Another seven days have passed in the soap opera that is professional football, and so much has happened. From Yaya Toure’s need for some extra tender loving care to Neil Lennon’s resignation at the Hoops, here’s what the top footballing experts and columnists have made of all the drama.
Jamie Redknapp on Yaya Toure
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp believes that the Manchester City midfielder will remain at the Etihad next season, despite the Ivorian’s outburst about the lack of respect shown to him by the big spending club at his birthday celebrations. The 31-year-old, who currently has three years left to run on a four-year contract reported to earn him a sum of £45 million over its course, has been widely linked with a return to Barcelona, with PSG another touted destination.
However, Redknapp says he would be “amazed” if Toure is not a Man City player next season and that these situations tend to surface for an agent “angling for a new contract”. Toure’s Ukrainian agent, Dimitry Seluk, has said that his client would commit his long-term future to the current Premier League Champions if he was promised a coaching position or sporting director’s role when he retires from the game, similar to that of Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid. It will be interesting to see how this one pans out for the big man.
Charlie Nicholas on Neil Lennon
Former Arsenal and Celtic player Charlie Nicholas has questioned Neil Lennon’s ability to take over at a Premier League club following his departure from Celtic Park. Lennon’s resignation after four years at the helm of the Glasgow club is said to stem from his discontentment with the challenge offered by Scottish football and he is said to fancy working in a fresh environment, with England’s top flight league his widely tipped destination.
However, despite the Northern Irishman’s success with Celtic, Nicholas feels that a Premier League club may be a step too far in this stage of his development. Nicholas believes Lennon has “matured”, “calmed down” and applauds his “strong mentality” but suggests that he would struggle leading a club with a budget the size of your average Premier League team. The Sky Sports expert says a Championship club with top-flight aspirations may be a better fit for the former Celtic manager.
Paul Scholes on Wayne Rooney
Paul Scholes has stuck the boot in on former Manchester United and England teammate Wayne Rooney. Rooney has been long considered “England’s hope” at major competitions, but has continued to falter and disappoint on the big stage. Now, the man who left his ability to control the centre of the park do the talking for many years has spoken out against his fellow member of the Carrington brigade. Scholes suggested that the 28-year-old may be “worn out”, passed his peak and that he should conserve his energy in Brazil in order to be effective where it matters most – in front of goal. In his column for Paddy Power, Scholes also feels that it might be a straightforward choice between Rooney and Robin Van Persie under Louis Van Gaal at United, and that the Liverpool born striker could retire “come 31 or 32, given the amount of football he’s played”.
Dylan White, Pundit Arena.