Toure - The story behind that tackle on the boss

It is one of the most famous unseen moments in Premier League history.

A year before forming a key part of our Invincibles side, the then-21-year-old Kolo Toure had joined us on trial and was impressing Arsène Wenger with his determination and full-blooded approach.

But it nearly went so wrong for the Ivorian youngster. After a couple of big tackles on Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp, Toure went flying into another challenge - this time on the boss.

“That definitely happened,” the former defender told Arsenal Player. “It was a game and the manager was outside the game. He was not playing but he was passing the ball to the attacking players. 

“The ball was going out and Mr Wenger went to get the ball. When he controlled the ball, instead of just stopping the game, I thought he was playing as well. I kept going and it was a big, big tackle. 

“After that, everyone was laughing and joking but I was in shock. I was like, ‘Wow, maybe that will mean I will have to leave the club’. At the end of the day, I think the tackle made him want to keep me. Maybe he saw my desire as a defender from that.

“When I arrived at the club, it was a special experience for me because I didn’t expect to have a trial at such a big club,” Toure added. 

“I was really passionate, really enthusiastic. For me, to be able to play with players I was seeing on the TV like Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Ray Parlour and Martin Keown, it was something really, really special. It was massive, definitely.”

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