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Shakira's advice for Pique

The Toe Poke
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Toure calls for tactics change

Yaya Toure insists Manchester City must become more flexible in their tactical approach if they are to replicate last season's title-winning success.

Toure, who helped City to their first league crown in 44 years, believes other clubs have figured out how to nullify their existing systems this campaign.

Ahead of the club's trip to Sunderland on Boxing Day, Toure stated his desire to see manager Roberto Mancini and the team adopt a new set of tactics to turn their dominance into goals.

"Whereas perhaps we caught a lot of teams by surprise last season, this year our opponents know how we play," Toure is quoted as saying in The Sun.

"Sometimes we have to change our system to try to break teams down. The other teams and players can analyse how we play, study our systems and styles and work out ways to stop us. Even sides who are near the bottom of the table are more than capable of making it difficult.

"A team that lost 4-0 against us last season will have learned and will change their tactics. They won't want to get beaten heavily again so they will pack men behind the ball and make it difficult for us to find a way through.

"But that's why I love football. There is always a challenge and always a puzzle to try to solve - and when you get past that it's very rewarding. You have to use your skill, intelligence and strength to improve and try to overcome each obstacle. In contrast, when a game is too easy, I get very bored."

Toure and his City team-mates remain four points adrift of rivals Manchester United heading into the holiday period, and must face a trip to Norwich following their visit to Wearside.

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