Yaya Toure's Attitude Key To His Future At Manchester City, Says Paul Walsh
Yaya Toure needs to increase his defensive effort and show some desire – or his time at Manchester City could be over, says Paul Walsh.
Toure came under fire – not for the first time this season – following City's 4-2 derby defeat to Manchester United on Sunday, the 31-year-old accused of underperforming in his defensive duties and showing a lack of desire.
Walsh says City boss Manuel Pellegrini is best placed to determine whether the pundits are right, and that Toure has lost his appetite.
“I think you can only gauge that if you're working with him, if you can see whether his desire and his hunger to still be a top player at a top club is still there,” he told Sky Sports News HQ's Morning View.
“If you're questioning his attitude at this moment and you're not sure, then you might have to consider moving him on.
“It seems that when they play the better teams… that he gets done a little bit defensively at times because he doesn't have that conscientiousness as a defender without the ball to want to make sure he gets back quickly enough and does that side of the job.
“You've either got to accept that he's not going to do it or play him in a slightly different area of the pitch where he's alleviated from that responsibility.
“You'd like to think a top player should be able to do that standing on his head – but you've got to want to do it.”
Walsh, who played for Manchester City from 1994 to 1995, still backs the reigning champions to nab a top-four finish and secure a place in next season's Champions League. But he says their struggles this season have come from “predictable football”, and believes Pellegrini may have to make changes to his line-up to avert a further slide down the table.
“Maybe that will freshen things up, get a spark from somewhere,” Walsh said.
“Somehow the manager has to find something, somewhere.”