Yaya Touré believes Jose Mourinho needs to be more attack-minded as Manchester United manager.
United saw just 30.8 per cent of the ball in Thursday’s dour goalless draw with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, the lowest possession statistic the club has recorded in a Premier League game since Opta began compiling such figures in 2003.
Touré believes City and United will have to raise their games next season but he suggested United had work to do to be less defensive.
“Yes, for sure,” the City midfielder said when asked if he expected the two Manchester clubs to mount a stronger challenge next season. “United are building something very interesting. We have to be aware of that but I think City are going to be much, much stronger as well. Next year we are going to expect more and I hope United are going to attack a little bit more.”
The draw kept City a point ahead of United in fourth and leaves them on course to finish above their bitter local rivals for the fifth time in the past six seasons.
United could finish the season with three trophies to City’s none if they win the Europa League after victories in the Community Shield and League Cup.
But despite Pep Guardiola’s first season at City falling well below expectations, Touré believes the club have usurped United as the city’s top dogs.
Asked if City were now Manchester’s No1 club, Touré said: “Yes, of course, all the time we finish above them in the season, it shows City are doing very well. We missed that last pass or goal. We need to improve our finishing to be honest. Credit to them. At the back they were very strong and my friend Eric Bailly was very good [for United].”
Touré also claimed he had tried to persuade Paul Pogba, who missed the derby through injury, to join City last summer. The France midfielder instead returned to United in a world record £89 million move from Juventus.
“He’s a good lad,” Touré said of Pogba. “He’s clever and I’m a bit disappointed because I spoke with him in the past and I wanted him to come to City but it didn’t happen.”
Meanwhile, City striker Sergio Agüero has admitted he has had a battle to win Guardiola’s trust and accepted that at some stage he will have to step aside for Gabriel Jesus, the young Brazilian who returned from a long injury lay-off against United.
“With Gabriel Jesus coming in – of course he’s a very good young player which is why he’s at City – I think he’s going to settle in very well here,” Agüero told Sky Sports. “It’ll be tough, but he’s already done well in the games that he has played in. I know there will come a time when I’ll have to step aside. Other young strikers like Gabriel Jesus will be brought in.
“When you reach a certain age, the youngsters start putting pressure on you and you have to be even better.
“I’ve always adapted to whatever the manager has decided. When I was on the bench, it wasn’t a problem. Pep spoke to me and told me he was going with Gabriel Jesus. I just had to keep training hard and trying to do well when I got the chance to restore the manager’s confidence in me.”