WF Quotes of the Week: Yaya Upset with City, Scholes Unimpressed with Rooney
Just because the European domestic season has come to an end, it doesn’t mean the news has stopped. There have been plenty of talking points and memorable incidents happening in the football world in the last week.
Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure attempted to hold the club to ransom in order to get a “job for life” with the Citizens. He claimed City didn’t give him a good birthday send-off, so he was preparing to leave after the World Cup.
Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o continued to lay into his manager, Jose Mourinho, this time calling him a “puppet.”
Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes was as blunt as ever when discussing former club teammate and England international Wayne Rooney ahead of this summer’s World Cup, hinting that the 28-year-old has already peaked.
So there's plenty to discuss. Let’s review the world football quotes of the week.
Yaya Toure Issued an Ultimatum to Man City for Disrespectful Birthday Treatment
The most bizarre story of the week is certainly Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure having threatened to leave the club after criticising City for not making enough effort for his birthday.
The Ivorian’s agent, Dmitry Seluk, made a statement, as per Mark Ogden of The Telegraph, citing that his client is considering an exit from the club, days after sealing the Premier League title.
Yaya is so upset, he is thinking of leaving. City have treated him with disrespect and have really hurt him. It is his birthday and nobody said anything or shook his hand, so he does not feel comfortable. They don’t know that money can’t buy relationships – no Sheikh can buy a relationship.
Following the words from his advisor, Toure then took to Twitter to allay the fears of his exit:
Thanks for all the birthday messages today. Card from City just arrived... Must have got lost in the post. Haha. Jokes aside. Please do not take words that do not come out of MY mouth seriously. Judge my commitment to @MCFC by my performances.
A message on Twitter and a separate video clip on YouTube (go to 3:00) from Man City were published showing Toure with a birthday cake on a team flight—with the cabin crew and fellow team-mates all serenading him with a birthday song.
But he, or somebody controlling his account, left a message roughly an hour after the first tweet that backed up the statement originally left by Seluk. The following tweet was later deleted, however.
Everything Dimitry said is true. He speaks for me. I will give an interview after world cup to explain.
The four-year deal Toure signed in 2013 means the club are under no pressure to sell. It was then later revealed, via BBC Sport, what Toure and Seluk were up to. An interview by the midfielder’s advisor suggested Toure wanted treatment similar to that of Real Madrid’s Zinedine Zidane, who went from a former player to a scout and now assistant manager.
Chelsea’s Samuel Eto’o Calls Manager Jose Mourinho a 'Puppet'
Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o has called his manager, Jose Mourinho, a "puppet" when speaking in a recent interview with cafonline.com (via The Guardian).
Mourinho previously criticised Eto’o, as reported by Matt Barlow and Matt Lawton of the Daily Mail, suggesting he could be older than what he’s making out. It was meant to be a private interview but his words were leaked, and Eto’o has been at the manager’s throat ever since.
Contrary to what a puppet says about my age, I am still physically fit. At 33, I feel real good. I have proven that I could do better than youths.
Paul Scholes Suggests Wayne Rooney May Have Peaked
Taken from his Paddy Power blog, ex-Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has suggested that former club teammate and England forward Wayne Rooney could have peaked.
The 28-year-old Rooney has had two poor showings in recent international tournaments with England, and Scholes believes the long-serving United player is under pressure to keep his place in the side, writing:
There’s a chance he’s worn out. Wayne’s peak may have been a lot younger than what we’d expect of footballers traditionally. He might be a player who’d retire come 31 or 32. If form doesn’t get up to scratch in the World Cup, it’ll be interesting to see if the England management team has the balls (to drop him).
Rooney Has 'No Excuses' Not to Perform in the World Cup
Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney has spoken out ahead of this summer’s World Cup, promising the supporters that he will give all that he’s got while making no excuses about his fitness and form.
The 28-year-old was keen to highlight how he’s in the best shape for the international tournament and is confident of finally impressing. He said, as reported on Sky Sports:
I feel good. I am settled. I have no issues whatsoever and I am ready for this tournament. I am going to give everything and leave everything on the pitch. I feel this is the really last big one that I feel will probably get the best out of me. I feel ready, fresh and as good as I can do to go into this tournament. As I've said before, I won't have any excuses this time if it doesn't come off.
With no goal having been scored in his last two World Cup campaigns for England, Rooney knows it’s now or never to prove that he can lead England to glory. He's been heavily criticised for his poor showings in major international tournaments but has enjoyed good form in the Premier League this season. He hopes that showing can aid him for the Three Lions.
Sam Allardyce Will Have West Ham Playing Entertaining Football
Despite defending his negative, direct style of football this season, West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has seemingly made a U-turn on his ethos and is prepared to have the club playing a more attractive style of football for 2014/15.
Per Neil McLeman of the Mirror, Allardyce was quoted as saying:
Entertainment value, contrary to what some people say and think, is high on my list and always has been because this is an entertainment business. It is also a results business, though, and we need to win matches. If we can win games the right way next season then that has to be our ultimate aim and number one priority.
His words come after a miserable league campaign for West Ham that saw them lose 20 league games in the season.
Helena Costa 'Not Afraid' of Managing a Men’s Football Team
Following her appointment as manager of French Ligue 2 side Clermont Foot, Helena Costa gave her first press conference, which was reported on BBC Sport:
I'm not afraid. If I didn't think I'm capable of this, I wouldn't be here. If I didn't think the players would accept me, and if I didn't believe in my work, I wouldn't be here. I know it's a big step, but we are in 2014. Look at me as a normal coach.
Costa, a former scout at Celtic, is the highest-ranking female manager in charge of a European men’s team. She has previously been the manager of the Iran and Qatar national teams (both women’s sides).
Laurent Blanc Admits He 'Loves' Chelsea's Eden Hazard
Paris Saint-Germain manager Laurent Blanc admitted his admiration for Chelsea winger Eden Hazard. According to Matthew Morlidge of the Daily Mail, Blanc hinted that he’s interested in procuring Hazard's signature as the Belgian international has the individual brilliance to win games:
Why do I love Eden Hazard? Because he is a player who eliminates. We can discuss all of the systems, or a player’s individual or collective qualities. But a player who can eliminate three or four players any time in a game is something else. We don’t know what to expect with these players. They destabilise the opponent.
Gareth Bale 'Dreamt of Winning European Cup' with Real Madrid
Following his Champions League triumph with Real Madrid, winger Gareth Bale admitted he had dreamt of being in this situation and how little he would have joined the club for if it meant winning trophies.
As reported on BBC Sport, Bale said:
It is what every footballer dreams of and it doesn't come bigger in club football. The celebration of the crowd meant everything to me, but the most important thing is we worked hard as a team and won the trophy and the 10th title for the club. I would have come here for a penny if it meant I could win the big titles.
It caps a dream debut season for the winger as Bale also scored the winning goal in the Copa del Rey final for Real Madrid, further vindicating his decision to leave Tottenham last summer.
Roy Keane Teases Steven Gerrard About England's World Cup Chances
While working as a football pundit for ITV for the Champions League final on Saturday, Roy Keane somewhat teased Liverpool and England midfielder Steven Gerrard about this summer’s World Cup, suggesting that the Three Lions "will struggle" in the tournament.
It would be good to see (Steven Gerrard) finish (his international career) on a high. But I do think they’ll struggle (in this summer’s World Cup).
Keane and Gerrard were both covering the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, and were speaking about England at halftime. The former Manchester United midfielder’s comments were met with laughs and smiles from the England captain himself.