On This Day: Kolo Touré

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Written by: Daniel Ghorbal @danghorbal

When Kolo Touré becomes the topic of conversation, an air of sarcasm is placed onto his name, with the Ivorian typically remembered for his noticeable sense of humour, in addition to the catchy chant he shares with his brother Yaya. However, behind the man with the laughs was a footballer who certainly contributed positively to the quality of Liverpool Football Club. Kolo was brought into the squad by Brendan Rodgers on a free in the summer of 2013, after his contract with Manchester City expired. Despite knowing that Kolo Touré was never going to be a part of the club’s first choice central defensive partnership, injuries and suspensions throughout the 2013/14 season meant that Touré was required to step in to over half of our league games during the near title winning campaign.

Bar a couple of mistakes, Touré remained fairly solid throughout his early tenure and his experience and leadership qualities will have undoubtedly benefitted the younger players in the squad such as Jon Flanagan and Raheem Sterling. On the contrary to this, you can’t write an article about Kolo without mentioning arguably his most famous moment in a red shirt, brutally knocking referee Phil Dowd in a fixture away at Fulham. To this day, jokes are still made about this and Touré’s humour/tendency for moments like this to occur is a key characteristic of his love-able personality. If we were to go on and secure the title, Kolo would’ve been a worthy recipient of praise but still remained a key part of that squad nonetheless.

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 The following season, Kolo made 21 appearances in the League but recognised that he was always a third/fourth choice and struggled to put together a spell of games in the side. He was expected to leave the season after, although with Gerrard’s departure and poor form/bans for other defenders, Touré’s services would prove to be more valuable than ever. He made 26 appearances in this campaign, with 8 coming in Europe, notably his professional displays against Villareal in the semi-finals of the competition, stepping in admirably after the Mamadou Sakho drugs embargo. In relation to the league, the majority of fixtures towards the latter stages of the campaign were meaningless as Liverpool’s priorities were well and truly on European success.

Despite this, one game which stands out is the 6-0 thumping of Aston Villa, whereby Kolo Touré scored his first and only Liverpool game and celebrated in the most Kolo Touré way possible, if such a term can be interpreted. When Kolo scored, all his teammates mobbed him and it was really obvious to see how important he was amongst the dressing room. Similarly to James Milner as mentioned yesterday, he is a manager’s dream, a true professional with great leadership as well as being someone who boosts the team morale.

Kolo’s biggest regret was not winning the League with Liverpool, and comments like this alone imply that he thoroughly enjoyed his time at Anfield. Kolo Touré then followed Brendan Rodgers to Glasgow to join Celtic for a season, showing how much the former Liverpool manager valued Touré and his contributions. Nowadays, he is part of the coaching staff at Leicester, under Rodgers again.

Written by: Daniel Ghorbal @danghorbal

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