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Kolo Worries, Dog Food and Terry Christian

When Adebayor moved to Man City last week, fans shed few tears. It was much like losing a pet that had once been lovable and adorable but had now become surly and aggressive and was urinating all over your best furniture and demanding £200,000 a week in order for you to be worthy of his petship whilst openly courting interest from Tony down the road who had just had installed a new kennel and has a sizeable supply of Pedigree Chum.

Whilst there's no question Adebayor is a talented player who'd enjoyed that one excellent season with us the season before last, he was clearly unhappy at the club and £25 million was a more than reasonable price for a by no means irreplaceable player.

However, the possibility/probability/certainty (depending on what has happened in the time since I wrote this and you reading it) of Toure also leaving for City to the tune of £15 million worries me a lot more.

Firstly, considering how threadbare our back line was at times last year with injuries, and given that both Eboue and Senderos also look likely to leave, there's a danger that the only defender we have left by the end of the window will be Mikael Silvestre and that it could get to the extent that Arsené will be forced into trying to coax Gus Caesar out of retirement.

Secondly, it'll be another of our better and more experienced players leaving for Man City who, in all honestly, could prove to be a real threat to us this season and another departure will only strengthen them and weaken us.

Still, Thierry Henry, after earlier saying he would never advise anyone to join Spurs, has spoken even more sense when he has said that we should trust Wenger to do the right thing:

'It is going to be a difficult task for Arsenal this time and it is vital that everyone keeps the faith,

'The reason I say that is because the boss still has great faith in his players and if there is one man who Arsenal can trust to do the right thing, it's Arsene Wenger.'

Wise words from Thierry there and I'm sure that despite all of our worries Arsené will allay them over the next season. Hopefully.

Should he actually sell Toure it will say a great deal about his faith in new signing Thomas Vermaelen who can hopefully replace Kolo with the same success as Clichy and Sagna have had replacing Cole and Lauren respectively and also grow 12 feet and develop the ability to fell oncoming strikers just by glaring at them with his cold, dark eyes and his Terry Christian-a-like face whilst single handedly renewing everyone's interest in the barely mentioned these days country of Belgium thus stimulating its economy and creating a butterfly effect which, in turn, manages to recover the entire globe from the recession. Or something along those lines.

That's yer lot for today.

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The Journalist

Writer: Tristan's Unwanted Opinions Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday July 28 2009

Time: 7:58PM

Your Comments

So long Kolo. Why did we never make such a big deal about his height when he joined?
LOL! You're hilarious Tristan! Loved that dog food/kennel analogy!!
We had Campbell clearing crosses, corners and long balls when Toure joined, with Keown available as cover and Vieira/gilberto in midfield
Good luck Kolo. You will always be loved and remembered for being one of The Invincibles. Any chance you can persuade Mark Hughes into making it a hat-trick and signing Silvestre as wel ? Nice piece Tristan, you are an evolutionary cul-de-sac.l
Cockney Rich
You know how our manager has the reputation of being too soft on his players, coddling them, not being able to stomach confrontation, tough choices? Actually, he can be pretty damned ruthless. First Ade, now Kolo, our last remaining Invincible. (ok, Clichy was one too but he hardly played that season). If reports are true, Ade tried to talk AW into not selling him once he couldn't get any one of Milan/Barca/MUtd/Chelsea interested in him. AW would have none of it. Damn, I'll miss Kolo. It'll hurt to see him in a City shirt.
jaelle,you will get over Kolo.It's sad but it was time to part. He didn't want to sign a new contract and AW wasn't going to beg him to do so. With the exception of TH14 ( at a push ) I can't remember a player that AW has sold that has gone on to achieve great things.
Cockney Rich
Kolo Toure is the best and I hope he doesnt go. Didnt shed any tears for Ade because he behaved as if it was all the fans fault but Toure is a warrior, a great person and player. We love you Toure!!!
Rich, I fully expected Kolo to go this summer so this transfer hasn't hit me by surprise. I honestly thought I was prepared for it and would take it just fine when it happened. But now that it's actually come true, well, I'm sadder than I thought. I know all the reasons for this transfer, and I'm not criticizing AW for letting him go. I'm just writing from sentiment at the moment. Believe me there were times last season that I WANTED Kolo sold right away because of his inconsistent performances. I was also disappointed at his inability to step up as a leader, he just doesn't have leadership skills. I know I'll get over it, I'm just expressing my sadness at seeing one of the few true gunners leave our club. There aren't many of those anymore.
Toure shud not leave, it's tat simple. ok he aint the best in the air but the guy is still one of the best defenders around and one among the top 3 pl players since 2003. and jaelle tats ridiculous on ur part. evert player goes through a period where his form isn't the best. Toure has been super consistent for years now and one average season, everyone goes thru it. i still hope he doesent leave. he is a true gooner at heart and genuinely cares about the club. we've got only 2 players left from the class of 2004 and to lose Toure now will be really demoralising. Kolo please stay bro..
I love Kolo. I remember being so impressed with him when he first came to the club, how he appled himself, both on and off the pitch - I remember hearing stories of how he would be studying the dictionary on the team bus to improve his English - he is a player of great talent and immense character and from the point of view he would be a loss to the squad in terms of his experience. That said, I believe we have seen the best of kolo already and 15 big ones sounds like a lot of money for a player who cost us next to nothing. The only way I would continue to feel sad about this is if Arsene does not reinvest at least some of the 40mill we have thus far gotten from Abu City tis summer. We do not need much, but we do need a bit more experience and leadership. I am inclined to think that Arsene has a few more cards up his slieve on the transfer front, so lets just see what pans out, because I can't see a scenario where we don't have a few more additions to the squad before we are on the road to Everton, All the best Kolo, you are a true Arsenal warrior, I love you man.
Very funny Tristan... from dog food to recession in 3 easy paragraphs! I wish I could say the same about our decision to sell Kolo though. I am against this for the simple reason that he is as 'Arsenal' as they come in my book. How come we sell him but keep Gallas (running his contract down). With a rugged CB beside him, Toure would have been great again... he can surge into midfield too! The only positive I can see in this, is that Wenger is being ruthless which hopefully shows us that he means business. Fingers crossed for us, and best wishes to Kolo - a good servant and true gent.
It's a shame to see him but even last season he seemed to be slipping down behind Djourou the pecking order after his bad run of form, with Vermaelen coming in it seems he would not have played too much. In an ideal world we'd get Richards in return (to cover both centre and right back, assuming we sell Eboue too) and sign Hangeland too to make sure there are no repeats of last season. But it worries me that Arsene is talking about having too many players at the bak already- if that's a problem why not ship out Silvestre or Senderos? Anyway, all that is for another day: for now I'll jus say cheers Kolo, and good luck to you
dont forget he will be missing for a good part of the season during the African tourn...i dont want him to go though...coz we had two chants for him
fran merida
Am against this,Kolo has been a good servant for the club and one iffy season does not warrant him been shipped off. Leadership is an intangible,some players have it and some dont. Selling two of our more decent players to the same club is not very smart,what if they confound all of us and do better than we expect. If Wenger reinvests in the team,maybe it wont be so bad but if he doesnt which I strongly suspect will be the case,then we have to accept that we are in worse shape financially than we thought. If he does leave then good luck ,Kolo and hope we wont regret losing you.
'shipped off'? It's not like he is being thrown on the scrap heap, he is about to double his wages, plus he did actually hand in a transfer request. Don't get me wrong, I don't hold it against him, but we are hardly discarding the chap into obscurity.
"The only positive I can see in this, is that Wenger is being ruthless which hopefully shows us that he means business." - great point. I never thought Wenger had the ********* to just do this kind of thing. He sold the two duds and we can move on.
I loved having Kolo around. He was a great fighter, and on a sentimental note, one of only 3 players, to have played a decent amount of games at Highbury. BUT, his memory at Arsenal would have been tarnished had he stayed, he doesn't perform with the other CBs we have, other than Senderos (who I'm just praying will stay), and possibly Djourou. I just really hope with £40 million from City coming in we can find some quality players in key positions who actually want to create some kind of legacy at Arsenal. Good luck to Kolo, but it will be horrible to play against him...
We all liked Kolo but he was never able to 'take charge' of a defence. He was a good player, but never the same when he wasn't being marshalled by Sol or Gallas! £16m is not bad money for a 28 year old who will be away for six weeks this season. Remember he wasn't 100% happy (transfer request last year). I'll cheer Kolo when he comes back , but I'm not upset he's leaving. If ,however, Eboue and Senderos go too that will give us a £50m+ purse which Wenger needs to be given to spend!
.....and he needs to spend it!
Very funny Tristan your Kennel and Dog food stuff, lol! So Kolo is to leave us, I'm so gutted and I'll shed a tear or two for Kolo as he's the last of our Great Invincible Team. So maybe it's time for us to form another Invincible team?! So much for Yaya's comments in the Evening Standard last week stating that Kolo wouldn't leave a Big Club like Arsenal for Man City!!!! Maybe the Toure brothers are not that close after all, maybe Yaya maybe tempted to join Kolo, after seeing his payslip! Good Luck Kolo, I'll miss you!
Alright, thanks to the ManC and possibly the addidtion of the Eboue sale (yayy!) ...we now have a decent amount of cash to spend for f*** sake AW lets spend! Someone with Experience, and game time, and strong headed.
I think the other side of this is that when Wenger sees that his players nearing 30 are offered a great contract, he doesn't want to stand in their way of them doing well for themselves financially. He did the same with Henry and Gilberto, so I don't think it's all about being ruthless when someone is nearing the end, I think its about his kindness to his players too.
Nah don't buy into that Vin, Wenger's always been a lot more ruthless than he's made out to be - Henry was shipped out, no 2 ways about it, as was Gilberto - Wenger's never had too much time for sentiment (with the very rare exception). He does what he feel's best for AFC, bottom line.
Since you're selling off all the players who've had one bad season (which was last season), does this mean if Cesc has a bad season this year, he's gone aswell? Barca must be crossing their fingers now....
FU - Toure has been bad for more than one year in my opinion.
Has anyone not considered that AW has looked at Kolo's stats over the last 2 seasons and concluded that he will not improve? Skysports last night went over Kolo's stats from 08-09 re attempted tackles, clearances, aerial duels and his numbers were not very good at all. His only good stat was in his passing (over 83%) and even in that he was trumped by the older, equally declining John Terry (90%). AW might think why not profit from Kolo now when he's in decline instead of next summer when he can leave on a free? Kolo hasn't signed a contract extension. He also requested a transfer in January. It may not only have been about Gallas, he may also have been turned by that big money City's offering. This is a chance for a declining player to earn big money. Interesting that AW's willing to keep the older Gallas one more season until his contract runs out -- that may indicate Gallas' stats are actually better than Kolo's. That said, why the hell does AW keep Silvestre? Surely his stats are worse than all our defenders! My only concern is relying too much on Vermaelen as a starter in his first season in England.
Wenger's keeping Silvestre to be proved correct - typical AW really
Tom, that's true. FUtd, Kolo hasn't had just one bad season. He hasn't been the same since he returned from the ACN in February of 08.
I'm quite disappointed. We're losing experience, and its not being replaced adequately. Every year, our squad seems to go down in numbers (i.e more players leave than those that come in). Our squad has been small and we've struggled as a result. With rumours about Eboue & Senderos not going away, I'm afraid we might be at the same place as last Aug 1st. Frustrated and disappointed. Logic dictated that Wenger should sign more players last year, and he didnt. I wouldnt be surprised if he did that again this year.
Whatever happens, I'm sure we'll sign one more player because losing Adebayor and Toure and only bringing in Vermalaen doesn't sound like strengthening the squad to me...
Huntelaar rumours still not going away. I also think Wenger is obviously looking for a midfielder (going for Melo) and his comments after Mondays game "having to play defenders in midfield". I think he feels Song is a CB who can play CM rather than the other way round. If it comes off.... losing Ade and Kolo and gaining Vermalaen+a good CF and a good CM will be good business. Jaelle, I think Wenger will use Gallas and Djourou as the starters.
"having to play defenders in midfield" - he was talking about Senderos. And I don't think we ever wanted Melo.
but we made a bid foe Melo, we would have openly denied it if we hadn't!!! I know he meant Senderos, but I think he was hinting that we might be short on numbers there.
No, he was telling us how many pcenter backs he had so he had to play both Denilson and Song in the first half so that he had a space for Senderos in the second.
Well.... we'll have to agree to diagree. We're probably both barking up the wrong tree, as i'm sure only Wenger totally understands his masterplan.
Jaelle,that is a great post regarding Kolo's 'opta' stats. I seen the piece on Sky last night, and was quite surprised at how bad his stats were. It certainly,for me,made selling him a real 'no brainer',espescially when you factor in his contract running down. It is true, I have seen him decline over the last two seasons, but because I have always liked him,and we have always needed him, he has slipped through my 'criticism' net. It is good business for us and good business for Kolo. It has been a pleasure to have him at the club, and I will always remember his 6 yard screamer at Highbury against Villarreal, which ultimately got us to Paris. Goodbye Kolo,thanks for everything and God bless.
Cockney Rich
"he has slipped through my 'criticism' net." -- have to remember that, good turn of phrase. :-)
One of my best memories of him is when he came on against Chelsea and scored a goal. I seem to remember him running around like a headless chicken with no positional sense but put in lots of effort. Sad to see him go, but he really has not been that great since the ACN when he was made to look stupid by that egyptian player who turned him inside out. I wish him all the ebst to a degree all though i dont want to see City win anything.
Well..... it's official....... he's gone! Good luck Kolo.
In response to an earlier comment from Cockney Rich: I can't agree with the myth that every player that Wenger sells goes on to be a piece of crap. Vieira's won four leagues in a row, Lassana Diarra's become one of the best defensive midfielders in Europe, Hleb won a treble with Henry (even though Hleb didn't do much) and Flamini at Milan hasn't exactly been a failure.
Flamini & Hleb have hardly played!!!
navydave, you can't say that about Flamini. He's started almost all Milan games in 2009 and is now a regular starter. And now Leonardo has put him and Gattuso in together as starters, so Flamini's not just there to replace Gattuso when he's out. Hleb, however, has done very very little since leaving us.
Flamini wasn't sold, now was he? Wenger wanted him to stay.
Hleb hardly got near the Barca first team. All he did most weeks was be an unused sub. A bit like a fan, but with a better seat. Flamini, quite rightly did get a fair few starts for AC Milan. However, Ancelotti regularly played him out of position, much to Flamini's annoyance. He never won anything, and his place in a struggling French team was questioned. Hardly ' great things '.
Rich, Flamini's had ONE season with Milan. Kaka didn't win anything last season either, no one at Milan did. How can you expect Flamini to go on to "great things" after one season? Henry's first season at Barca was hardly stellar. My point was that, unlike Hleb, Flamini is making progress at Milan. Unlike Hleb's move, Flamini's move is looking like it might be a satisfying one for him because in his first season he's gained a regular starting position in the first team.
jaelle, I do take your point, to a certain degree. I never mentioned Kaka as he has never played for us and therefore AW has never sold him. Neither did I mention Henry's first season at Barca, I only referred to Hleb. Fair play to you if you think Flamini is making progress at Milan by being used as a defender, and not a midfielder. My point was that nobody has really achieved ' great things' after AW is done with them so Flamini is still an ongoing concern. At this moment in time he hasn't done 'great things' my friend.
Actually, Flamini's been both a midfielder and defender on and off at Milan. On the official site he's registered as a midfielder. Milan seem to be in some trouble (if pre-season is anything to go by) so I don't expect them to win any trophies this season anyway. Not sure I expect us to win anything either, frankly.
So how would you all feel if you started the season with the team as it is at the moment? I'm sure you'll still be a threat no doubt!
You are right on both points jaelle. Leonardo is gonna have a very difficult time there this season. They are obviously going to be weaker without Kaka, and their problems will be compounded if Inter carry on their Scudetto domination. A GREAT player Leonardo was, a Great manager I doubt. With regards to us winning things, I'm not to confident either. However, I do trust AW, I know that we are 'rebuilding' if you like, and I hope to be pleasantly surprised.
Another season and we'll have the majority of the players we had last season (therefore have another season under the belt), plus Rosicky who is older and more experienced, also Eduardo ...i am feeling confident about this season.
FUtd, if we go into the season with the squad we have now, I am not as optimistic as others here. I frankly don't view this team as it is now as one that can seriously compete against the likes of Chelsea--a team that we still can't beat when they have an in-form Drogba and Essien playing. I think we'll struggle for 4th again.

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