Could Citeh's former Gunner have made a difference to Arsenal's season?

By Graham McNorthbank

Now I know that some of you will have clocked that headline and clicked on the story purely to hurl abuse at me, but before you do, can I just point out that I'm talking about Citeh skipper Kolo Toure, not Emmanuel Adebayor.

The Gunners have proved this season that we have an entire team of players who are capable of scoring goals: the only regular outfield players not to have netted this season are Bacary Sagna and Gael Clichy.

But that wasn't what cost us the league - that was down to a leaky defence and sub standard goalkeeping.

A year ago Arsene Wenger admitted that conceding 37 goals in the Premier League wasn't good enough if you want to be challenging for the title and therefore the defence would have to be improved.

So far this campaign we have conceded 39 goals in the Premier League and there are still three games to go. Nuff said.

Getting rid of Adebayor for silly money was a bit of a no-brainer as far as I was concerned, but I was sad to see Kolo Toure leave, as he was a great servant for the club. His spat with William Gallas was made in France, rather than the Ivory Coast, but was something that ultimately the management should have sorted out, rather than choosing to ship out.

And I haven't forgotten Kolo's dip in form when he returned from Africa suffering from a bout of malaria. But Arsenal have given other players longer to recover from injury - Eduardo, Tomas Rosicky, Gael Clichy, Robin van Persie, Theo Walcott, Abou Diaby - so quite why Wenger lost the faith with Kolo is beyond me.

Thomas Vermaelen has been more than a capable replacement, but the fact is we haven't had enough cover for injuries to our centre backs and that has been one of the downfalls of this season.

But what do you reckon? Would things be different if we had held on to Kolo?

I can't leave a debate on the number of goals Arsenal have conceded without having a word about our goalkeepers. And to do that I'd ask you to cast your minds back to August 2007 and our opening games of the season in the Premiership.

At home to Fulham in the first game, a Jens Lehmann slip gave the visitors the lead in the first minute. A week later Lehmann cost us two points when  he let the ball slip through his hands to gift Blackburn a point.

For those two mistakes, Mad Jens was dropped by Arsene Wenger.

Compare that with the catalogue of mistakes by both Manuel Almunia and Lukas Fabianski this season, not to mention Almunia's pathetic distribution of the ball and you can only conclude that our goalies are not good enough.

Dropping Almunia in favour of Fabianski is a case of the blind leading the partially sighted.

Bolstering the defence during the summer with the acquisition of a tall, powerful centre back would be a welcome move, but if I have one plea for Le Prof it would be to splash some decent cash on a new No. 1 - a proven, experienced international - and to bring Wojciech Szcesny (call him Chesney, it's easier) back from Brentford where he has been a revelation, with the Bees fans saying he has been one of the finest players ever to wear the shirt.

Finally,  I know we'll all be looking to give Adebayor our own special welcome back to the Home of Football on Saturday, but I hope that vitriol does not extend to Kolo, who was a great player for the Gunners and who in my opinion should still be an Arsenal player to this day.