Yaya Signs for Manchester City



Okay. I guess someone has to write about this. And I guess that person is going to be me. And I guess I’m not going to burst into literary tears here. I hope not. I am stronger than this. Breath, dammit. It’ll be okay. We’re going to be okay. I can do this:

Yaya Toure has signed with Manchester City.

Oh god. What have we done?

Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Hysterics aside, this is probably a good financial deal. We’re talking something in the range of €32m, the largest sale in our club’s history. We’re talking a 350% increase in value on a player we paid €9m for in 2007. Yes, we’re talking about fewer options in defensive midfield and we’re talking fewer galaxy-sized stop gaps for the defense. But we’re also talking about less controversy, perhaps, and fewer questions about who should start. I’m not a Busi fanatic by any stretch of the imagination and so now starts the time when I have to come to terms with this, er, project we’ve got at DM. So it goes.

I’ll be reviewing more of this later, but for now I’ll leave you with my personal thought: this was a mistake. A mistake that will be made obvious this year at several different times. Call it what you wish–too much love for a player, short-sighted, whatever–but I sincerely believe this was a mistake. It’s not so much about Yaya, really, and more about who is left behind to man the fort. Guardiola obviously has confidence in his protégé and that should inspire confidence in me, so we’ll have to wait and see. I’ll not be watching any more Manchester City games than I otherwise would, though (very, very few), so worry not on that front.

By Isaiah

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater Philadelphia area.


  1. i guess pep’s charm didnt work sigh.

    interview with city

    that video really hurts.
    the pain is comparable when i sprained my ankle last night but in slow motion, over and over again for 10minutes(around the length of the interview)

    i think iniesta is a stud.
    i noticed how yaya was blushing when he was going off for iniesta in a match last season.
    and in the city interview, yaya’s face brightened up after the interviewer mentioned iniesta.

    this is for the lord of the ring fans.
    ive never watched it so i dont really get it besides the vuvuzelas.

  2. I really appreciate this.
    I’m gonna miss the YAYA.
    But I don’t really see this as a mistake, IMO it’s just part of football. That’s just the way it is.
    And I am a fan of him.
    So I think I’ll follow him in City. esp It’ll be interesting to watch city w/ all their new superstars..hmm 😀

  3. I believe that Guardiola made a mistake by preferring Sergio Busquets over Yaya. Yaya toure has the experience, skills, long range shots and can play in several positions. I hope Barca brings someone who can fill the gap left by Yaya.

  4. I lament the Yaya departure, but Busquets is really young and can relly mature to be an important player.
    Besides is not a Guardiola obsession, as he is playing for Spain, and dont think Del Bosque plays him because any favouritsm, but because he is doing well, in fact some comenters in spanish Tv have been really praising Busquets in various matches of this WC

  5. Farewell Yaya! and thanks for everything. will miss you.

    There won’t be another Yaya, so no point looking for a Yaya. We’l just have to work around it to cover the gap left behind. Not the end of the world. We won’t know its a mistake until the season is over. and anyway, if it is a mistake for letting him go, and might it also be a mistake for Yaya to leave us?

  6. btw zubizareta, our ex gk from the dream team, is officially our technical director.
    not sure how his track record is at bilbao. anyone?

    where is Luke, Euler, Kxevin and Isaiah these days.
    hardly hear anything from them.

  7. yeesh!

    Last season, we had to deal with the “if eto’o was here..” comments.

    I hope this season, we won’t be hearing the “if the YAYA was here..”.

    Yaya is a big loss, no doubt about that, but this is football.

  8. Re Cruyff stripped of honorary pres title, Rosell was within his rights, but does he have to do it right away? I feel sad.

    1. Oh God I hope not. Losing Yaya is bad enough without having to have more Chygrynskiy too.

  9. /http://www.fcbarcelona.cat/web/english/noticies/futbol/temporada10-11/07/02/n100702111847.html

    Seluk gets 6 mil?? no wonder he wanted to flog Yaya to Man City..

    Oh well, at least he’ll get more playing time, no trophies but definitely more playing time..

    Thank you for all the memories Yaya!

    PS: please delete the comment under moderation..

    1. Sheesh that’s pretty absurd. I didn’t realize his agent would not only get a large cut but that it would come directly from our total. So basically we sold him for €24m, not 30 or 32. That makes it a much worse deal.

    2. I wonder how normal this is. Every time the news quotes some transfer fee, how much of it is actually going to the agent? I would not be surprised to hear that a cut like this is common for the agent.

  10. Also, I saw a pretty good documentary on Pep on Barca TV a while back, it encapsulated Pep’s wonderful run winning 6/6 trophies.. Consisting of interviews with Pep’s close friends, it had loads of information about Pep as a person too – He’s the Godparent of Luis Figo’s child..

    Our new technical director Andoni Zubizarreta, featured prominently in it.. It seems he’s a close confidante of Pep.. That should bode well for the club I guess..

  11. Ahh… It’s going to extra time; the Ghana-Uruguay match.

    1-1 after a Muntari long range strike and a Forlan golazo from a fk.

    Ghana’s already gone to e-t once before (vs US) while this is the first time for Uruguay. Advantage Ghana in this area me thinks.

  12. Thanks for all the memories, Yaya. We wanted you to stay, bur like Pep said recently, we can’t keep someone who wants to leave.

    Yaya gets to play with his brother; we get a pile of cash (the most we’ve gotten ever apparently) and will just find/develop another Yaya and the club rolls on.

  13. Steven Appaiyah reminds me of Kevin Garnett. I wonder if they’re distant relatives.

    HOLY FH*#)_@J! Gyan could have scored 114 min. in!

  14. he had to do it, it was a smart football move..PERIOD,. Kari i am guessing you dont think Silva would have thrown his hands up like that….right???

    1. She meant that Ghanaian fans will never forgive Suarez..

      And Mensah’s shot is saved!

  15. Cruelest of cruel ways to leave a competition. Crazy, crazy match. I don’t know what to say to Ghana fans. My condolences.

    Most intense game of the World Cup so far.

  16. Mensah took possibly the worse penalty ever.Abreu on the other hand :drool:

  17. There are no words for that. Absolutely none. Suarez made 3 saves in the final 2 minutes. Blargh, wow. My mind is so all over the place, I need a drink, or some drugs. Fuck.

  18. I’m at work and only got see parts of it! BOOOOOOOOOOOOs. I did see the penalty shoot out and the replays of Suarez taking one for the team, so to speak.

    Feel terrible for Ghana, to have it so close! You had a good run dudes! I’ll miss your celebratory dancing!

  19. Don’t know what to do with myself right now.

    When Gyan missed his penalty in extra time, I knew we would lose. And why in the world would you let Mensah take a penalty? Then Adiyah goes and does the same exact penalty? I would cry, but I’m too tired.

    Congrats Uruguay.

    Fuck man. My sister over here crying and she never even watches football. I don’t know how I’m going to sleep tonight.

    1. These kind of defeats are always hard to take.. Have to feel for Ghanaian fans around the world..

      Take heart from the fact that you were the torch-bearers of Africa and the rest of the world (i.e. excluding Europe and South America)..

      Well done! You guys did us proud!!

    2. I know its a cliché and all, and he did miss in the FA cup final, but if theres a german in the team, why didnt he take one?KPB was normally a good penalty taker for his clubs and in the german youth teams,Better luck in 2014, i saw a lot of interesting young players and in 4 years they should have an even better chance with the experience from this year.

    3. Jnice, at least your team was fun to watch while it lasted. Really thought Ghana would pull out the win, Uruguay looked really tired there at the end. 🙁

  20. After watching the replays, I think Suarez could’ve headed that ball out.. But that wouldn’t be any fun, would it?

  21. Tough loss for Ghana, seriously. Suarez did the one thing any man would have done, paid the price for it, and reaped the rewards later on. Crazy move, can’t believe it paid off like that.

    Best game thus far.

  22. I don’t understand why we couldn’t have held out for more than 24m. If seluk such a friend to yaya he is the one who should take the sacrifce. Furthermore man city is the one club that afford to pay over Market prices and is desperate. We are not goingto find a player of equivalent quality for less than 24m. This seems like bad like a downgrade in everyway. I wish someone would tell me the hidden benefits of this deal I’m not seeing

    1. We bought Yaya for €8million so who knows… we could get someone cheap that will progress at the same rate as the Yaya did.

  23. will he ever regret it? 🙁

    I’m gonna start to wath city games now with yaya silva… and tevez

  24. Suarez: “The hand of God now belongs to me. I made the best save of the tournament. Sometimes in training, I play as a GK.”

    I find this annoying, but what can you do? He’s right, no?

    1. Had he not done it Uruguay would be preparing for a long flight home not a semi-final against Holland.
      He has been outstanding this world cup anyway. A great poacher who has extremely good work-rate… not a common set of attributes.

    2. first i’m hearing about ghana’s loss. my condolences. i almost missed the brazil v der netherlands game but didn’t get to go to my favorite little south african pub as i had a little too much fun @a free devo concert. =^p lots of ghana fans @the pub. i’m sure they’ll be pissed.

      bye bye yaya. we had a good run.

    3. Hand of God eh? Except he got caught and misses the game against the country of his club. Although Uruguay would have missed Forlan much, much more.

      Sigh. To be honest, I can’t seem to bring myself to hate him. I think he did what anyone would have done. But that doesn’t make it hurt any less, does it? 🙁

      Well, when the pain passes and you look back on the tournament years from now, I think you can be proud of Ghana. They did the continent proud and were pretty damn fun to watch to boot.

  25. Oh man, I hate to see very good players leave. Isaiah, I thought I’d start watching many AC Milan games because Ronaldinho went there, and Inter because of Eto’o, but those games are hard to watch and rarely generate any kind of enthusiasm from me. For that reason, I probably wont be watching any Man city games because of yaya, besides highlights when he does something incredible.

    I watch Barcelona religiously because of the play of Messi, Iniesta and Xavi. But everytime I watch, I appreciate the guys who fill up certain roles beautifully, like Puyol, Pique, Abidal, Eto’o, Yaya and Valdez, so when any of these guys have to leave, it feels sad. I wish him well.

  26. I am not a fan of this transfer, since, like many, I believe that the Yaya was vital to many of our key games.

    That said, it’s a done deal. What I have heard is our plans for getting a new defensive midfielder. We can not rely on Busquets alone. The seasons are too long and too rife with injury risks. So who do we get to back up Busquets? Due we have a candidate among the up and coming youngsters?

    What I don’t want to see is the money we just made go straight into some already famous defensive midfielder who will have the same playing time complaints as the Yaya. And yes, I am specifically thinking of all of the Mascherano rumors.

  27. What a cruel joke against Ghana. To be a few seconds away from being the greatest african team ever, and Asamoah Gyan a few seconds away from being an instant african legend, then to have it end the way it did, is just cruel. Luis Suarez went from goat to hero in that same timespan. To sacrifice yourself like that, to make sure your team has a chance to go through, is crazy good.

  28. First of all sympathies for Ghana-but they were terrific to get this far.Imagine Essien and a fully fit Appiah.

    Next Yaya, I did my ranting and raving a month ago so I’ll leave at that, v.disappointed hes gone but the club got a good fee for once.
    Definitely need a new athletic dm. Lets not go overboard on the tiki-taka style players-sign a hardman.

    Next, I feel sorry for Dunga-there I said it. Don’t understand this criticism of his style, I’m sure if everyone played like Barca then our beloved club wouldn’t be so unique. Furthermore he was a defensive mf in his own time perhaps this has influenced him.
    Also feel its a bit hypocritical of people at this time to praise Holland and say Brazil have abandoned attacking football. This Holland team have also forgotten the ‘total football’ tradition they created. But thats not a criticism just an observation.
    Dunga perhaps looked at the last WC and saw a Brazil team that was far better individually but didn’t have cohesion.
    He dropped R10(my fav footballer)but I don’t blame him-couldn’t depend on him these days. Perhaps its a case that Brazil do not have a world class striker-imagine
    Plus he got a Kaka devoid of confidence.

    Random thought,-separated at birth in terms of playing style-Van Bommel,Poulsen and Marchena(kick and dive).

  29. I thought the Brazil-Holland match was a spectacular disaster. Both teams looked awful to me, with Holland being marginally less awful.

    And, I will miss the Yaya very, very much.

    1. World Cup 2010: Uruguay v Ghana – as it happened

      Unbelievable penalty drama sees Ghana miss one to win it, and then lose the shoot-out to cheaty, continent-crushing Uruguay

      But, at the same time, grudging respect to the cheating little sods. It takes a real streak of evil to win like this.

      From the Guardian website’s min-by-min of the game. I kid you not. Neutrality just went to hell eh?


    2. Err, didn’t mean to reply to your comment. Awkwaaard. Though I do agree with your opinion on the Brazil-Holland match. I felt that it was more Brazil imploded spectacularly than Holland staging a miraculous comeback, though I can’t discount their spirit.

      Huntalaar not going for goal in the dying seconds of the game made me want to puke. W.T.F?

    3. Yeah, I just felt the level of play was really low all around. Kind of fascinating to watch for a neutral, but sorta disturbing in a way! I saw that Guardian blog. The guy hit it with that comment, I think.

    4. P.S. no offense to Holland fans–there are many incredible players on the team and it was a historic win…anyone who goes 1-0 down to Brazil and comes back to win deserves a lot of credit.

  30. Chale Jnice that was a gut-wrenching loss, dude. Surprisingly I thought I would want Ghana to win, but two factors made me root for Urugay. First of all I didn’t want Holland to play Ghana cause I do not want it to be us to crush the African dream THIS year. And second cause I just couldn’t root against Suarez, a player we know well in the Dutch competition and an all around nice guy to be honest. Amazing, amazing finish I have never seen anything like it and Man U. 1999 are the only last minutes of a game that I can think of that were more dramatical. Feel really bad for Gyan. The Africans in the bar were already playing the blame game, but I hope Ghana realises how much heart this guy had to step up and take (and make) their first penalty of the shoot out. As for Suarez he will rightfully be regarded as a hero in Uruguay.

    About Holland, what can I say? We (my countrymen) all know that we play ugly and in case you are wondering, yes, we do feel slightly embarassed about it. Had we lost against Brazil we probably and rightfully would have roasted Bert Van Marwijk (coach) alive.

    Two points though:
    1. We always (try to) play attractive, attacking football. This has gotten us lots of love and sympathy around the world, but has never gotten us a World Cup. We want, WANT, WAAAANT a World Cup. After so many times of getting close and dying in beauty more than anything we would for once actually want to win it. If playing safe and ugly gets us there then we will happily for ever after play attractive football again, win or lose be damned.
    2. Our defense is sooooo weak that if we would actually play attractive football there is no way we would win it. Today Gio and Ooijer had a combined age of 71 years. Not good for a high pressing, attacking strategy.

    Anyway we were kind of lucky today although I like to think that in the end we deserved. I hope we will have more luck over the next two (?) games.

    PS – is it true that Rosell removed Cruijff’s honorary president title? Great way to treat a club icon. Starting out with class, I see.

  31. Very sad and you could say heartbroken to see the best number 24 in Barca history leave especially in this manner.

    I’ll never forget you battling hard against Manchester United in the semi final despite a slip disk in your back you was a warrior.

    I’ll cherish the memories of the 08/09 team who in my opinion was the best club side to ever step on a football pitch and you played a VITAL role in us winning everything.

    We played with 1 DM and 5 attackers no 1 in club football does that in this era… You protected that back 4 admirably and making sure Iniesta and Xavi can work their magic without being interrupted.

    As Guardiola noted himself we wouldn’t won 7 trophies with out you.

    I’m bitter at Pep for coming in so late with the compliments he would praise the likes of Keita and Busquets but never Toure now he has gone what good is it.

    All this could have been avoided as a foreigner his commitment should never ever be questioned.
    the man learned Catalan played out of position so many times in crucial games and always looked world class consider this he was apparently the lowest paid player in the tremendous 08/09 season…

    His intention was always obvious but it is a bitter pill to swallow when you are on warming the bench duties at your peak for the likes of Keita and Busi.

    Never once did the man complain only after the season was over through his agent and who wouldn’t?

    God bless you Yaya Toure and much success to you.
    In this team that played such beautiful elegant football you was never out of place.

    But like all good things they eventually come to an end.

    1. nice post!
      but i think you made a mistake.
      seluk complained during the season as well and last season as well.

  32. Off Topic, but whoa! Thuram wants Evra permanently banned from the French National team!


  33. “We’re going to be okay”- Isaiah

    A bold faced lie if I ever read one…

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