisting the club have “a lot of leaders”.
Manuel Pellegrini’s men slipped well behind Chelsea in the Premier League title race last season, leading to some observers writing off City’s core as too old during the second half of the campaign and throughout the summer.
But City have flown out of the traps this time around and are currently top of the table after 10 games, and Toure believes their clutch of long-serving players have proven their ability to manage a crisis.
Asked about the importance of himself, Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero to City’s success since the 2008 takeover, Toure replied: “It’s my sixth season here but it’s been about more than just us three.
“It’s about all of us; Silva, Joe Hart, [Aleksandar] Kolarov, [Pablo] Zabaleta. Those players have been massive for the club and we’ve been together for quite a while now.
“We know each other very well; we work in the same way. It’s very important.”
And the 32-year-old Ivory Coast midfielder says this summer’s new arrivals, namely Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling, have helped make life even easier.
“When things are going wrong we have a group who can act and for us it’s quite easy because we have a lot of leaders; Silva, Aguero, Samir [Nasri]… Kevin has come in and settled fantastically well, Raheem as well,” he explained.
“All these players know what they have to do and that helps to make our leadership easy. We are very happy.”
Toure has contributed to a forthcoming book on City boss Manuel Pellegrini, citing the Chilean’s man management as a key factor in his decision to stay at the Etihad Stadium in recent years.
And he once again lavished praise on the former Malaga coach, saying his approach suits the club perfectly.
“He’s done brilliantly well in his three seasons here,” he added. “The club and the fans are very satisfied with the way we play. The Champions League has been difficult but it’s a big target this season.
“We have progressed very well with him. He is a very clever manager who always backs his players. He comes and chats with you and is very open with you. Not just with me but with all the players.
“He gets the best out of the players. He knows how to get the best out of our young players too and he’s the kind of manager we have to have at this club. We are all grateful and happy to work for him.”