Date: 21st November 2007 at 8:25am
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Arsene Wenger is resigned to the fact that he is going to lose Kolo Toure & Emmanuel Eboue for the entire length of the African Cup of Nations.

Last time around Wenger did try and negotiate with the Ivorian FA for a late release date for the players, only to met by a brick wall.

This time Le Boss says he won’t even bother.

‘They are so stubborn that there is no point in even speaking to them, They will go at the beginning of January. They have to be available for their country 15 days before the start of the tournament.’ Said Wenger

‘Before the last tournament we tried to negotiate a later release date with the Ivory Coast, but we had no success so we won’t try this time.

‘We were so disappointed with their attitude last time. We had to pull Manu and Kolo out of the FA Cup game against Cardiff [in 2006] an hour before kick-off.

‘The Ivory Coast were adamant they had to join up, even though they were only going to be sitting in a hotel room in Paris doing nothing. It is not the players’ fault at all, but the Ivory Coast management were very stubborn, and unnecessarily so because it would have been better for their preparation.’

‘So this time I count them out from about January 5 until approximately the middle of February.’