The Toure Role?


Every so often a player comes along who redefines English football to the extent a position is named in his honour and Yaya Toure is threatening to join the list.

These individuals may not be the most skilled but their style revolutionises tactical thinking.

Teams up and down the land sought to emulate Chelsea’s remodelled midfield in a bid to recreate the solidity brought by a player focused solely on disciplined defending. It became known here as the ‘Claude Makelele role’.

The ‘Teddy Sheringham role’ helped Manchester United win a remarkable Treble in 1999.

And so it appears with Toure. The 29-year-old’s irrepressible combination of physicality, intelligence and skill led Manchester City to their maiden Premier League title success and forced their rivals to alter their approach.

Box-to-box midfielders are nothing new — Roy Keane, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Patrick Vieira were all fine exponents in the Premier League era. But, for the most part, all thrived in a 4-4-2 system with their midfield partner assigned a different role, usually to sit deeper (except in the case of Keane).

Knowing when to attack and when to defend is Toure’s greatest skill. His positional sense is masterful and it has enabled City to accommodate another attacking player yet retain Toure’s counter-attacking drive.

Arsenal hope Abou Diaby can put his injury record behind him to perform the same role…Tottenham are seemingly moulding Mousa Dembele to operate with the same brief. Chelsea boss Roberto di Matteo faces a dilemma as to whether Lampard has the legs (and the positional discipline) to perform the role alongside John Obi Mikel.

Manchester United have lacked this type of player, in truth, since Keane retired. Anderson once promised to satisfy the brief but with his talent questioned and mind wandering, United have relied on a combination of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher, none of whom can ably mirror Toure’s contribution.

Spain and Italy have their ‘false nine’ position. English football is currently trending on the ‘Toure role’.

Read the entire article by James Olley on how ” Toure can emulate Makelele and become a ‘role’ model for the game’s tacticians.”

Also read “World class “water carriers” – The importance of holding midfielders

and The Toure Role?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Having no central midfielder is holding United back | TOKNOWTHEGAME.COM - October 4, 2012

    […] an article on Yahya Toure – The Toure Role? Share this:EmailTwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like […]

  2. World class “water carriers” – The importance of holding midfielders | TOKNOWTHEGAME.COM - October 4, 2012

    […] class “water carriers” – The importance of holding midfielders “ Read an article on Yahya Toure – The Toure Role? Alternatively you can read Having no central midfielder is holding United back Share […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: