Arsenal news: Arsene Wenger confirms the story of Kolo Toure's hilarious trial


Kolo Toure enjoyed a fantastic Premier League career in a trio of spells with Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool. 

Though he was often overshadowed by his scintillating brother, Yaya, Toure was a fantastic defender with a repertoire befitting of a modern day centre-back. 

Despite his obvious quality, the Ivory Coast international was prone to erratic moments that left fans' hearts in mouths. 

Toure was no stranger to a full-blooded lunge, and when it went well his tackling was a fundamental aspect of his game that endeared him to supporters.

But it seems like Toure's insatiable appetite for a sliding challenge was an almost uncontrollable force running through his veins rather than a well thought-out strategy. 

According to his former teammate Ray Parlour, the current assistant manager at Leicester City announced himself to his new teammates at Arsenal in the most hilarious, scarcely-believable fashion.

Through a combination of nerves, an eagerness to impress and an apparent romantic affiliation with the art of the sliding challenge, Toure printed his name at the core of a timeless story during his trial with the north London club. 


While speaking to talkSPORT, Parlour revealed how Toure had clattered into Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and even Arsene Wenger on a single day during his trial. 

Here's Parlour's version of events: “I rolled the ball into Thierry Henry and Kolo Toure from nowhere has smashed him from behind. Two-footed tackle. Terrible tackle. Seriously, could have been a red card in a normal game. Our best player is rolling around.

“Arsene Wenger says ‘Kolo, what are you doing? Don’t tackle, don’t tackle.’ He just wants him to stand there. ‘Oh, sorry, sorry’.

“Next minute ball goes into Dennis Bergkamp, they’ve swapped now. Kolo Toure does exactly the same and two-foots Dennis Bergkamp and we are thinking ‘this is unbelievable. How can we win the league if our two best players has been taken out by the trialist. He must be working for someone else’.

“Arsene Wenger says ‘right no more tackling’.

“Next ball comes in and Kolo Toure makes a great tackle, reads it and the ball is flipped up into the air. Arsene Wenger used to stand right in the middle of the midfield and forwards and he’d try and look at the movement, so the ball has gone up in the air and Kolo Toure has his eye on the ball – he’s chasing the ball – and where did it land? Right at Arsene Wenger’s foot and he’s two-footed Arsene Wenger. Proper tackle."

What a way to announce yourself to your new teammates.


It's indicative of Toure's natural charm and footballing ability that he still managed to secure a permanent contract after such a potentially damaging day on trial. 

Almost twelve months after Parlour revealed the hilarious tale on talkSPORT, Wenger has now confirmed the story during an interview with German media outlet 11Freunde.

Here's what he had to say after being asked about the incident: "Yes, he tackled us but it was more for rea­sons of enthu­siasm than aggres­si­ve­ness.

"He was keen to show how much he wanted to stay. I had to go to the doctor, but my injury wasn’t too serious.

"I signed him the next day because of his desire, his hunger and his phy­sical strength. He was a monster."

Toure forms part of what must be an incredibly exclusive club of people who have managed to keep their job after sending their manager to the doctor's room on one of their first days. 

Judging by Wenger's recollection of the events, it seems Toure's exuberance on trial left both a physical and mental mark on his teammates and manager.

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