Months ago when Brendan Rodgers spoke about needing to bring in players with "character" during the then upcoming transfer window, I don't think anyone could have predicted just how awesomely that would unfold when it came to Kolo Touré's signing
It’s not exactly a secret that one of the things I love in a player is character or, failing that, players who are characters. I love players who come across as genuine people. I love players who are good teammates to the people they play alongside every week. I love players who are great with the fans. Talent and success on the pitch are a pre-requisite, of course, but when you add all these other elements, a player can really become someone I fiercely get behind. Lucas Leiva quickly comes to mind as a player built in this mold, and in the past few months I think it's safe to say we've all been delighted by the revelation that Touré also possesses a certain je ne sais quoi in this area.
The evidence is usually anecdotal, of course. As shared with us last week by My Left Foot:
Håvard Nordtveit, the current Borussia Mönchengladbach and Norway midfield holder who joined Arsenal back in 2007, once told the story of how, when he arrived for his first training session with the Gunners, basically the first thing that happened was that Touré, whom he’d never met before, came running towards him and lifted him off the ground in a giant bear hug. Apparently, according to Håvard, Kolo excelled at putting his arm around the shoulder of the numerous youngsters at the club, and was an all-round lovely guy.
Touré's transition into fan favourite after a pre-season tour and a handful of competitive matches was quick to say the least, but those who know him best — his teammates — have also spoken to Touré's positive role in the dressing room.
It's not just his teammates Touré is good with, though. After the very helpful Daniel Sturridge revealed that the Ivorian is indeed a Twitter user, Touré has shown a social media side that is one part humble and one part downright hilarious, culminating in today's piece of brilliance.
Kolo Toure (@KoloKolotoure28) September 5, 2013
Amazing. But here's the real take away from this tweet: in a scenario where some poor sod got a poorly spelled tattoo and was roundly mocked on the internet for it, Kolo Touré stepped in and turned the joke on its head so that neither the fan nor his inker bore the brunt of the mockery. It may seem like an inconsequential gesture that gave everyone a laugh or two or twelve, but when stripped down to its bare bones it's the behaviour of someone who not only gets behind those in a vulnerable position, but does it with style and humour.
If you don't love Kolo Touré after this, I really can't help you.