Kolo Toure's Epic Trial At Arsenal Is Still One Of The Greatest Stories In Football
Kolo Toure turns 39 today and it's only right we celebrate the absolute legend of a man by harking back to his trial at Arsenal.
Toure was part of the unprecedented 'Invincibles' side that went the whole Premier League season unbeaten in 2003/04 and spent seven years at the heart of the Gunners' backline.
However, his career in North London nearly didn't take off. If we're honest, it's a miracle that he got offered a contract after his antics in his trial.
A story in John Cross' book on Arsene Wenger, brought to our attention by Oliver Kay from The Times, tells the tale how Toure was told not to tackle in training but ignored orders.
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He made a horror challenge on Thierry Henry then followed that up by taking out their other key player, Dennis Bergkamp. And then to top it off, Toure then took out Wenger himself!
The Arsenal boss had to go the medical room and have an ice pack on his ankle. Poor Kolo thought he'd messed up his big opportunity but to his surprise, Wenger loved the desire he displayed and signed him up.
One of Toure's other most memorable moments came in a Liverpool shirt during a game against Fulham. The Ivorian defender scored a comical own goal in the game and followed it up moments later by accidentally barging referee Phil Dowd and leaving him right on his backside.
There is no need to be upset...
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