Saturday, April 24, 2010

Kolo Toure: Gallas made me quit Arsenal

Kolo Toure has revealed that his rift with William Gallas made him leave the Arsenal. He spent seven years at the North London outfit and will be returning to the Emirates stadium today for the first time in almost a year.

The ex Arsenal defender spoke his mind on the topic - and to a large extent I believe he has succeeded in dispelling the numerous rumours trailing his £16m summer switch to City.

Kolo said: "I was at Arsenal for seven years and everything was fantastic. But the last two years were difficult.

"I had a few problems with a few people there and wasn't feeling happy, I was looking for somewhere else and a new challenge.

The Ivory Coast international cleverly refused to expantiate on the nature of his feud with the ex Arsenal captain, but judging from his utterances - it is crystal clear that Gallas took his respect for granted: "Gallas and me misunderstood each other at certain times and one of us had to leave. As a player I had great respect for him as he was older than me," The Ivorian said.

"In Africa when someone is older you have respect for them, but I think sometimes he took advantage of that in someways.

"That was it," he continued. "I think Arsene understood that. I didn't want to make any trouble for Arsenal because I'd had a really good time there and they gave me my chance.

Toure said of his relationship with Arsene Wenger and why he refused to communicate with William Gallas: "There was no problem with Arsene and me. I have huge respect for him. But me and Gallas? We didn't talk to each other at all.

"It really came down to me, because I didn't want to leave the team in a difficult position and I was the one who said I wanted to go."

Toure stated in unequivocal terms that he left Arsenal because he was bullied, and for the simple reason that he thought Arsenal has lost the winning mentality associated with them. Toure, added that he joined Manchester City to further his blossoming career: "At the end of the last few seasons we were without any trophies," he said.

"That was difficult for me because I was getting used to winning trophies with players like Patrick Vieira and Dennis Bergkamp, so after four years without that it became difficult.

"Everytime we got to the end of the season and had key games, we always seemed to have injuries or were unlucky."

Although Gallas and Toure, might not have buried their hatchet yet, the latter still believes in the Arsenal and expects Wenger to turn things around next season: "It's been like that for a few seasons now at Arsenal but Arsene is a really intelligent man and for next season he will change a few things," he concluded.