Probably the busiest post International Thursday and Friday we've had in a very long time. Of course we've been hit by two major incidents.
Firstly, it looks like young Theo will be out of the team for the next 3 – 4 months with a shoulder injury. It’s a blow to the team, the manager and the fans, because the young English striker come midfielder was hitting some decent form, scoring goals and creating chances. His pace means that you’d often see two players from the opposition team mark him and thus leaving space for someone else to expose.
Arsene spoken about Theo’s injury and had this to say:
“He has a dislocated shoulder and he had surgery today. He will be out for three months. I am disappointed because he is an important player. But that could have happened in training here and we have to accept it as an accident. It could have happened anywhere. I do not blame the FA for the injury. It was accidental in training. I accept it. I don’t believe that even if you lose the title, you cannot link it with one player,” said the Frenchman. I do think it is a problem that we have lost him, but that would not be an excuse to lose the championship because of that. I haven’t seen him [since the injury] because he came straight back to the surgeon and had surgery today. But he copes quite well [with injuries] and I’m amazed how he deals with it. This time it’s a bit of a blow because he’s just taking off. It’s an important part of the season where he feels like he’s playing every game, and he’s playing for the national team and it’s part of a career.”
It looks like we’re down to the bare bones, with Eboue, Sagna and Toure out, it looks like it’s going to be a very “light” right side.
Now onto Gallas. Before we get into the “Gallasgate” drama, let’s just put it this way. He’s out of the squad against Man City by the manager’s choice, rather than because of injury.
Man City vs Arsenal
Manchester City v Arsenal
Barclays Premier League, City of Manchester Stadium
Saturday, November 22, 2008, 15:00
He’s joined by Toure, Sagna, Eboue, Cesc, Rosicky and Eduardo in the absentees list. Let’s take a look at the proposed starting line up and then get into the nonsense which is not called “Gallasgate”!
The likely line up could be:
| Van Persie
With Fabianski, Hoyte, Gibbs, Randall, Wilshere, Vela and Bendtner on the bench. With the possibility of a 17 year old starting and the average age of the outfield players on the bench about 18, it really down to the bare bones.
So where do we start in this ultimately crazy drama that we find ourselves in today? Well, to start with Gallas has reportedly been stripped of the captaincy. Whether that’s true or not we’ll find out tomorrow but all in all, it’s supposed to be very true. So Gallas is finally out and thank God. We need to concentrate on players who are determined to win and don’t just care about how they look. Here’s a round up of what’s been going on.
Firstly, Gallas said this about the teamand about the players. The player in question is believed to be Robin Van Persie and these two players are known within the camp to not get along.
So what happened next? Well Graham Taylor was the first to react and he had the following to say:
“Would we not think that by now Arsene Wenger, the manager that he is, would know the kind of person he wants as captain, and if it isn’t working for him, make those changes. He knows his players better than any of us, he knows what he’s looking for as a leader, as a captain. If he feels that Gallas isn’t doing that then I think he’s wrong if he continues with him. I would have thought by now a manager of Arsene Wenger’s calibre knows what makes a good captain, and I’m somewhat surprised that he still has stuck with Gallas even after that Birmingham situation.”
The jury has been out on Gallas for some time. And yes, he’s not 100% bad, but he’s not 100% good either. He’s not the role model the players need and he’s not the captain material that the players look up to. He’s been indulged with kudos beyond his stature.
Nigel Winterburn was next and he said this:
“William Gallas is the link between the manager and the players and really he should have sorted it out with the rest of the players himself or gone to the manager. He doesn’t need to air it in public. Most football clubs sort this out in-house. They don’t let the world know about it. Arsene Wenger is very, very loyal to his players. He protects them because he believes in them. He’s got a difficult decision to make. If he takes the captaincy away from William Gallas then he’s almost saying that he doesn’t trust him as a player and if he doesn’t trust him as a player he shouldn’t be playing him within the team.
Highlighting the loyalty that Arsene has to his players. Many were surprised that Gallas got it ahead of Gilberto, and then kept it in spite of the Birmingham game and then kept it over summer. And Nigel makes a good point in regards to the fact that if he doesn’t trust Gallas then he shouldn’t be in the team. Hopefully we’ll never see him again!
Next up was Harry Redknapp and he’s talked about how these issues are normal kept in house.
“What happens in the dressing room should be kept in-house. If you have a problem you should talk to your manager. Too often now players are too quick to run to the press. Get on with the job and play football, if there is a problem then sort it out.There are always arguments in dressing rooms. The great teams have people sorting problems out, making the job easy for the manager. Roy Keane at Manchester United; Arsenal with Frank McLintock. They would be sorting out the problems. If anyone can sort it out, Arsene Wenger can but I’m sure he wants to concentrate on the football.”
But we don’t have a Frank McLinktock, a Paddy V, a Thierry, instead we have “Le Sulk” Mach II. It’s clear that the team don’t think much of Gallas, and Ade was quick to talk up Cesc as a potenial future captain. Roy Keane was the next person to add his two-pence worth and backed Gallas for his outburst and likened him to himself.
“I used to quite a bit. But there are ways of doing it. You just hope you have a strong dressing room. Obviously I’m not going to comment on what the captain of Arsenal has allegedly said.But you hope you have a few captains in your dressing room to take care of things. I was lucky in my playing days that we had some strong characters and we used to deal with what ever was going on in the dressing room. If I was missing something, which I very rarely did, then there was another couple of players to spot things. A good dressing room and a good captain can make the manager’s job easier. Everyone has the right to say what they feel every now and again and if it upsets people, so what? People are too easily upset these days.”
And then of course, Gallas spoke out again. This time the 25-year old lost 5 years and because a 20-year old. Albeit, he was talking about a separate incident.
“I was also 20-years-old once. I would never have allowed myself to speak in this tone to a footballer who was older than me. The youngsters from the Euros seem cheeky, very sure of themselves. They think they know it all, but they don’t know anything. Faced with his contempt, I raised my voice. The young player said: ‘Lower your voice, speak less loudly’. I replied: ‘How are you speaking to me? Who do you think you are? You are only 20-years-old. I am not your friend. He said: ‘Me neither, I am not your friend’
All very saga-ish now hey? But can you believe this drama! Ah, the last thing we need now is this. We’ve lost Walcott and Cesc and lost a little passion – we need to start concentrating on football!
The comments were divided too, let’s take a look at what the reaction to Gallas’ comments were:
“i dont blame gallas for coming out with the comments, if they are actually his comments and not a work of mischief by some moron.
to the people who might think that he’s the captain and should lead by example, and that the example he’s setting by making these comments isnt right – i say, the damage is already done. we’v already lost some games and drawn others which we shouldnt have. so with gallas coming out with the truth (if it is), i dont see how it makes a difference to the stability of th team. its already unstable like he says.”
“Gooners seem to be spilt on William Gallas. He seems to be like marmite, you either love him or hate him. In fact, that’s not a bad nickname for him. I’m in the love him camp and feel that the criticism he receives is way over the top. I also believe that he is being made a scapegoat for Arsenal struggling. There is an anti-Gallas bandwagon that has been forming since the Birmingham incident and it’s gathering pace. Marmite is our best defender, take the armband from him and we lose him. As simple as that. Do you think he would stay? I don’t. He is not a bad captain. People compare Marmite to recent skippers Tony Adams and Patrick Vieira and that is not fair. Adams and Vieira were fantastic Arsenal leaders but look at who they had around them. Adams had Keown, Bould, Dixon, Seaman etc, and Vieira had Henry, Gilberto, Bergkamp, Parlour, Campbell etc. Who does Marmite have to help him on the pitch? That’s right, no one.”
“A captain doesn’t seek to shift responsibility to the other players in his side, as this latest outburst from Gallas has done. He is obviously trying to make other players the scapegoats. I hate John Terry, but his actions last night speak volumes of why he is the Chelsea captain and why Gallas was demoted down the ranks and subsequently sold.”
Viakariyre was supportive of Gallas and apportioned blame to the rest of the team and the manager:
“Nice and easy though hey to blame Gallas, the ex-Chelsea player, rather than a prima donna centre forward with an attitude problem or the manager who brought us success in the past but is now looking and sounding like man who has lost the plot! Wenger has to be held responsible!”
Dan’s not a fan of the current skipper:
“Bottom line is, Gallas has showed himself to be a stroppy – when the chips are down he will lie down kind of guy. He only shows passion when he is in the mood. He generally denies all blame for everything and points the finger elsewhere. He seemingly lacks any man management ability, and fails to get anyone to raise their game.”
Surely more tomorrow…]]>