As Manchester City amble from the off James Calderbank urges the blues to release their most potent weapon.
“Yaya, you lazy ****”
That is an oft used phrase in the seats near me at the Etihad as Yaya ambles back towards our goal after a marauding run into the opposition’s box. Unfortunately it isn’t something that has been heard this season and in my view is a large part of why we have seen disappointing performances in the last three games against Cardiff, Hull and Stoke.
Playing in an ultra defensive midfield role and being the team pivot from deep, Yaya is central to everything that we are currently doing. However you can’t help but feel that he is being wasted in that position.
Given that remit, gone have the days where Yaya is given licence to play higher up the pitch and make telling contributions. No longer is he the player that contributed 4 of the most important goals in our clubs recent history (Utd FA Cup Semi, Stoke FA Cup Final and the 2 at Newcastle), instead he is doing what Gareth Barry and Nigel De Jong did and currently no more effectively.
Two fantastic goals from free kicks have shielded what has been a difficult start for Yaya in open play. It’s not a position he is unfamiliar with, he played it regularly under Mancini, so in theory he should be comfortable. However at the minute he seems shackled and the famous Plan B of moving Yaya forward for when things aren’t working has disappeared. It seems that Pellegrini prefers to have others (Fernandinho and yesterday, Jack Rodwell) play further forward whilst Yaya sits.
For me that isn’t working. It’s too early to judge Fernandinho and his capabilities going forward (although some have already labelled him sh*te), but even if its only for 10 or 15 minutes in games, mix it up and let Yaya go higher up the pitch. Let him frighten teams again by running at them with the ball at his feet rather than asking him to dink balls into the box from 40 yards out which to be frank doesn’t frighten anyone.
We have plenty of players who are capable of sitting in midfield, Fernandinho, Rodwell, Javi Garcia and even James Milner. Give them the role and let Yaya do what he does best.
Come on Manuel, free Yaya, and give the lads behind me the opportunity to produce their favourite phrase, after all its why they turn up every week:
“Come on Yaya, get back, you lazy ****”