Yaya Toure has a pen in his hand and is carrying the white coaching equipment of Tottenham Hotspur. It was a ball at his toes and the sky-blue jersey of Manchester Metropolis. That is Yaya 2.0.
He’s sitting behind the desk of his London dwelling and dealing on the subsequent day’s session for Tottenham’s Below 16s. He likes that pen, sustaining his grip all through our dialog. In some ways, it symbolises the subsequent chapter.
His taking part in pages drew to an in depth with some unsettled scores. Pep Guardiola amongst them. Final 12 months, Toure advised Sportsmail he had written to his former Metropolis boss in an effort to finish their feud. The Ivorian had given an interview wherein he claimed Guardiola didn’t like African gamers. He regrets that and claims he was misquoted.
Nonetheless, there was no reply from Guardiola. Possibly it will likely be that they subsequent meet on a touchline, ought to Toure’s script lead him to the stage he so wishes.
Yaya Toure is reinventing himself in his new enterprise as a coach with Tottenham’s Below-16s
‘I might be more than pleased to speak with him,’ he says. ‘I am on a special pathway now. I can be somebody who tries to grasp my gamers, completely different cultures and footballers, bringing them collectively to make a group. I’ll change into a supervisor in the future.’
However, for now, it’s child steps in north London. For a person who made big strides as a participant – actually and metaphorically – there’s an acceptance that that is the way it have to be.
He rejected the advances of managerless Wigan Athletic final month to stay at Spurs, and, satirically, the place was later stuffed by his brother, Kolo.
‘You is usually a large participant and never be a giant coach,’ says Toure, 39. ‘Earlier than, as a participant, I used to be so egocentric. I solely taken care of myself.
‘Now, I’ve to grasp youngsters. At their age, life just isn’t so sure. It’s important to help them, discuss to them loads.
Toure starred at Metropolis however his testy relationship with Pep Guardiola (proper) stays unresolved
‘Once I was an adolescent, taking part in in Belgium, I made errors. With meals, behaviour. I used to be out driving automobiles. If you do not have somebody who understands you, it is robust.
‘I wish to be that one that is there for them. However I additionally wish to push them to grasp their goals. I say to them, “Do you see Xavi and Iniesta? I performed with them, I can discuss to you about what they did in a different way. Come on, let’s watch some movies”. There may be not a barrier between me and them, they’ll at all times come to me.’
Toure the coach can be measured on a matchday. Draw your personal conclusions as to which of his outdated Metropolis bosses he may be referring to, as he says: ‘One factor I by no means preferred was a supervisor shouting at me throughout a sport. It may be complicated.
‘I do not wish to shout from the touchline like a loopy outdated clown. It is best to be sure to have ready correctly and given the appropriate instruction earlier than the sport.’
And that’s the reason Toure’s pen not often leaves his grasp.
How, on the again of three Premier League titles and an era-changing contribution at Metropolis, can Toure’s affiliation together with his outdated membership really feel strained?
The deterioration of his relationship with Guardiola and varied public utterances, some by these near him, are the first trigger. However the notion of Toure arising from that’s, he believes, unjust.
‘Some individuals have a view of you that isn’t at all times honest,’ he says. ‘However I am over it now. As a Muslim, a believer, you perceive that issues can not go your manner on a regular basis. It’s important to cope with it and transfer on.’
Toure gained three Premier League titles with Man Metropolis however his relationship there feels strained
However, certainly, it should jar that former team-mates Vincent Kompany, David Silva and Sergio Aguero have statues on the Eithad Stadium, and he doesn’t? Toure laughs, however not in denial of the suggestion.
‘It is all the way down to the membership and followers,’ he provides. ‘My dream after I got here to Metropolis was to make a huge impact. Should you bear in mind, journalists had been questioning why I used to be coming. Folks requested, “Is it solely cash?”. I knew what I needed to attain. At each membership, I’ve left a legacy. If some individuals wish to reward me for what I did for them, it’s effective. If they do not, that’s as much as them.’
Toure concedes that Guardiola’s group of as we speak is ‘much better’ than the one which gained Metropolis’s first Premier League title in 2012, though he welcomes, albeit with a smile, a latest column by Sportsmail’s Micah Richards saying Kevin De Bruyne just isn’t but nearly as good as he was. It leads us to an anecdote he delivers with nice heat.
‘Do you know I missed Sergio Aguero’s objective?’ begins Toure. I didn’t.
It was 10 years in the past that Metropolis needed to beat Queens Park Rangers at dwelling on the ultimate day of the season to win that maiden title. In stoppage time, Aguero made it 3-2. It’s soccer’s ‘JFK’ second — everybody remembers the place they had been. So, the place was Toure?
‘On the remedy desk within the dressing room!’ he booms. ‘We had been too relaxed that day. We thought QPR can be a chunk of cake. Within the first half, I stretched myself passing the ball to Pablo Zabaleta, who scored. I felt my hamstring ping. It was horrible.
He recounted to Sportsmail the story of how he missed Sergio Aguero’s title-winning objective
‘I spoke to Roberto Mancini at half-time. He thought we had been in management. He stated, “Don’t be concerned, we’ve the gamers to deal with it. You relaxation”.
‘QPR equalised and I may hear the followers shouting outdoors. I stated to the kitman, Chappy, “Look, that is too disturbing. Please, are you able to get a TV in entrance of me?”. We watched QPR rating once more, 2-1.
‘Now, I perceive what followers undergo. I felt that worry, and the way rapidly it could take maintain. I went by every part. I used to be going to the bathroom each two minutes!’
Edin Dzeko equalised within the 92nd minute earlier than Aguero’s title-winning intervention.
‘I forgot all about my hamstring and sprinted down the tunnel. I do not know the way, however I discovered myself on the pitch. The physician stated, “What are you doing right here?”. I used to be like, “I do not know!”. I’ll always remember that second.’
It’s now Toure’s mission, and that of his pen, to write down such moments within the second half of his profession.
Yaya Toure was talking in his capability as an envoy for the FIFA World Cup.