For­ward thinker Toure wants strik­ers to pull their weight

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - Sport - By James Ducker in Santa Clara

Yaya Toure has warned Manch­ester City could strug­gle next sea­son if they are not more ruth­less in front of goal given how their ad­ven­tur­ous set up can leave them ex­posed de­fen­sively.

Pep Guardi­ola re­peat­edly be­moaned City’s waste­ful­ness in front of goal last sea­son and Toure be­lieves his side may run into dif­fi­cul­ties next term if that does not change with the man­ager com­mit­ted to play­ing firmly on the front foot.

“We are a team that cre­ates more chances than the rest, but our fin­ish­ing was not so strong last year,” the mid­fielder said af­ter Fri­day’s 2-0 de­feat by ri­vals Manch­ester United in Hous­ton. “Against United we showed that.

“We need to start the sea­son quickly. If we have the chances we have to score. We have to show that killer in­stinct and be more clin­i­cal. When the chances come we need to score.

“It’s the job of the man­ager to find the right team and right bal­ance as well be­cause we are very wide and open when we play. You saw this against United, two or three counter at­tacks and they scored two goals.

“We play proper, clas­sic foot­ball, but some­times if we don’t score then it is go­ing to be dif­fi­cult.”

Guardi­ola is about to take his spend­ing on three full backs to a stag­ger­ing £130 mil­lion as Danilo and Ben­jamin Mendy follow the sign­ing of Kyle Walker and has also com­mit­ted £35mil­lion to sign goal­keeper Eder­son Mo­raes, who en­dured a tor­rid de­but against United when his mis­take led to Romelu Lukaku scor­ing with a sub­lime fin­ish.

The City man­ager plans to add a cen­tre half, too, fol­low­ing the de­par­ture to Roma of Alek­san­dar Ko­larov, who would have pro­vided cover in cen­tral de­fence and at left back.

It means City will have vir­tu­ally a whole new de­fence next sea­son but Toure be­lieves the new sign­ings will have to set­tle quickly af­ter ad­mit­ting the mid­field can be “very open” and claim­ing op­po­nents have be­come bet­ter versed in Guardi­ola’s meth­ods.

“I don’t know what is go­ing to hap­pen but we have to show bet­ter qual­ity, try to fin­ish games be­cause some­times we have five, six chances to score goals and maybe we con­cede two, three goals be­cause we are very open,” Toure added. “The games can be very fast and other teams learn how we play, but ev­ery­body is ex­cited.”

Toure, 34, was the only one of six out of con­tract play­ers to be re­tained by City at the end of last sea­son, a dramatic turn­around from 12 months ear­lier when he was ex­iled by Guardi­ola and ap­peared to be on the way out.

But he fears City could em­bark on an­other over­haul of the squad next sum­mer if play­ers fall short of ex­pec­ta­tions next sea­son.

Asked if Guardi­ola has to win some­thing af­ter a tro­phy­less past cam­paign, Toure said “It’s the same for the play­ers as well, be­cause if we don’t then we will be re­moved very quickly. “City is now a club that has to win some­thing every year.

“I don’t want to say how many tro­phies we have to win, but it’s im­por­tant to say we have to win some­thing.

“I think in the last three or four years I al­ways dealt with the doubts about my fu­ture with this club. But I’ve proven that I want to win. In the last two years we’ve not been able to win too many tro­phies and it’s been quite dif­fi­cult.

“So I think this year we have to do some­thing be­cause we know most of the teams in the Pre­mier League have a lot of money and are very strong. “Peo­ple have been close to (writ­ing) me off. But I was not close to leav­ing. I was de­lighted to stay for one more year.” Asked if he now ex­pected to see out his ca­reer at City, Toure added: “That’s why I signed one more year. Let’s see what hap­pens.”

On the at­tack: Yaya Toure feels City can be ex­posed

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