Is Yaya Toure better than Patrick Vieira? Former Arsenal defender thinks not

Manchester City's Yaya Toure has been in exceptional form this season, and his displays have led to comparisons to former Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira.

Yaya Toure scored his 20th Premier League goal of the season on Wednesday night as Manchester City took a giant step to regaining the English title. He is now tied for second in the top goalscorers list for the league with Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge.

20 goals is a remarkable achievement for a midfielder, who has often been played in a fairly deep role with Fernandinho. However the box-to-box midfielder never seems to tire and that was shown by his goal in the game last night. With the game all but over, Yaya found the energy to stride from his own half into Aston Villa's area before rifling the ball into the net. A run of 66 yards allowing defenders to get nowhere near him in the last minute has to be applauded.

His form this season has led to comparison's with former Arsenal skipper Patrick Vieira. The Frenchman never had the same amount of goals in him that Toure does, but their build and athleticism has led to the comparisons. Vieira was imposing in the centre of the park for a hugely successful Arsenal side, and like Toure, players found it extremely hard to win the ball off him.

In his regular question and answer session on The Daily Mail website, former Arsenal defender Martin Keown had his say on the matter.  Obviously having played alongside Vieria, Keown will know a great deal about his game and favours him over Yaya Toure.

"Nobody can be better than Patrick Vieira! Having played with him, I honestly feel Vieira does not get anywhere near the credit he deserves. The only reason he doesn’t is because he played in such a top team. There isn’t a statue of him outside the Emirates, but there should be."

However Toure is playing in a top team, and he is a standout player for City. The Ivory Coast international was unlucky to miss out on being named Player of the Year losing out to Luis Suarez. It can be argued that perhaps Toure has been more consistent over the course of the season, but it's always going to be hard going up against someone who has scored 30 goals in a season.

Keown goes on to say that Vieira had such a big influence on the Arsenal team, although Toure could have been part of that.

"It’s funny because I was at Arsenal when Yaya came on trial but he was not in the best condition and that was part of his downfall. If he had arrived super fit then the manager would have signed him. What a midfield two that would have been!"

Indeed Yaya was one that got away from Arsene Wenger, but it would have made a formidable partnership. Things could have been all so different for Arsenal.

"Yaya obviously scores a lot of goals and in that respect he is exceeding Patrick, but his influence on the team was so crucial for us. Everything had to go through him, we all just gave him the ball."

The debate will go on but Keown thinks that Vieira was a better all round player than Yaya Toure. It is hard to look past the goals though for the latter and right now he is leading City towards their second Premier League title in three years.



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