Manchester City fell far and hard from the grace of their 2011-12 Premier League title with last season's indifferent title defense.
So abject was City at times that even a player of the stature (physical and figurative) of Yaya Toure was called into question.
It is difficult for any City fan to imagine Toure having aspersions cast about his character or his will to propel City on.
Yet there was Dave Kidd of The Mirror last March, hitting Toure with one of those hatchet jobs the British media is so known for.
Kidd indicted Toure thus:
Roberto Mancini has, to his credit, stated with honesty that many of his players have rested on their laurels this season. Toure is not the worst culprit but his performances have certainly dipped since the monstrous displays that inspired City last term.
Planting the last dagger in the last line, Kidd wrote about Toure that "perhaps City will be better off without him."
In the immortal words of Brandon Flowers, "I never."
Dave Kidd is not making personnel decisions for City, thank goodness. Because Toure is set to reclaim his rightful place at the top of the midfield mountain in the Premier League this season.