City’s Yaya Toure: ‘People are forgetting I am a midfielder. My job is not to score all the goals’

Yaya Toure hit back at his critics on Sunday after he helped orchestrate a Manchester City victory on Saturday, outlining why he hasn't yet matched last season's production.

Manchester City's Yaya Toure, left, vies with Aston Villa's Andreas Weimann for the ball during City's Premier League victory on Saturday in Birmingham. Ben Stansall / AFP / October 4, 2014
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Yaya Toure accused his detractors of forgetting he was a midfielder after scoring for Manchester City in the Premier League champions’ 2-0 victory at Aston Villa.

An inspirational figure in City’s run to the title last season, the 31-year-old Ivory Coast international has not hit the same heights so far this season.

After an unsettled pre-season where he made a bizarre complaint about how City marked his birthday and, on a far more serious note, lost a younger brother to cancer, Toure found himself under intense scrutiny as a queue of pundits lined up to suggest his influence was waning.

But after his 82nd-minute strike at Villa Park on Saturday set City up for a win sealed by Sergio Aguero, Toure said it was wrong to judge him against his exceptional return of 20 goals last season.

“Sometimes people are forgetting I am a midfielder,” he said. “My job is not to score all the goals. My job is to try to keep the team playing well, give the good pass.

“If I get the opportunity to score it is fantastic. Last year was quite open for me, I was in good positions, but I was quite lucky because I was getting free-kicks and some penalties as well,” the former Barcelona star added.

“Now the criticism is coming because I am not scoring but, for me, to not score is normal because I am a midfielder.

“The teams are playing well. The attention is on us. When they play against us, they all prepare, the people have learnt about you very well. When you play against them it is quite difficult.

“For me I am one of the guys who has experience. I have played for a big side in Europe and I know what criticism is. For me it doesn’t matter. If they want, they can continue.

“The most important thing, at the end of the day, if we have won the Premier League or won something, I think they will try to shut (up) a little bit.

“For me we are just in the beginning. We have to concentrate and be strong. The most important thing is for me to help the team. My job is to control the team, try to balance the team, shift the ball side to side. My job is not to score the goals.”

City head into the international break second in the table, five points behind leaders Chelsea, following an awkward few days after they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Roma in the Champions League.

“It was great, after a difficult week with the game against Roma,” said Toure.

“I think we played very well, with good concentration and experience as well. We know the Premier League is tough but we know how to manage those games. I am delighted for the team.”

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