Football can be an extremely fickle game at times, which is something Yaya Toure is learning at the moment.
Last season, the Ivorian midfielder was held as one of the greatest midfielders in the world, but a seemingly poor start has seen him being criticised.
A number of high-profile City teammates, including captain Vincent Kompany, have come to the aid of the former Barcelona man, but some critics still refuse to get off the midfielder's back.
‘He’s done so much for this club, he’s always played brilliantly,’ said Kompany recently. ‘He is always an important player – when he does well, the team does well.
‘We’ve had a tough start because we’ve played tough teams. You can’t deny that. He has set the standards very high for himself. But to say he is not at his best, then, I don’t agree. It’s so early in the season to call something like this. Things will improve for everyone.’
In contrast, Chelsea midfield star Nemanja Matic has been lauded for building upon his impressive start at Stamford Bridge this season and has even earned comparisons to Toure for his brilliant performances.
We take a look at the numbers each player has crunched in a handful of important aspects of their play and reflect on whether the start made by Toure actually has been that bad.
The surprising statistic in the numbers is the City midfielder, with 90 minutes less time on the pitch, still having over a 100 more touches, making over 100 more passes and making over 100 more accurate passes.
The burly Chelsea midfielder, unsurprisingly, has made a lot more tackles that Toure, and their passing directions, forward and backward, reflect similarly to their styles - an interesting comparative given the reaction to each of their start to the season.
There can be no hiding for Toure, however, he needs to be better. The statistics perhaps show that his performances haven’t been as bad as made out, but he cannot claim they are at the standard of last season. As for Matic, it’s just a case of continuing to grow as a player and hopefully keep adding to his impressive collection of good performances.