Media Watch

Yaya Toure gets the plaudits after Hull win

Yaya Toure gets the plaudits after Hull win
Manchester City’s Boxing Day win over Hull has left the media purring – and so it’s no surprise our daily roundup of news contains a heavy dose of reaction from the KCOM Stadium.

Let’s start with Thierry Henry’s praise of Yaya Toure.

The former Arsenal and Barcelona forward, speaking in his capacity as a Sky Sports analyst, believes Toure looks fitter since his return to the starting lineup and says he can go on playing for years to come after his man of the match display at the KCOM Stadium.

Toure scored the opening goal from the penalty spot and looked a cut above in midfield as he orchestrated play with his passing and direct running.

"He is fitter," Henry said. "In all fairness, it looked like it was over for him at one point at Man City. It shows that when you work to get back on track, whether you are Yaya Toure or whoever, you can have the chance to play again.

"He is playing, he deserves it and he backed up his performance against Arsenal.

"We saw a vintage in a certain way. Maybe not with his usual runs that he used to make, but now, because Yaya is a clever player with a technical ability to play quickly, he can play football for a very long time. You have to be fit for that.

"One thing I liked about the game today was how many times he stopped a counter-attack. That means he was in the right place.”

Henry’s colleague, Jamie Redknapp, was even more effusive, adding: "His passing today was exceptional. He was the most influential player on the pitch.

"When they needed someone to grab the game by the scruff of the neck, he did.

"In football we have short memories because in that last year people were talking about how little he ran. He is one of the best midfield players we have ever seen in this league, up there with people like Patrick Vieira and Steven Gerrard.

"He is an immense footballer and it is so good to see him strutting his stuff again."

Couldn’t agree more, lads.

Meanwhile, ESPN’s John Brewin says Pep Guardiola showed flexibility in his approach to get the win at Hull. 

Brewin wrote“City's manager rotated his pack for his first taste of a hectic English Christmas schedule -- and with New Year's Eve at Liverpool in mind. Four changes were made, with John Stones' return to partner Nicolas Otamendi the headline as Guardiola continued with a defensive quartet; he last played a trio when being punished 4-2 at Leicester on Dec. 10.

“Stones would last just 17 minutes, leaving the field with what appeared to be a knee injury. Aleksandar Kolarov came on in Stones' stead and now looks likely to play at Anfield. With Vincent Kompany again on the long-term injured list, Guardiola is running short on centre-halves at a busy point of the season.

“Toure stayed deep in midfield on the express instructions of his manager, who angrily reminded the Ivorian in the early stages of his mission to screen the defence alongside Fernandinho, who had returned from the suspension he received for his sending-off against Chelsea on Dec. 3. For Toure, the bursts forward of yore were being rationed. He was often his team's deepest player when Bravo had the ball at his feet.

“It seems that Guardiola was safeguarding against the long-ball football that English opposition of all types (including Chelsea) have employed against his team, though that had the effect of slowing down the speed of attacks until Hull finally opened up.

“Though City's manager remains defiant that his philosophy cannot and will not change, there was visible caution on show at Hull, perhaps as a dry run for a trip to Liverpool that may dictate if they or Jurgen Klopp's team will be Chelsea's closest challengers.”

And, finally, Sky Sports have put together a handy guide to all the players City have been linked with a move for.

It involves some youngsters, such as Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon, and some world-class stars, like Antoine Griezmann.

For those of you who love transfer gossip, it's a must. Check it out here.

Okay, that’s your lot for today, Blues. Keep checking throughout the day for more reaction to the win over Hull.