Toure: Arsenal must replace former greats

LONDON - Manchester City defender Kolo Toure said he left Arsenal because of the team's failure to replace their best players. "When you look at Arsenal you see all the great players have left and are now in the past," Toure was quoted as saying in British media on Sunday. "Players like (Thierry) Henry, (Patrick) Vieira and (Ray) Parlour that brought success to Arsenal and I believed it was right at this stage of my career to also move on." The 28-year-old, who completed a reported 14 million pound move to City on Wednesday, was the last member of Arsenal's 2004 title-winning squad donned the 'invincibles' after remaining unbeaten for the season. "When we were winning the league the spirit was fantastic, we were like a band of brothers," Toure said. Since that title triumph Arsenal have only won the FA Cup in 2005 and fans have also seen key players such as Robert Pires, Ashley Cole, Gilberto Silva and Sol Campbell leave. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has replaced them with promising youngsters such as Theo Walcott, Samir Nasri, Aaron Ramsey, Denilson and Gael Clichy resulting in a talented but largely inexperienced squad. The Frenchman has however recently confirmed the club are considering a return for Vieira who is set to leave Italian side Inter Milan. Toure is big-spending City's latest recruitment as they continue to buy a squad capable of competing for a Champions League qualification place next season. City manager Mark Hughes has spent over 90 million pounds in the close-season and Ivory Coast international Toure believes money will bring success. "You can't be successful in football without money. This is the football business," Toure said. "The best teams are at the top only because they have the best players and to get those players you have to spend a lot of money."