Yaya Toure: 35 Appearances: Rating 9.5/10
The rating comes with a significant caveat. If he leaves, he'll never be cheered for again; at least, not by City fans.
It's nothing personal; it's business. And with the way Yaya is behaving, he's not someone I want to do business with. As things currently stand with what I am now prepared to call "L'Affaire de Yaya" he's currently flirting with PSG. The fans of PSG have to be as annoyed as we are what with every player angling for more money using us, PSG and at times Barca and Real Madrid as places a player would be "honored" to play.
No player is bigger than the club. No player is irreplaceable. Yaya Toure is literally the last person I expected to pull the crap he's currently pulling but in retrospect, I'm not sure why I'm so surprised. Last season, he and his agent pulled a much less publicized "nobody appreciates me" card and he got a new contract. I can only assume his current motives are money related; his agent Dmitry Seluk, who seems to have all the impulse control of a paranoid schizophrenic, says this whole hullabaloo is not about the money. That means it's all about the money. And it better be because if Yaya is throwing this hissy fit because of a birthday wish or because he hasn't been offered a Zidane-like position at the Etihad (the current Toure/Seluk narrative), then he better be prepared to never be cheered the same way he was this season ever again.
And what a season it was. When it counted most, there wasn't anyone better. Not just in a City uniform; Yaya Toure was the best player in the league. I've written he's the best midfielder in England. I've written that's been true for some time now. I've written that anyone who thinks Steven Gerrard or Eden Hazard were better must be imbibing a substance that I'm not familiar with. What I haven't written yet is what I planned on writing after the boss told me I'd be rating Yaya for this series.
I planned on writing that Yaya Toure is the best player ever to wear the City shirt. And that still might be true.
But best players don't whine about disrespect in public unless there is a valid reason to do so. Best players don't play coy after a week of said whining and state, "I'll talk to you after the World Cup." Best players don't openly flirt with other clubs one year after signing an extension for 220k a week. And best players certainly don't hire spokespeople with the attention spans of hummingbirds.
He's my favorite player of all time. I've never seen a player carry himself better both on and off the pitch... until now. Now, it's hard to imagine a player handling a situation worse than this year's player of the year in a City uniform, Yaya Toure.