Will Wenger strip Gallas of the captaincy?
He should do.
Yesterday’s bizarre rant (how many times have we associated the word ‘bizarre’ with the word ‘Gallas’?) may have been intended as a gee-up to his beleaguered team-mates, but ended up as a headline-writer and Arsenal-basher’s dream. Instead of presenting a united front, he launched a thinly-veiled assault on a player, banged on about me-me-me and questioned whether he’d still be at Arsenal next year.
Is this the kind of behaviour befitting of an Arsenal captain? Rhetorical question.
Of course, our woes are not all Gallas’s fault but nobody has said they are. However, his form has been up and down like a whore’s drawers this season – I didn’t spot much responsibility for that in his tirade. And his captaincy has been rightly questioned. He’s just not a good leader. Now I can’t wave a magic wand and give you a Tony-Adams-Lite as a replacement – the fact is there are no obvious outstanding leaders at Arsenal, which is perhaps another argument entirely – but I do think that even without a obvious captain-in-the-wings, a change is what needed.
And if you strip him of the captaincy, you are basically inviting his departure. It would be hard to see him stay on the back of what is effectively a demotion.
That’s a risk Wenger has to weigh up.
For those who’ve not seen it, here’s the outburst in all its loveliness. Some of which, by the way, we can all agree with.
For more on this, I chat to arseblogger in today’s arsecast.
“There are things that can’t be said and can’t be tolerated. When, as captain, some players come up to you and talk to you about a player … complaining about him … and then during the match you speak to this player and the player in question insults us.
“There comes a time where we can no longer comprehend how this can happen.
“I am trying to defend myself a bit without giving names. Otherwise I’m taking all the blame. It’s very frustrating. I’m 31, the player is six years younger than me.
“There was a problem at half-time at Tottenham.The only thing that I could say at half-time was ‘Guys, we resolve these problems after the match, not at half-time.'”
“We are not brave enough in battle. “I think we need to be soldiers. We have to be warriors. There are teams who can do it well against us, and we have to be able to face up to these attacks.
“We are coming up against teams who are not scared to play football against us, who are not scared to take us on at our place, and this is becoming dangerous for Arsenal.”
“I have to win something this year. I have to win something, Arsenal has to win something,” Gallas said. “It’s four or five years since Arsenal won anything. That’s nearly five years, and that’s not good.
“For me the title is not over, it’s true that we are nine points behind Chelsea, but you have to be optimistic and you can’t give up.
“Four defeats is a lot, but it’s a long season. I think it will be very tight this year and we will have to hope that Chelsea draw a few games and have a few defeats.”
Happy days, eh?