The Ivory Coast legend believes that clattering the French coach during his trial with the Gunners showed he had the attitude to succeed

Former Arsenal star Kolo Toure has revealed how a slide tackle on Gunners manager Arsene Wenger changed his career – for the better.

Toure was an unknown when he traded ASEC Mimosas for Arsenal in 2002, but that £150,000 switch altered the course of his career.

He would go on to turn out for Arsenal, Manchester City and Celtic in a professional career that lasted 15 years.

What did he say?

Toure told FourFourTwo: “I was really fortunate to be able to go to that trial. I spent two weeks there and, as you know, I put that tackle in on Arsene Wenger!

“You know, I think that slide-tackle changed my career. It showed the manager just how much I wanted to be successful, and how much I wanted to become a professional footballer. That’s how he took it, anyway.”

When asked about the aftermath, he said: “All the players were laughing and I was in shock! I thought they were going to get rid of me there and then – but Arsene is an intelligent guy; he only saw a young African boy who was keen to impress him, and gave me that opportunity to express myself and show what I was capable of doing.”

What happened afterwards?

Although Toure signed in February 2002, he would not make his debut until the following season in the Community Shield against Liverpool. It was to be the first of more than 300 for the club, during which he scored 14 goals.

At Arsenal, he was a Premier League winner in 2003-04, a two-time FA Cup winner and a runner-up in the 2006 Champions League.

He moved on to Manchester City, Liverpool and Celtic, and played more than 500 club games at the highest level. Additionally, he won 120 caps for Cote d’Ivoire and was an anchor to their 2015 Africa Cup of Nations success.

Further Reading

From bad to worse! Tierney injury could mean miserable end to Arsenal’s season after Liverpool mauling

Arteta ‘in shock’ and calls on Arsenal to show ‘big balls’ after Liverpool loss

Arteta confirms double Arsenal injury blow as Tierney and David Luiz face spells on the sidelines

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