Yaya Toure Slams English Media, Says He’s Not Happy in Shock L’Equipe Interview

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Manchester City’s talismanic midfielder Yaya Toure has lashed out at the English media, admitting he is “not happy” in a revealing interview.

Speaking to L’Equipe (h/t Mark Rodden of ESPN FC), the Ivory Coast international has lambasted the press, claiming the criticism which came his way during the 2014-15 season, when City toiled in the Premier League, Champions League and cup competitions, was harsh:

In the past few weeks, journalists have spoken of a fresh start for me. But what fresh start? I’ve come out of a season where City finished second in the Premier League, which is the most difficult [league] in the world.

I scored 12 goals even though I had to leave my club to join my national team who were taking part in the African Nations Cup.

I was away for almost two months and they reproach me for not having scored as many goals as the season before? The season before, as it happens, I scored 26 goals—20 in the Premier League—and nobody mentioned it. You can understand my disgust a little bit.

Toure was superb during the 2013-14 season, as he helped City reel in Liverpool late in the campaign to secure the Premier League title. His surges from midfield, killer passes and regular goals were vital to the team throughout that term, as Manuel Pellegrini’s side won both the league and the League Cup.

When compared to his own high standards, last term wasn’t Toure’s best. There were times when he looked laboured and, playing in a withdrawn midfield role, he was regularly found wanting in terms of his defensive contribution. Indeed, top teams would exploit City’s lack of energy in the middle of the park and, although they recovered to snaffle second place, it was a disappointing year.

Naturally, that led to criticism of the team and its star players, especially when Toure is reported to be one of the most well-paid players in world football. According to Forbes, the veteran midfielder will earn a staggering $20 million (£12.9 million) in 2015, but Toure feels using his salary to criticise him is also unfair:

Journalists talked about my salary, saying it was a disgrace. But I only came to the club to help it develop and to win titles. A lot of people—stupid, I have to say—made fun of me when I said that.

They asked what I, Yaya Toure, was going to change at City. And did you see what happened after that? We won nearly everything.

“Everyone thinks that I’m happy,” added Toure. “I’ve won titles, earned lots of money, but no, I’m not happy.”

That’s not to say he’s unhappy with City, where Toure is revered by the club’s supporters. Although plenty have doubted his qualities in the past, the Etihad Stadium faithful have been unanimous in their backing of the midfielder, knowing that although he can often appear ponderous, the 32-year-old can swing a game with a moment of genius.

As we can see via his Twitter feed, in terms of the Sky Blues, Toure seems just as keen as ever to inspire this team to great things: