Friday, June 14, 2024

Wenger pleased by Toure resurgence

Arsene Wenger says he’s pleased that Kolo Toure is fit and playing regularly at Liverpool after a tough couple of years at Manchester City during which the ex-Gunner saw little action.

The Ivorian international, now 32, joined Arsenal as a midfielder from homeland outfit ASEC Mimosas in 2002 before being transformed into a combative centre-back who helped the Invincibles throughout their 49-game unbeaten run.

A popular figure at the Emirates his seven-year spell in North London ended in 2009 when the Gunners accepted a whopping £14 million bid from City following a drop in form.

Welcoming his protégé back to Arsenal, albeit in Liverpool colours, Wenger revealed that Toure’s enthusiasm won him over when others turned a blind eye to his raw talent.

“I’m pleased for him because he came here completely unknown and made a great career,” the boss told Arsenal Player.

“He’s a boy who is dedicated, always has sympathy for everybody, always speaks to everybody and loves football passionately. I’m happy that he’s happy.

“He failed tests nearly everywhere; at two French clubs, a Swiss club nobody kept him. I kept him here after the tests. He was not good enough for smaller clubs but he made it at a big club. Maybe that was his luck as well.

“One of the things that convinced me [to sign him] was his sheer enthusiasm for the game and his huge enthusiasm to do well. As you know a successful life is about attitude and he had the right attitude. With us he got the right opportunity.”

Despite a few publications trying to suggest Toure holds a grudge with Wenger about his sale, it’s obvious that the pair are very close.

Banned from football for six months in 2011 for infringing drug rules after taking diet pills, Toure spoke passionately at the time about the support he received from both Wenger and ex-Arsenal chairman David Dein.

“I want to thank two people who have been really important to me – David Dein and Mr Wenger,” he said.

“They have been supporting me and never let me down. I want to thank them very, very much.

“I would never say a bad word about Mr Wenger. He is somebody that makes players better. I came from nowhere. I was in Africa and nobody believed in me. I had been at a lot of clubs that didn’t take me. This guy made me what I am now.”

Arseblog News always had a soft spot for Toure from the moment he bundled home a goal on his debut against Chelsea and proceeded to accept the post-game MOTM award while referencing himself solely in the third-person.

He was like a bull in a china shop that day so it’s all the more remarkable he became such a calm presence at the heart of English football’s greatest ever side. We’ll be the first to give him a clap on Saturday…while simultaneously hoping he has a shocker.

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The 3 Billion Dollar Stan

I’m still gutted about his move to City.

Never know whether to blame him or us for it…


It was a good deal, £16m for a player who hadn’t been player well for a while.


Fucking Gallas


Link to that Chelsea interview?


Arseblogger references “mental strength” in that blog post haha


Blame Gallas


Really, like really loved Kolo when he was with us, idolized him. Was rather gutted that Wenger chose to sell him rather than that cancer William Gallas. Both were good players but couldn’t play with each other as they were pretty much the same kind of player, like Kos and Vermaelen now.
But Kolo suprised me, thought he was all about raw pace and power which has obviously droppe due to age and lack og play time. Really happy for him but hopefully Giroud will turn him over tomorrow !

Dick Swiveller

In hind sight, Gallas gets partial credit as the two guys he mostly had a problem with are now reviled throughout Goonerdom, takes one to know one I guess…


He looks suspiciously like Francois, my friendly used car dealer:

Sorry, couldn’t resist…


Does anyone have a clip of the interview blogs was talking about? In the library doing stats revision and could do with the comic relief!


I like kolo Toure but i hope Arsenal will win tomorrow.True Gunndr


“English football’s greatest ever side” The same side that flopped in the champions league year after year. To be the best you need to win back to back titles and the champions league.


That’s nice… (pats patrick’s head, then smacks him on the back of it)

Run along now.


some people like Pat need to be high fived. with a chair. to the face


The problem is, I think that implies using 5 chairs.

No, sorry, I meant “The best part of that is”. Yeah, that’s better now.

Mikel Artekkers

Ah yes, the Champions League, that well known English football tournament.


Hey Patrick, please stay away from Spongebob……Look what he’s got you babbling about.

Henry's beard

Had he never contracted malaria (after which his form seriously dipped) I truly think he would have retired at Arsenal and been a club legend. A great, great player.


As a liverpool fan I have to say that yet again arsenal commentators and fans prove that they are up there as the most educated and top class supporters. I hope it’s us or yourselves that win the league this year and at the very least have us both in Europe to push out the pretenders.


Much rather see your lot finish in the Champions League places than S****s (excuse my French), Man U or Chelsea…. Nothing would make me happier than seeing Mourinhos season end in abject failure. Other than us winning the league of course 🙂


Kolo is probably the coolest name ever


Yaya, you are right.




Only an Indian would be quick to notice this pun 😀


Liked him, but I always think of him getting done by Babel for that penalty in the CL against Liverpool, and that weird cock-up he had with Gallas about who had to go on the pitch first at the start of a second half against someone, I forget whom. God almighty Gallas was a twat… If only we had sold him earlier. I didn’t read those “grudge” articles because the very notion Toure has a grudge against us is utter bullshit.

Naija Gunner

He was a bull for us during those days, wish his brother was with us too.


Interestingly Yaya didn’t impress in a trial at Barnet. Shows how fine the margins are.

Finsbury Park Gooner

Underrated across the board.. One of my all-time favourite Gooners and an integral member of the invincibles, I was sorry to see him leave. Nuttin but love for Kolo.


Love that first goal against the Chavs. Throw in then run towards the goal until the ball goes in it. And it will.

Also a ledge for his goal in the last European Cup – fuck the Champions (sic) League – tie at Highbury.


I might be wrong but I think it went a little deeper than being too similar. I’m pretty sure that kolo really didn’t like Gallas. I don’t think they even spoke outside of playing alongside each other on the pitch. I seem to remember something being said about it at the time, hence wenger decided to keep Gallas and sell kolo. Loved kolo, him and Campbell were absolute beasts.


Character has also something to do with why average players raise their game and learn and improve over time. He was never bothered about money cars and chasing women. Even when he was shit he cared and tried his best. I truly believe he would never have be a professional but for wenger. He gave him a chance and he grabbed it wholeheartedly.

Hats off to my brother. Whatever colour shirt he is wearing.


Should have kept him and sold Gallas.

Still, if liverpool get ambitious and come at us, we may prosper with their backs.

Wish we had a bit of speed in Gnabry to throw at them. Hope Ozil is in one of those moods.


Unrelated to the post, but check out this mesut ozil lookalike


I was a big fan of Toure. I loved that he always looked amazed at stuff. You could imagine a fly going past him and he’d give that face where he looked absolutely gobsmacked! Great player too when he was a Gunner.

Toure Motors

Im back. Anyone interested in a sparkling 1988 nissan datsun?


Will Wenger ask for his shirt though after we smash the mugsmashers?


Fucking William Gallas. I love Kolo Toure still. Such a great player and very good person. Those are the same reasons why I don’t want Sagna to leave. We need to keep at least 4-5 experienced players who will all retire with us as well as the young BritCore.


The difference in class between AW & the Special One Ball (SOB) & many others managers in the PL (Redknapp, Fergi to name a few) is striking. Can’t imagine an opposition manager saying nice words about 1 player, refusing to talk about another he tried signing except to say that he is good player.

SOB, Fergi, etc dabble in the dark arts regularly – influencing refs (Fergi time!), faining injury to players to avoid international commitments (read Giggs), calling another manger names (SOB’s area of expertise).

AW has been too nice & good things don’t necessarily happen to good people.

sagnas hair

God I love Wenger. Classy as always. SAF could learn a thing or two (or three) about not being a complete asshole to your former players..

Edu's fake passport

didn’t Kolo have a pop at Arsenal at the beginning of the season saying that Liverpool are a much bigger club.


If you were a player just signed for liverpool and a reporter ask you, “which club is bigger, arsenal or liverpool?” What would your response be?.

Bet it wouldn’t be something like, “Arsenal of course. I’m only here coz I can’t find a better club and I have to work”

Randy Pan the Arsenal Fan

Had the good fortune to see Kolo at very close quarters at a pre season friendly at Barnet (remember those?).

Never really noticed it on the telly but my god that man was built like a brick shithouse.

Absolute beast.

fel the gunner

A true hero and legend. Good to see him doing well just hope he scores an own goal tonight for us lol


Remarkably (given the amount of cab I’d been smoking) I remember seeing kolo on trial for the arse in the amsterdam cup preseason. He looked lively, but there was also another player called Ne that I thought also looked better. What ever happened to Ne?

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