A Rant About Gallas and A Salute To Tony Adams…

Okay, where was I? Today I'd like to congratulate Mr Arsenal himself, Tony Adams, who was appointed permanent manager of Portsmouth. Tony's been like an apprentice working his way up the leagues starting with Wycombe Wanderers before becoming Dirty 'Arry's right hand man at Pompey. Of course, as 'Arry has deflected to the dark side, I will now have to start hating the [insert swear word here]. Whilst Tony Adams continues his apprenticeship at a Premier League club. And one of the main reasons I'm so chuffed is that I went to Uni with Tony a few years back when he did his sports science degree and it's a pretty amazing path he's taken

Arsene spoke about Tony's appointment and said:

“It makes me very happy. I believe it is a good opportunity for him and we wish him of course well. He is at the age now where you have to start in this job. For the rest I believe he has a good squad and he has worked a lot now in this job and I think he is ready. Tony has now much more experience because he has been abroad and has been at Portsmouth as an assistant. I believe he has the qualities and that is why I am very positive about it. I believe in life when you go wrong you can always, with intelligence and character, turn things right and that is what he did. He came out and said he had a drinking problem when he was a player and he showed enough strength and character to change that. I believed in him because everybody deserves a chance when he really wants to change his life. That basically didn’t come from me, it came from him.”

When you look back at Tony’s career with us, what he acheived when the sticks were down, you have to say that it’s commendable where he is today.

Anyway, congratulations Tony!

From one previous captain to our current captain, WIlliam De La Gallas. If you look at both of these players, then it’s clear to see that they’re at different ends of the passion and desire spectrum, actually different ends of many spectrums.

Hear me out on this one (I know many of you are Gallas fans!)

I’ve been thinking about our problems and in reality, I honestly feel that Gallas is a major part of our problems. His attitude is not what’s required from a player in such an influential position on the pitch. His mistakes are testimony to how vital it is to get it right when it counts. Gallas has always excelled when next to a bigger, stronger, more ball attacking defender. When Gallas played along side Terry in the Chelsea defence or even Djourou or Senderos, you could see that his best skill was probably his pace rather than he jumping ability. Playing along side Toure has proved difficult for both players as they’re similar. I personally think Toure is a better defender and when he played along side Sol Campbell and Philippe Senderos, he really excelled. Toure will always dive in front of the ball no matter what, he’ll away put Arsenal first, similar to Tony Adams.

Many believe that our best centre back pairing is Toure and Djourou and I would have to agree based alone on the attitude of the player. Gallas doesn’t play with the same level of intensity as he’s previously done and that’s because he’s guranteed his place in the team. Even if he wasn’t captain, he has always been guarenteed a place in our team, so mentally he is too relaxed. When he was at Chelsea he had to play well every game to stay or get into the team.

So where does it leave us? Well, it’s a tough one. Arsenal without Gallas, in my opinion, is a better Arsenal. But we’re in a tricky situation. If we drop him, he may threaten to score an own goal. If we drop him, as captain, we will have a problem. How can you drop your captain? So what do we do? Put up with it? Keep accepting the mistakes? “Rotate” him more often?

What do you think? I, for one, just don’t know…

Arsenal vs Sp*rs preview tomorrow…]]>

  • gunner_wendy

    < ![CDATA[I couldn't agree with you more about our problem in the defence and about Gallas ...U were spot on..I am convinced we will not win the EPL becos of our CB partnership... and I put our last seasons woes largely down to him..

    The problem though is not just him but AW who I believe does not have the guts to drop him lest it causes disharmony in the squad ..but hey as they say fortune favours the brave...]]>

  • ArseFan101

    Dude, this article is absolutely bang on! I’ve kind of been thinking this for a while and finding myself happier when Gallas is OUT of the team. There seems to be a sense of calmness when he’s out and he’s been a major problem this seasons, with his mistakes and with his behaviour off the field. To add to your article, he’s also got caught a) coming out of a nightclub and b) smoking!

  • Tom G

    Great blog. But I’d go further. It’s not just his contribution to the team as a player, which I agree is suspect for all the reasons you give. It’s his manner as a captain. I think Gallas is the reason players wanted to move on over the summer. It seemed to me that the likes of Hleb, Flamini and Ade – even though he didn’t go in the end – were just fed up with his big mouth and what can only be described as his childish style of captaincy. Against the Hammers on Sunday, when Cesc was about to take a free kick, Gallas ran past him to get in the box, and gave him some ‘instructions’ as he went. Did I imagine it or did Cesc – while not letting on too much – look like he couldn’t give a toss? And it’s happened a lot hasn’t it, we’ve all seen it. It would certainly irritate me, and I haven’t just been a big part of a team that won the Euros. Make Toure captain, and partner him with Djourou, and wouldn’t it feel better?

  • JDD

    < ![CDATA[after his performances this season i can see wh mourinholiked to play him as a left back: he is quick,good on the floor but poor in the air.but i dont think djourou is good enough to replace him yet.
    i am hearing good stuff about yaya toure coming in january for 8mil.also huntelaar for 22mil?]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[Gosh, never the barometer of common opinion I seem to be slipping even further out of touch!

    Gallas hasn't played well all the time this season, and he certainly is a little gobby. But - he does "lead". Thats not something I see Toure doing. If I was going to give the captaincy to anyone at the monment it would be Almunia - in Turkey he did a good job as captain, he has the right attitude and he is in top form. I don't even think goalies make good captains!

    But I wouldn't take the captaincy from Gallas just like that.

    He clearly needs a word, and he clearly needs to know his place in the team isn't garunteed.

    That said, Gallas is the only central defender we've got that appears to read the game and have a good sense of position. Toure is often drawn out, Djourou is unproven and makes the odd mistake... Silvestre has the intelligence to read the game, but if he makses a mistake, his speed is gone now.

    Someone above commented on how the team looks calmer without Gallas. You did watch the match in Turkey right? When we ran about like headless chickens everytime they got the ball and conceeded two goals? And then at West Ham where we looked solid and assured?! The difference was Gallas I'm afraid.

    We've conceeded 6 in the league - only ManUre and Chelski have conceeded less and they have the best central defences in the country.

    On a seperate note -
    Top 5 Passers: Fabregas and Denilson both in there.
    Team With Most Shots: Arsenal - 145
    Most Offside Player: Adebayor - 29
    Denilson is also in the Top 10 Most Assists]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[Anyone interested in the mathematical proof that Adebayor is a bit of a cock with his offsides:

    http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11662_2705370,00.html]]>

  • Debs

    I think the Gallas situation is a tough one and I agree with Kieran that what he needs is a word! Dropping him as captain would definitely unsettle the dressing room and he’d definitely threaten to leave or just be useless in whatever matches he plays in! So I guess dropping him as captain is a good as dropping him out of the team and I’m sure Wenger would not do that unless he’s got a replacement for him, which at the moment, I don’t think he has. Also, ppl always moan that our squad lacks experience and Gallas is one of the players that do have experience so dropping him will definitely not be a good move, at the moment, at least! But yeah, it’ll be good to see if we can play without him, without missing him in the back, and that definitely wasn’t the case in Turkey. Only time will tell!

  • ArseFan101

    < ![CDATA[In all honesty, I agree with Gallas being dropped. He does annoy me. It always seems to be about him.

    But at the end the day we have to live with him, he's our captain!!!

    And Kieran, I can tell you that Toure is much better than Gallas!]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[Prove it! Statistically speaking, adjusted for appearences, Gallas has made more tackles, completed more passes and scored more goals.

    On what figures do you claim Toure is better based on form this season?!]]>

  • ArseFan101

    < ![CDATA[Based on these facts Gallas shouldn't be captain:
    Gallas' sulk at the Birmingham
    Gallas critising Arsenal and Arsene during the summer.
    Gallas threating Chelsea
    Gallas' less than inspiring form this season
    Gallas' nightclub antics and smoking this season

    And Toure should:
    He is Arsenal through and through
    Always supportive
    Refers to Arsenal as "we" whereas Gallas calls us "Arsenal" (show connection to the club)
    2006 run with Senderos / Campbell proves he is the best]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[its good that we'r addressing our defensive issues.
    i'm not impressed with gallas and thankfully its clearer to most of us now. wenger likes his players to be decent humble people. and sometimes gallas looks like he's the opposite. maybe wenger wanted someone with 'brit grit' - rio ferdinand, john terry, jamie carragher. they can all shout and get things done and wake players up. unfortunately gallas can't do that properly. some players work better when theyr under pressure. some players work better without pressure. i think most of our players do better without pressure. it seems they work better in a calmer situation. maybe why they dont respond well to shouting is because theyr still a bit too young. or maybe its because they come from a different culture and are not british. its hard to say exactly why but its clear that gallas isnt as effective for us as a centreback needs to be.
    we all make mistakes. maybe wenger hoped it would be diff and it turned out not so good.
    it makes more sense to me, if either almunia or toure were made captain. they both have an absolutely fantastic attitude. they can be competitive, professional as well as respectful and humble all at the same time. i think it would help the rest of the squad as well, they'd respond better. and i do think we need someone to take gallas' place. i'm also of the opinion that we'd do better without him. with who we'v got, djourou for me is the best of the rest. its early to rate silvestre but he's clearly not the same as rio, john, or jamie. if only we had one more proper centreback then we'd be as good as liv, chel, or manu. i think djourou has the quality but he's not there yet. he's not experienced enough and that can only come through playing more games. he's decent in the air, he's good good balance, can pass well, got good feet. can play right back centreback or centremid. i just hope he realizes that theres a place at centreback up for grabs and works harder in the reserve matches and becomes a better player quickly.]]>