Friday, 21 November 2008

Silly Billy

If one believes what one reads then William Gallas is no longer Arsenal club captain, I can't say that I'm particularly disappointed if that is the case, one hardly gets the impression that Gallas has been an inspiring figure during his spell in charge. Certainly Gallas' recent words that spoke of events in the dressing room have made his position untenable, he broke the unwritten rule that this kind of stuff must stay behind closed doors. One just wonders how deliberate this was from Gallas, was he keen for an early return to France or was he just not thinking?

I'd rather not comment than insult Gallas, while his achievements as captain speak louder than words, these include alienating a large portion of the dressing room and at times not behaving in a manner fitting for an adult let alone a club captain. However the man has played well at times and should not be made a scapegoat for all our failings, after all there is a man called Arsene Wenger who made him captain in the first place. Was he really a sensible choice for this role? It could be argued that he could have been an Arsenal great, if he had been played alongside a taller commanding centre back and if he had not been handed the responsibility of captaincy for which he seemed so ill suited.

As I always thought if Gallas is no longer club captain, then one cannot see him staying at the club, leaving Arsene with some rather interesting problems in the centre back area. Gallas has not been a bad player for the club by any means, however he is definitely no commanding centre back His partnerships with Toure and Silvestre have left a lot to be desired at times, but Gallas could not be expected to be a type of player than he has never been before, he should have been paired with a more commanding and physically powerful partner as he was at Chelsea.

It is now time for the rest of the squad to stand up and be counted
, this is no time for bickering, it is a time for solidarity. I hope this is the stepping stone for Johan Djourou to gets some games and develop into one of the finest centre backs in the world, Arsene has been hinting that the time is now for the young Swiss. Toure is out of tomorrow's game with a calf injury, meaning that it will surely be Silvestre partnering Djourou, while Cesc's suspension and Theo's injury should hopefully see maybe Ramsey and Wilshere get a start each, with Eboue at right back. However there are rumours that Hoyte will come in at right back with Eboue pushed into midfield. I'd also like to see Manuel made captain.

I hear you saying 'Why Manuel Almunia captain?'. Well, he's a good bloke, he's been a very consistent performer for the past couple of seasons, he's not too young, he's got a good view of things from goal and frankly who else would make a better skipper? I thought it was only a matter of time before the Gallas situation had to be resolved, and being optimistic, it's good that it's happened sooner rather than later, we can now rebuild and get on with without Billy. We need a popular captain, someone who can encourage and not alienate the young players, tomorrow against City is already looking like quite a big moment in our season. Come on you Gunners!


Anonymous said...

1979gunner, mate you're a good bloke and I admire your gumption, but the time for make believe has ended. There have not been any captains in the squad for some years now. Wenger deserves plaudits for financial prudence but that has also come with a price we are only beginning to pay now. Gallas spoke his mind and has been out of order on numerous occasions but his words are not lies, it is plain for all to see that there is a problem in the side. Gallas must now go, but his appointment as captain which Wenger held on to the bitter end brings the spotlight squarely on Wenger's judgement. Today is just the beginning of what needs to happen at AFC. It's time to rebuild.

1979gooner said...

There is a problem, true, however how much was down to Gallas and how much down to others is impossible to tell at this stage.

We'll have to see what happens now, who stands up and is counted, who chokes when the pressure is on.

There may be no Big Tone anymore, but who would make a better captain for the time being than Manuel Almunia?

1979gooner said...

ps as you say and as I highlighted in the post, it does bring into question Wenger's judgement

this makes his next moves to recover from this situation all the more key, can he get it right now? I hope so, but it's not an easy task.

Anonymous said...

True, not an easy task. We took years to get into this and it will take time to get out. The hope is that Wenger can act quickly and find the right sort to come in and bring credibility to the side. Forget silverware, that's not the point, we need maturity, composure and steady courage. The youth policy has been a mistake only as far as it's been over-done and it's lessons not headed. A youth academy sans seasoned and experienced professional(in every sense) role models that our youth respect, receive valuable guidance from, and who they can turn to in times of stress(like now) are invaluable in building a cohesive unit. Team spirit, a celebrated myth perpetuated by Wenger has been fatally pierced by Gallas and reveals a side that is deeply troubled. For Wenger to turn this around he can no longer trust in youth, yes I like Ramsey's attutide, but he is still a boy and will get pushed around, the team needs maturity(composure and fight). That is the piece of the puzzle that has been missing and Wenger ignores this at his own peril.

Anonymous said...

As captain - Almunia, Glichy, and Toure are to my view not serious candidates and only offer an interim solution. As you said, not an easy task, as there is much, much work yet to do. I do not believe that Gallas' absence will provide a meaningful long-term boost to the squad that some think it will. There is a leadership vacuum in this squad and for those who don't know much of team building or leadership Gallas' absence does not address this problem. To your question on who is worthy of the armband - as I scan the squad names, that player in question is yet to arrive.

Anonymous said...

amen to the article.

1979gooner said...

You may see the person as not yet arriving, however we need a captain tomorrow, so who would you chose of our bunch?

The lack of candidates for captain does demonstrate just how short of experience we are as a squad, we have only a handful of players who are in the experienced bracket and that's strecthing it a bit

Anonymous said...

Cesc can be a unifying figure and he does have a level head, he is also a euro winner and somewhat of a natural choice, but his youth makes him an unwise choice at this time. Glichy too has some qualities but is simply too young and doesn't have the credibility to my view either with the club or within the squad. Toure is way out of form and is not playing regularly. Almunia is the safe choice for the time being until the proper personnel can be brought in, and who knows he may up his game a bit as a result. I wish it was more straight-forward but this is the price we pay for a team sorely lacking in balance and maturity.

Anonymous said...

The risk of giving the captaincy to cesc is that once he's got it and we bring in some older players what then? Also, he hasn't looked happy lately and a premature departure is not inconceivable. I suppose he could be level headed enough to give it up at the appropriate time? Again, Almunia by default. There is one downside to the Almunia choice - it signals that we have no realistic alternative as a field player is normally preferred and shows our hand a bit. The players that should definitely not be considered are rvp and ade who are more polarizing than unifying in character. I will even go out on a limb and say rvp is the team's problem child, and if so, i don't care what his ability is, a disruptive influence is a cancer.

Ted said...

Kolo Toure and Gilberto were the other names in the frame when Wenger appointed Gallas. Kolo is now the longest serving player at the club and plays with all his heart. Recent form is irrelevant to who should be captain - Gilberto was not guaranteed a game every week.
The time is not yet right for Cesc and frankly, I don't think he is a leader. Nice guy - yes. Good player - yes. But its too much for him at this stage.
If not Kolo, then Almunia.

P.s. well done Wenger. At last.