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Kolo Toure lifts the lid on chopping down Wenger, fights at Arsenal and 'maestro' Rodgers

15:36 GMT 26/03/2019
Arsene Wenger Arsenal
The former Ivory Coast international took in an eventful spell with the Gunners during his playing days and is now enjoying working at Leicester City

Kolo Toure has admitted to chopping down Arsene Wenger during an eventful trial at Arsenal and revealed that fights were common within a star-studded Gunners squad.

The former Ivory Coast international spent seven years in north London during his playing days.

He did, however, come perilously close to ruining his chances of earning a deal.

When given the chance to impress Wenger and his coaching staff, Toure flew into challenges on talismanic figures Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp before then sending the Arsenal manager crashing to the turf.

He told The Telegraph of the events which saw him land a contract in 2002: "It’s true, absolutely.

"Did I think my dream was over? Well, of course, you’re always scared if you tackle the manager of the club. I haven’t done it on purpose but that kind of thing can happen."

Toure would go on to take in over 300 appearances for Arsenal, forming part of their Premier League title-winning ‘Invincibles’ side of 2003-04.

From the outside, that group appeared to be united and at peace with one another.

Toure claims that was not always the case, adding: "Training was really intense - sometimes more so than in matches.

"It was really, really challenging. Everybody wanted to win every game and occasionally there would be fights between the players. The team was full of spirit and winners. 

"Martin Keown was really competitive but Thierry Henry was similar, he wanted to win every game. He was fuming when he was losing games at training."

After leaving Arsenal in 2009, Toure went on to spend time with Manchester City, Liverpool and Celtic before hanging up his boots.

He moved into coaching at Parkhead upon retiring and has since followed former Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers to Leicester.

Toure is enjoying working alongside the ex-Liverpool and Swansea manager, with the Northern Irishman considered to be one of the very best coaches in the business.

"I’m learning from him every day," said Toure.

"He’s very intelligent, organised, gives amazing detail to the players. He is the one who organises everything. He is the maestro, it's really good to work with him and see what he does on a daily basis. 

"He prepares everything very well and his reading of the game is incredible. He can change the situation in a game so easily. He's a top manager."