Kolo Toure - Arsenal Legend

It was made official yesterday that Kolo Toure is leaving Arsenal and moving on to Manchester City.  The last great link to “The Invincibles” has now left the club.  Before going forward I would just like to say that I will miss Kolo and thank him for many years of fine service to the club.  Toure’s final numbers; 322 games, 14 goals and always 100% effort, thanks again Kolo. 

How to Properly Leave and Not Quite How to Leave 

Both Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor are now going to be playing for the Sky Blues this season.  What is the difference?  From an Arsenal supporter’s point of view it is how each of those two players will be perceived as they leave the Gunners.  On the positive side is Kolo Toure.  I believe most fans will wish him well and also look back at the many fond memories of Kolo in an Arsenal shirt.  He was a rock in central defense especially during that amazing run in 2003-04 when the club did not lose a single match in the Premier League.  I don’t know why but one of my fondest memories of Kolo is from a match against Fulham early from the 2005-06 season.  It wasn’t something spectacular that he did that makes it memorable but rather what he avoided.  During that match Fulham went up 1-0 and it fell to of all people, Pascal Cygan, he of the lumbering gait who was partnered with Toure in central defense, to score the goal to bring Arsenal back level.  The goal came from a mad turn of events in front of the Fulham goal when the ball fell to Cygan who blasted it goalwards, Toure, to his credit, jumped as high as he could to narrowly miss being smacked in a rather sensitive area, goal scored, game qauilized and there much rejoicing.  So good luck to Kolo Toure, except when you play the Gunners, you are an Arsenal legend. 

The reverse feeling is directed to Emmanuel Adebayor.  As he left the club to join City I must say it was more a feeling of relief than anything else.  Prior to last year as Adebayor was coming off a very successful season the rumor mill began cranking transfer speculation all centered around the tall man from Togo leaving to join AC Milan.  Eventually he stayed but the whole nefarious speculative affair did leave a rather sour taste in my mouth.  Now that he is actually gone, well, he has tried to blame the fans for not understanding the business of last off season and has tried to say that the money could not be turned down.  That’s all fine I have no problem with him wanting to make as big a financial windfall as possible but please do try to clam up about things. 

Moving Forward 

The loss of Toure does leave a bit of a hole in the defense at Arsenal.  Yes, Big Phil has returned but I get a niggling feeling that he has somewhat fallen out of favor with Le Boss.  I always liked Big Phil and I think he partners William Gallas better than Toure did, so we shall see.  The only signing that the Gunners have made is a defender in Thomas Vermaelen from Ajax.  I haven’t seen him play yet so the jury is still out.  The loss of Toure also leaves less cover at the right full back as Toure could fill in there when needed.  It is not like Arsene Wenger to sign big names so I suspect that if anyone comes in it will be someone who makes every fan say “Who’s that freakin’ guy?” I trust in Wenger that’s all that needs to be said. 

Fiorentina Bound?

One more player may be leaving the club as well as speculation is heating up that Emmanuel Eboue may be on the move to Serie A side ACF Fiorentina.  Anyone who knows me knows that I would not shed one tear if Eboue packed up and got transferred to the Antarctic F.C. so there you go. 

Possible Return 

The last big rumor is that the club may be looking to bring back Patrick Vieira.  The long time Captain of the club really wants to leave Inter Milan.  Ian Wright has put forth thoughts concerning the return of Vieira saying something to the effect that it would be on a pay as you play type contract whatever that means.  I think this is just idle talk with no meat behind it, although we could really use Vieira in the midfield against the likes of Bolton and Blackburn Rovers when the opposition is more interested in kicking your ankles, shins, or any other exposed parts of one’s body as opposed to actually kicking a ball. 

Wenger seems very happy with the youth of the squad which he always strives for in his teams.  To see if Arsenal can challenge for a trophy now with that youth without any further signings will be the litmus test.

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