Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Toure signs

Confirmed by the club earlier today.

Mark Hughes on the signing:

"I am delighted to welcome Kolo to Manchester City. It is no secret that we have been looking to strengthen our defence, and in Kolo I feel we have recruited a world class player. He brings a wealth of Premier League experience from his seven seasons with Arsenal,” said City boss Mark Hughes.

“Kolo has been a central figure in a very strong Arsenal team for many years, and I have been an admirer of him for a long time. He is strong, quick, reads the game well and will be an influential figure in the dressing room.”

And Toure himself:

"It is always difficult to leave a place where you have spent the last eight years and had good times but I felt the time was right for a new challenge and I am still at an age where I feel I am at my peak and will play my best football."

"For me it was time to move but only for the right club and I feel that Manchester City is that club. The ambition here is clear to see and is big. Everyone knows this club is moving and that is really, really important".

And so Hughes finally lands the first defender of the summer spending spree as he continues to overhaul the squad from the one he arrived to just over twelve months ago.

Despite some of the protestations from Arsenal fans who have commented on previous Toure posts, I don't think we are landing ourselves a player who is over the hill. And certainly not a mercenary. Far from it.

Toure is still only twenty-eight years of age, with plenty of mileage left. As far as Hughes is concerned, he fits his player prototype perfectly. Strong, athletic and possessing pace, he also has Premiership experience.

Wenger has spoken of having seven centre-halves which is why he could afford to let Toure depart, but Toure is not at the bottom of that pile. Not if that list includes Djourou, Senderos and Silvestre.

That is not to say Toure is John Terry though. Whilst the players we have added follow a pattern, they are what I would describe as 'second tier' players. Good, or very good players, but lacking that real top quality. However, our squad is virtually unrecognisable from when Hughes took over and every position has been strengthened (both from a talent and importantly a mental perspective) from what was inherited.

A key point to note though is that Toure undoubtedly strengthens our squad, and he will step straight into the starting line-up. At the same time (and crucially) his arrival does also weaken Arsenal's squad.

With all at the club appearing to be making a concerted push for the top four this is an important point, as of the sides currently with a hold on those positions Arsenal are undoubtedly the most vulnerable.

vote it up!


RichF said...

I agree with your comments - maybe with the exception of the incredible untalented TBH and Berti - I feel every player Hughes has brought has strengthened the squad to what preceded it - I just hope he can gel them and we are in business

Abhishek said...

I agree with your comments. Kolo's a proper legend. A very sad day for us Gooners. And he is at his peak, i believe, a very good signing for you. And you can rest assured he will give you 100% every minute he plays.

One thing i don't agree with, though, is your categorization of Djourou with Senderos & Silvestre. I'm sorry, but Djourou is much better than both of them. He has not had the opportunity to impress as much as the other two did.

Kolo did become second choice last season. He is NOT the player he was two years ago. If you do some thinking, you will understand that Arsene only ever lets go of players who he feels he will not need. Right now, Kolo is behind Gallas and Vermaelen. It's best for all concerned.

Anonymous said...

Arsenal Oracle - Good luck kolo. After eight years of consistent performance at The Arsenal I think he was starting to dip in form and commitment. At City both may recover - keeping him would just result in a continual decline. I think City will get maybe two good years out of him so this deal may be good for all parties. In terms of breaking into the top 4 City's weakness is their manager. When the pressure comes and Sparky begins to question himself I think that will undermine your challenge.

Sue said...

Shame really but Kolo hasnt been the same since that bout of Malaria.

Good luck anyway he's a legend and was a good professional to have at The Arsenal.

FE Gooner said...

Not a case of sour grapes, but Wenger has already made up his mind to let Toure decide whether he wants to stay and fight for a place or to move on. That's why he bought Vermaelen. Toure depends on his recovery pace, which WAS fantastic. Without that he is an average defender.

Anonymous said...

Love the signings, the new found strength and depth, just hope the tactics improve, given the new players then surely they will...
The future's blue...

tony c. said...

Of the top four sides Arsenal are the one I'd least like to see weakened, I have a lot of time for them. I hope we can sign a top CH to partner him, then with Kolo, AN other, Ned, Dunny and VK when needed we will have plenty of cover in defence.

Anonymous said...

manchester city's summer signings are very interesting! ...But they should think of signing giovani dos santos and Joleon Lescott ...well that's just my opinion ..anyways i cant wait for City and Barca game!!lol

The Binocular said...

Toure is a good signing for City (a bit expensive) and should improve the defense.

I guess a great time to talk about whether billionaires are ruining football?