Take That Sam/Kolo Speaks

Yesterday’s exciting victory over Blackburn has confirmed many things, not least that El-Hadji Diouf is an odious human being.

We saw Nik Bendtner miss chance after chance but we also saw AA23 open his scoring account in a manner that confirms his special player status.

We saw Manuel Almunia show some spine, purpose, and aggression in answering the odious Diouf’s dangerous attempt to break his ankle. Jens would’ve handled the matter quick and fast but at least Manuel has shown that he won’t be walked over, literally. It was good to see.

We saw another seamless insertion of Johan Djourou into the back four, resulting in another clean sheet. We’ve kept 11 in our last 20 games.

We saw the face of a beaten man in Sam Allardyce. Take that you big bag of foul air.

Kolo Speaks

A few comments concerning teammates and friends were attributed to Kolo Toure this past week.

Arsene Wenger rates Kolo Toure highly – “For me Kolo is very honest and is a great person, I rate him and I like him.” I have never met Kolo but I can see the quality of character from afar. He has become an Arsenal totem symbol. He is an Invincible. He is an Arsenal legend. I rate Kolo and appreciate all the things he’s done for the club. His long service and commitment are there for all to see. He can be a marvelous player on his best days but Kolo is not perfect.

William Gallas is not perfect. When he let the entire world know that there’d been riffs amongst the players, he was criticised for airing dirty laundry. He was being controversial. Some found his actions reprehensible, others felt that they’ve allowed both players and (most) fans to move on with a fresh start.

Captain Kolo Toure reportedly made comments about riffs amongst the players as well. “There were some problems between the players but this must remain an internal matter because I’m not the kind of man who creates controversies.” He continued, “My relationship with William has improved but it’s just a professional relationship. Once we are on the pitch we try to keep a professional attitude and to communicate. We never got on well together. You see, I’m friends with Johan Djourou, with Emmanuel Eboue, with Gael Clichy, but it’s not the same with William. It’s the same within every company, you can’t be friends with everybody.”

I appreciate Kolo’s candor but he has singled out Gallas as someone he doesn’t get on with. Isn’t that bound to cause controversy? Or will Kolo receive a different sort of treatment from press and fans? Kolo has cited fellow defenders Djourou, Eboue (more of a midfielder of late), and Clichy as his friends. He has left out Sagna. Interesting because Sagna has stood by Gallas throughout the controversial periods, marveling at how well he has coped.

Were Kolo’s statements helpful?

He was being honest, true. And I like him for his honesty. But is his honesty any more acceptable than Gallas’s honesty?

Were the comments meant to cure any ills amongst the players? Will they benefit the club in any manner?

I feel that they can do more harm than good, especially as they were made (or at least reported) on the same day that Theo Walcott has likened the players to a family, despite the various origins.

Certain players are cast as do-gooders, as ones who can do little to no wrong. Kolo deserves every accolade he has received as an Arsenal player but there is a danger in making people pets and favorites. We tend to give them a pass. We view them with a far less critical eye than less favorable types. This is a classic case.

Hasn’t Kolo caused controversy?

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