Kolo Toure is hoping to use the defeat he still thinks about ‘every day’ to spur Liverpool on to Europa League glory.
The former Invincible played in the 2006 Champions League final when Arsenal were defeated by Barcelona in a game they must surely have felt more than capable of winning for the few minutes they had 11 v 11 on the pitch.
“I’ve played in a Champions League final and haven’t won it and I still think about that every day,” Toure told the Liverpool website.
“I’m a winner and everywhere I go I want to win and do my best to win. I thank God for this chance and I really, really want to win a trophy for this club because it’s such a great club.
“I can see that to win a trophy here would be amazing and I want to be part of that.”
It’s hard not to still have a massive soft spot for the player who was so enthusiastic to sign for Arsenal and seize his chance, that he tackled Arsene Wenger in training during his trial. [continued below]
If you don’t know the story, let Ray Parlour fill you in: “They rolled the ball into Thierry Henry. Kolo Toure from nowhere smashed him, right from behind, two footed tackle, a terrible tackle.
“Seriously could have been a red card in a normal game. Our best player is on the floor rolling around.
“Arsene Wenger screams, ‘Kolo, what are you doing? Don’t tackle, don’t tackle!’
“Next minute, ball goes into Dennis Bergkamp. Kolo Toure, exactly the same, two-foots Dennis Bergkamp.
“We’re thinking this is unbelievable.
“The next ball comes in and he makes a great tackle, Kolo Toure, but the ball flips up in the air and Arsene Wenger used to stand right in the middle between the midfield and the forwards and he’d try and look at all the movement.
“The ball’s gone up in the air and where did it land? Right at Arsene Wenger’s foot. He’s two-footed Arsene Wenger! Proper tackle!
“The lads are thinking this is unbelievable. The trialist has taken out Henry, Bergkamp and Wenger on his trial.
“Now Wenger’s had to limp off, he’s gone back to the medical room so Kolo Toure’s nearly crying. He can’t believe it. It was his big day at Arsenal and he’s took out two of our best players and the manager.
“That afternoon Arsene Wenger’s sitting there with a big ice pack on his ankle and I felt sorry for Kolo Toure and I said, ‘Boss, I don’t think he meant to kick you like that’ and he said ‘Look at my ankle’.
“I said, ‘He didn’t mean it, boss’ and he said ‘I know he didn’t mean it. I like his desire. We sign him tomorrow’ and that was it, he signed him.”
Always lumbering around with a big smile on his face, he’s a shadow of the player he used to be.
But boy, what a player he used to be!
In this instance, however, Arsenal loyalties demand I ask to see Sad Kolo and Liverpool dumped out of Europe before clearing the final hurdle.