Yaya Touré has launched a broadside at Pep Guardiola, accusing him of “having problems with Africans wherever he goes”, claiming the Manchester City manager’s coaching reputation is “a myth” and that he did “everything to spoil” the Ivory Coast midfielder’s last season at the club.
In an interview with France Football magazine, Touré – who left City in May after eight seasons at the club – attacked his former manager who was also his coach at Barcelona.
“He [Guardiola] insists he has no problems with black players, because he is too intelligent to be caught out,” Touré said in an interview with France Football to be published on Tuesday. “But when you realise that he has problems with Africans, wherever he goes, I ask myself questions. He will never admit it. But the day he will line up a team in which we find five Africans, not naturalised, I promise I will send him a cake.”
He also said “Pep likes to dominate and wants to have obedient players who lick his hands,” said Touré. “I do not like this kind of relationship. I respect my coach but I am not his thing. Like all players I have bickered with my coaches. But at a certain point men who do not understand each other reconcile. This is not possible with Pep, who is very rigid. The other players will never admit it publicly but some have already told me that they ended up hating him. Because he manipulates and plays a lot with your head.”
Touré added: “I think I was dealing with someone who just wanted revenge on me. I do not know why but I have the impression that he was jealous of me, that he took me for a rival. There you have it. We always looked at each other weirdly. He was spinning around me without saying anything, watching me, gauging me but not talking to me. Yet he knows that I speak Catalan, Spanish and English. It should be enough to communicate. But apparently no. Every time we passed each other, he seemed embarrassed. As if I made him a little self-conscious. As if, also, he had understood that I knew him perfectly.”
The player also stated that he considered posting his training statistics from the club’s physical trainers on social media in a bid to vent his frustration before deciding against it because he did not want to “hurt the team”.
Touré said: “As someone proud, he wants to succeed with his players, those he has chosen and not those who have been chosen by others. This is his project. And woe to him who does not belong to it. Actually I want to be the one who breaks the Guardiola myth a bit. Barcelona, he did not invent it. He just had the intelligence to adapt what Cruyff had set up. Then, at Bayern and City, he tried to reproduce the same patterns but with this requirement: working with ‘his’ players and with almost unlimited means. It would not work at Crystal Palace or Watford.
“For me Zidane is bigger because he has fewer requirements and shows great respect for all his players. Pep, he wants to be considered a genius. He loves it. But there is a lot of comedy behind all this, it’s a bit of anything. He creates a character. When I see him scratching his head in full match to show that he thinks thoroughly, it makes me laugh. It’s comedy.”