Marca: Yaya driven by Chelsea pursuit
- 14 March 2014 07:22
- Posted by @markbooth_mcfc
On paper, the equation is simple.
12 games, 12 wins and a second league title in 46 years is all but assured.
For the doom-mongers, Saturday’s lunchtime encounter with in-form Hull City at the KC Stadium hardly looks like the most nectarous of dinner dates, especially so soon after the hunger-sating Champions League defeat to Barcelona.
Fortunately, City’s squad is packed with players with more voracious appetites, especially when there’s a score to settle and a question to answer.
Yaya Toure is one such glutton for silencing doubters and he’s ready to do just that, starting on Humberside tomorrow.
The Ivorian has grown weary of the so-called “Mourinho mind-games” and is happy for City’s football to do the talking for the rest of the season, according to quotes attributed to him in Spanish publication, Marca.
"We are going to focus and have some time to get our strength back – something we lacked in the [Barcelona] game,” Toure is quoted as saying.
“We are going to try to win this league, which won't be easy as Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool are also strong.
“Chelsea are nine points ahead. Yes we have three games in hand but we could lose all of them. Chelsea are favourites."
"Don't say we'd be failures, we've won something already. Now we want to win more.
“He [Mourinho] is a coach and he must give respect a little bit - he is always talking about everyone and I don’t think that’s the correct way.
“I think he talks more than before, perhaps because the English press likes it.”
Ex- United defender and now-Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville has been giving his thoughts on a rivalry closer to home in today’s Evening News, with the next Manchester derby under a fortnight away.
In sentiments which probably won’t go down too well on the other side of town, Neville admits that City are now better than Manchester United, though he stops short of saying the Blues will win the title.
“For about 20 years of my life they were irrelevant,” he said.
“Then they became a little bit annoying. Now they are actually better. It’s a bit of a worry.
“My uncle is a City fan. We all know City fans, we all know United fans."
"And I have to say, that generally it’s a huge positive to have two clubs of that stature for Manchester.
“You can’t really think about Manchester without thinking about football and the importance of it.”
But asked who would win this year’s title, he stated: “I said City certainly up to two months ago but if you asked me now I’d say Chelsea.”
Winter posits: “Milner actually gives Hodgson a chance to be more creative in selecting his 23 because of his versatility, team ethic and strong injury record.
“He will fill whatever role the manager demands, and has done well in central midfield or wide. He can slot in at right-back in an emergency.
“He will travel with a smile, never upsetting anyone, joining in, giving everything in training and supporting other squad members even if not in the starting XI.
“He will not say anything controversial to bring a storm to the dressing-room door."
...Henry Winter on James Milner...
“He’s James Milner, not boring, just dependable and Hodgson needs those who won’t let him down.”
I’ll drink (sip my coffee) to that.