Date:Wednesday February 25 2009
Such has the bond of affection grown between Toure and Gallas of late that the two couldn`t bear to be separated - even though it meant both were late leaving the dressing room for the start of the 2nd half of the CL game against Roma last night. Had Toure been holding Gallas` hand as he sprinted onto the pitch, without the ref`s blessing, both might have been booked. In the event only Kolo picked up a yellow card later explaining that his tardiness was due to having to wait for his defensive partner.
"I came on the pitch with William because I was waiting for him in the dressing room. I'm always the last man to come off the dressing room. To be honest I didn`t know I was not allowed to come on the pitch without the permission of the referee."
Yet only last month the two players were so unhappy in each others company that Toure apparently submitted a transfer request. Fortunately this was rejected along with a reported offer from Manchester City. For a time afterwards it appeared that the two players would not be selected together and as each team sheet appeared one or the other player was unavailable due to injury. But times have changed and Toure and Gallas have not only started the last 5 games in harness together they have also managed 5 clean sheets in doing so.
In the absence of Fabregas, it is Kolo wearing the captain`s armband now instead of Gallas, but our former captain is putting a brave face on it and more importantly playing well. So happy is he now that Toure envisages spending many more years with the club saying
"Everything is at the end now. It is finished and in the past. I am delighted to be at the club, I love Arsenal. I have been here for seven years, it is the club of my heart.
"William and I are used to playing together and last season we lost very few games when we were both in the team. We know each other really well and we are happy to play together."
We`ll not know whether the love-in endures beyond this season until the summer I guess but if the dressing room disharmony that was so damaging a few months ago has been resolved that can only help us in our endeavour to take as much as we can out of what is left of this season.
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Date:Wednesday February 25 2009
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