View From The Sphere

Do Arsenal regret the day Toure left the Emirates?


What struck me most about Manchester City’s 3-1 victory over West Ham last week was how tight City were at the back. The Hammers rarely had a sniff all afternoon and although Tomkins managed to grab a consolation goal in the 89th minute, City’s defence had them well and truly marshalled.

The same is true of City’s game against Bolton on the 4th December. An astute defensive performance saw a decent Bolton side fail to produce an attack of note and meant that a fourth minute Tevez goal was enough to see off the competition.

One man who deserves his fair share of the credit for City’s defensive prowess is Kolo Toure. Kolo left Arsenal to join City in July 2009 for a fee of around £16 million. At that stage many Arsenal fans believed that Kolo had seen his best days. His pace appeared to have left him and mistakes and niggling errors had begun to creep into his game.

However, Kolo has only gotten better during his time at Manchester City. He may not quite have the pace he used to, but he’s still nippy and can keep up with most of the strikers in the Premier League. More importantly, his sense of position seems to have developed – you can rely on Kolo to be in the right place at the right time.

Kolo is now 29 years-old and has bags of experience under his belt. He has played alongside talented defenders like Sol Campbell and William Gallas. Moreover, he achieved great things with Arsenal – he has a Premier League winners’ medal and a couple of FA Cup medals. He was part of the Arsenal side that went unbeaten for 49 games. Kolo Toure is a capable and dependable defender, whose experience in the Premier League really seems to be paying off in the way he has been leading City’s defence this season.

On the other hand, Arsenal don’t look quite so sturdy at the back. An Arsenal clean sheet seems to be a thing of the past. The Gunners can be controlling a game, but a slight slip in concentration often sees their opponents scoring from their first opportunity. Laurent Koscielny and Sebastien Squillaci came in to bolster the Arsenal defence this summer but have only managed to impress and frustrate in equal measure.

There have been signs that these two are decent defenders, but between them they have also brought about a number of costly errors at the back. Neither appear to have the fire and determination of a player like Thomas Vermaelen (who has been injured for a long stretch of the season) or the defensive nous and experience of Kolo Toure.

It seems that Arsenal’s loss has been City’s gain. As Arsenal continue to struggle defensively, City look tougher and tougher. This is a rare example of a case when Wenger let go of a player who still had more to offer the Gunners. Arsenal play City in the new year – it’ll be interesting to see how Kolo handles the Gunners’ offense. I have a feeling that Wenger will come to regret letting Kolo Toure go to a team that may well go onto be genuine title contenders in the near future.

If you like what you read and want to discuss football with Harry, you can follow him on Twitter @ThePerfectPass

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  • rishgoon says:

    I’ve thought that a bit recently. It seems Wenger had to decide between Toure and Gallas, and we know how that turned out. I think as well, despite the coin he received at City, Yaya might have gone where his brother had at this stage of their careers…

  • sam says:

    mistake and greed,please don’t tell me arsene knows. he then went on buy chicken squillaci. we could’ve had the toure brothers at arsenal.

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