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Yet Another Article on Billy Gallas

As ever, when things are not going swimmingly, be it for a football team, a person or a political figure, the media will always attempt to create a storm. Any slightly negative story will be supplemented by a whirlwind of bullshit stories, the purpose of which are to sow a seed in your mind that reaps in doubt. It soon gets to a point where you cannot see the wood for the trees and distinguishing fabrication from fact can become a troublesome task, like untying some bastard knot in your MP3 player headphones. George Orwell it was who said, "The biggest struggle in life is seeing what`s on the end of your nose."

Usually, I would not give the tabloid press the time of day. But lately my bullshit-o-meter is going doolalley and I feel the need to recover a few truths. With Arsenal's current run of indifferent form, the mischief makers have been rolling in red and white muck all week. The target for their malleable affections appears to be Arsenal skipper William Gallas. With Pavlovian quiescence, people are beginning to ask questions of his leadership. It is not at all incorrect to do this. In times of strife, one looks to a leader and this is the type of pressure a captain has to surmount to undertake his duty effectively. But before judging Gallas, I feel it necessary to point a few things out. Firstly, the jury is still entirely out on his tantrum at St. Andrews. Personally, I don`t have much of a problem with it. Mitigating circumstances (Eduardo`s horrific injury, the grief of a good friend and team mate) may explain the manifestation of his disappointment. I don`t buy the line that Clichy needed an arm around his shoulder following the last minute penalty he so needlessly conceded. In fact, Gallas did not make any sort of gesture towards Clichy.

In any case, three weeks earlier, Gallas put an arm around Clichy following his error at Manchester City; the message obviously did not transmit. Not defending the penalty was madness and a sign that Gallas had completely lost his head. But the subsequent final whistle sit in did not trouble me greatly, for the last two seasons I had grown tired of having a media schooled captain, who larked around with his opposing number and smiled in defeat. The fact that we had a captain who damaged property and cried because we drew actually impressed me in a perverse way. Two seasons ago, following a meek defeat at Anfield, Henry picked up the ball, booted it into the away fans and stormed off the pitch. No questions were asked by a media all too fond of fawning over Henry. Diplomacy and effective press management does not make for good captaincy. Look at Steven Gerrard, this Sunday, one of his players was losing the plot and he was nowhere to be seen. (Gerrard has a habit of turning invisible against quality opponents). But Gerrard`s legendary media management means few questions have been asked. Similarly, Michael Owen has captained Newcastle throughout their miserable run of form and no questions have been asked of him either by an agenda driven media. (If Gallas had celebrated our victory in Milan by getting in a punch up in Faces, ask yourself what the media`s reaction would have been). The psychoanalytical media, armed with their copies of 'Civilisation and Its Discontents` did much collective chin scratching as to the psychological effects that Gallas` tantrum would have on his team. Well I was at the game and Gallas` sit in took place long after the players had trooped into the away dressing room, so his prone posture would not have even been visible to them but for a picture in the Sunday morning papers. Anyways, doubtless you`ll have your own interpretations of the incident and I can see the other side of the coin on this one; but I am more concerned that Gallas allowed Aliadiere space to open the scoring against Boro, or his misjudged header against Drogba on Sunday.

The latest gem to trickle forth from the orifice marked "news" has surrounded Gallas` pre match team talk on Sunday. "Did he just do that for the cameras?" enquired one of Billy`s legendary predecessors Tony Adams. Quite why Tone chose to get involved I am not sure, he seems to have distanced himself from the club significantly since his retirement, which he is perfectly entitled to do, I don`t share many supporters` grudge with him for that. But as Portsmouth`s Assistant Manager, I`m not sure why he feels the need to get involved. Anyone who attends our games will tell you that Gallas performs a pre match team talk in the warm up in every single game he plays, without exception. It has become ritualistic in the warm up. It`s quite amusing how nobody commented on this when we were winning games at a canter and riding high in the table. Yet now we find ourselves in a purple patch, this habitual occurrence has all of a sudden assumed some kind of seminal importance in our downfall. Gallas` Churchilian pastiche has become some kind of hubris. It`s symptomatic of the fact that while we were winning, Gallas` leadership skills were not remarked upon at all. That`s fine, but now by extension, it`s apparently all his fault that we can`t win for toffee. There is a massive burden on Gallas, in pre-season; the talk was of Gilberto and Lehmann being Gallas` deputies to form the experienced backbone of the side. Come mid August, Bert and Mad Jens have become persona non grata in the starting XI, leaving Gallas as the sole bastion of responsibility. It`s a burden he has shouldered manfully this campaign, but it`s very difficult for one man to usurp the fortunes of an underperforming side. Forgive me if I am beginning to resemble an apologist, but I think for Gallas to solely endure the flack for a team low in morale and low on form is a tad harsh to say the least.

The quote above from Adams emanates from a story in the Daily Mirror. The story begins by implying that Wenger is furious with Gallas for publicly conceding the title in the wake of Sunday`s defeat (the story offers no such quote). Yet, in the concluding paragraph of this journalistic masterpiece, the story goes on to say that Wenger is furious with Gallas for appearing unconcerned by the reverse at Stamford Bridge, "why should we worry? It will be difficult now, but there are seven games to go and we have to keep going." But hang on, at the beginning of the article, you said he had conceded the……….oh forget it. Stories have subsequently emerged that the team have lost faith in Gallas` abilities as a leader. One of the seeds of their discontent had apparently been Gallas` comments surrounding Theo Walcott in the build up to the Milan game. (Didn`t seem to affect their performance that night, oh I see, obviously it had a delayed reaction on the psychology of the team). This one I find most amusing of all. I was in Italy when this story broke and couldn`t quite fathom what people were talking about when I got home. In the Italian press, Gallas was reported to have lauded Walcott`s talent, exclaiming that he will be world class in a few years time. The part of the story the English gutter snipes picked out was a comment about how Theo needed to improve his left foot. Like I said earlier, wood for the trees.

A rather cynical friend of mine (you know who you are) questioned whether these "everybody hates Billy" stories had in fact been leaked by Gilberto`s agent, given that all of a sudden Gilberto is all over the official website dismissing the stories. (At the club`s behest perhaps). Now, I am one of the most cynical people you could wish to meet, but I absolutely honestly, and accuse me of naivety if you will, do not believe Gilberto would do that. If there`s a more consummate professional going, I`d like to see him. Gilberto has pointedly refused to discuss his future when questioned, even if his imminent departure is football`s worst kept secret. I may well be laying myself open to heartbreak, but Gilberto is a character I trust implicitly. To me this just has all the hallmarks of press mischief making. For further proof, see the Daily Mail`s report that Gallas has no friends at Arsenal. As a few posters have already pointed out, his comments were actually made in L`Equipe about players in the England set up he is friends with, hence the mention of Theo Walcott. Gallas isn`t the media sheen leader some seem to want, but it matters little how the media portray him or even whether he is a nice guy. While I have found it necessary to untangle a few media fallacies, it matters little how Billy comes across in the press. Henry was articulate and charming, the kind of guy you`d probably like to see your daughter with. He was also a great, great player. But he was a lousy captain. I felt for him a bit because leadership isn`t something you can learn, it`s there or it isn`t. Wenger should never have picked him and I think the attempts to get him to stay at Arsenal at the time of his appointment informed that decision. The only place to judge that leadership is on the pitch, not in the newsroom or on the front pages. For my money Gallas has been an awe inspiring leader for us, he organises the back four with an authority we previously lacked. His form appears to have deserted him recently more than his leadership skills, there honestly isn`t another player in our squad I`d have over him as skipper. Your own opinion may be different, just try not to sling shit spewing from other people`s orifices when judging him.LD.




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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday March 26 2008

Time: 2:16PM

Your Comments

Someone who sees it like me. At the end of the daythe british media knows more money is made with negative stories than positive ones. If england win the world cup we will see it in the papers for 5 or 6 days. If sven goran Erkisson meets up with a fake sheik or has a fling with an F.A secretary its in the papers for months with opinions on every 4 or 5 pages. When a team is down the papers love to make up reasons for why things are not going well. Not just at Arsenal but at Spurs, Newcastle, Liverpool and at any of the big teams misfortunes. You can be sure we would never see stories of problems involving Wigan..
paul_ownz
How about Toure or Fabregas as captain??!
Fan of Blues
I saw this on another blog, re Gallas' quotes about having "no friends" at Arsenal: "I happen to be French and have read the original piece in L’Equipe and the ‘no mates’ quote is a piece of absolute *****-stirring garbage. The question Gallas was asked was about players in the England team, of which Walcott is the only Arsenal-based, and understandably not the closest to Gallas, partly because of the generation gap, as Gallas points out. And that is all." -- the "no mates" quote was totally distorted by a rag that constantly distorts any news about Arsenal. I just find it ridiculous how Gallas has now become this horrible villain, demonized and villified everywhere, even by some gooners. The "moral outrage" radar in English football always fixates hysterically on hugely overblown incidents (while being utterly callous about things that should generate outrage), I just don't see that in South America at all. The whole hysteria over Macherano is a case in point -- yeah, he was a total idiot who deserves no sympathy. But no one (except Andy Gray, surprisingly) mentions that Mascherano was outraged that Bennett continually ignored Torres being hacked down repeatedly by Fergie's bully boys, and then booking Torres (who'd got fed up with the treatment) while letting MU's thugs go unpunished. As a result, Torres is now injured with knocks to his ribs and ankle and is out of the Spain squad in their friendly v. Italy.
jaelle
A great attempt to bring some balance LD. With a bit of luck there will be some with the capacity to understand what is happening. I guess the current round of Gallas' stories has it roots in the events after the Brum game. Frankly I would have thought most gooners would have known exactly how he felt. He knew the importance of those 2 extra points, thrown away at the death, going into the sequence of games in March. It was a tipping point, he knew it, was pretty p*ssed off about it and wanted everybody to know he was p*ssed off about it. As a captain I think he has been great - better than either Henry or Vieira. As a player he has been superb. If he has made the occassional rare error then it's fewer than most others and are far outweighed by the quality and consistency of his overall play.
Amos.
Well written. I'm fed up of mischief making journo's trying to cause a stir and turning molehills into mountains to further their own ambitions. Gallas has been an inspirational captain, and is worth a hundred cashley's - one of Wengers best bits of business yet!
Cesky
Haha.. good find jaelle.. that actually makes sense now! I remember Gallas being misquoted even in the beginning when he said something abt Arsenal's transfer policy.. he was completely misinterpreted.. its almost as if nobody can translate french into english in England!
arsenalrulz4ever
paul_ownz,you got to be kidding mate.If England won the world cup we'd hear about it forever....they're still on about 66 for Christ's sake! But I know what you're getting at.I would give Gallas a kick up the arse especially after Birmingham....he's a spoilt brat.
java
You see I don't understand that assertion java, because most of us complain that footballers don't show any passion or connection with their fans. Yet Gallas gets in a massive huff when we don't win, and people tell him to grow up and stop behaving in such a way. You can surely see how this is a lose lose situation. While it has little bearing on his captaincy, he always, always acknowledges the fans without fail. On Sunday, he had thousands of horrible chavs chanting about him at the final whistle, yet he still walked over alone to throw his shirt into the Arsenal fans. It would have been very easy for him to retreat to the dressing room in those circumstances.
Little Dutch
If it is true about Gallas quotes being about the English players then that isutter scandalous, and I wouldn't blame Billy for taking legal action against the paper, in fact I'd encourage it.
Rocky7
Have to agree entirely with LD. I really don't get this hysteria over an emotional reaction like at the Birmingham game, why it generates so much moral outrage, so much discomfort. Why this neurotic sensitivity to Gallas' perfectly human reaction? The notion that he "let the players down" or that his reaction somehow psychologically hurt the players is ludicrous. If that's the case then these boys certainly need a lot of hand-holding. According to the English media, if Terry had reacted like that then the Chelsea squad would be too psychologically damaged to go on winning games. Right. Players and managers get emotional all the time, in South America there are tantrums thrown every week. Pundits there don't get all sanctimonious and moralize, they just shrug their shoulders, recognize the player's lost control, and just move on.
jaelle
Little Dutch,Gallas should acknowledge the fans captain or not.Every player should...it's called respect.
java
i really wish they would leave gallas alone, but then you can only wish and stories about anything arsenal sells the papers so they can help it i guess...
TeamSpirit
java, so what are you goin to do to the others that didnt?
TeamSpirit
the most naturally gifted and versatile defender in the premier league...but the biggest cry baby one can see...a excellent 1st team player but not worthy enough to be a captain...
Spurs_fan_from_india
Gallas is being turned into a proper villain by the papers. Really getting a bit ridiculous now. Hasn't done anything wrong as far as i'm concerned. Always 100% commited, always a leader, very passionate, actually very respectful (although the papers wouldn't make you think that). great player, great captain. He has been one of the most important figures in Arsenal's success this season. I have a lot of time for Billy G.
ArsenalRob
"but the biggest cry baby one can see". Bigger than O'Hara when not getting picked for the final>...
paul_ownz
Spurs_fan_from_india, 'not worthy enough to be a captain'? He is not your stereo-type great captain, but he does do a great job of it. He is loud enough to get his point across, yet also knows to let the whole team have their own say. Good tactically, great defender, extremely passionate, good team player. That's a good captain.
ArsenalRob
Whatever Gallas does, the media finds a way to make put a negative spin on it. I still don't see what was so wrong about how Gallas acted after the Brum game or why the media is still talking about it. I can't think of any other captain in the PL who would have gotten so much negative media attention had he done the same thing.
Cheese.
notice how the media covered Robbie Keane's petty little tantrum at being subbed the other day? No condemnation of his crybaby theatrics, just understanding at how much he cares about his team.
jaelle
Gallas has not been a bad captin even though his action at Birmingham was IMO over the top, just showes he is very competitive, the slump in the team form comes at the same time as Hleb has had a dip in form, he´s the player that can pull midfielders and defenders toward him self and create space for others. Senderos was dropped to make space for toure wich I think was a mistake as he and Gallas look to be more balanced pair and can somone tell me the news on Sagna, is he out for long?
Armory
Glad he closed him mouth this time.
YidEdy
Fantastic player. Fantastic captain. Emotional person but that's far from a significant blemish to warrant the media attention it's getting. Occasional errors but still one of the best defenders around. Respect. That's it for me.
Lou the Gunneress
If things went differently we would of kept Cole and he could of been captain.......... Id rather have a willy than a c*** though
paul_ownz
Trying to walk off before the final whistle is nothing but selfish & Irresponsible and you guys turn it around to say he cares, He cares alright but only about himself. What ever your sexual orientation Paul_ownz has nothing to do with the topic ;)
cockeril
Watching the France v England game. The fact that they're having a minute's silence for a "highly respected sport journalist" tells you a lot. I'm by no means saying there's no tabloid sh;t in France. But I don't recall seeing anything like that too often, honouring a journalist, here or in other places.
Lou the Gunneress
No one at the your stadium today?
k_chelski
K did you watch Brazil on TV? They said close to 60,000 people there. Spain v Italy should be a better game.
Lou the Gunneress
than France v England too. England were cr@p.
Lou the Gunneress
Another goal for Bendtner tonight, Hleb also scored for Belarus. Maybe give Ade some bench time and leave him as an impact player on Saturday and team Nicky with RVP? AW tends to stick with players in a bad patch, but I think Ade might benefit from not being closely marshalled,i f we let him come off the bench it might free him.
Little Dutch
60,020. Yup, it was an ok game.
k_chelski
Yeah LD, same thing with Eboue and Theo please.. But do you see it happening? The only chance to try that is Bolton. Don't think Arsene would leave Ade/Eboue out against Liverpool in the CL. (I was wrong, Spain v Italy looks equally unexciting..)
Lou the Gunneress
No, hang on, that Vyacheslav Hleb is our Alex's younger brother.
Lou the Gunneress
What a barnstorming defence of Gallas! Putting the ****-stirrers aside though, the simple fact is this - today, we do not have a single other person in our squad who is captain material.
Andy-bayor
who scored for Belarus today I mean.
Lou the Gunneress
was Vyacheslav.. another promising hleb
ArsenalRob
The papers are not only writing sh;t about our captain to boost sales, but about our vice-captain too. Even Kolo's terrible pain 'down there' in the Chelsea match has become some cr@p served up by Telegraph. Don't miss the comments, they're great too: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?xml=/sport/2008/03/26/sfninv226.xml
Lou the Gunneress
Lou is correct, it's Vyacheslav who scored with a solo effort. Although Alex did play the whole match.
entropy13
Also, Spain has yet to lose when Cesc plays I think. Regardless, they still have a great record when the let him play. They've won 4 and drew 1 of the last 5 he played in if I recall correctly. And most of their losses came when they partnered Villa with Torres. LOL
entropy13
A good vice captain might help him out, but I really don't know who it is: Toure? Manuel?
stukazufuss
Top stuff LD, completely agree with this article, and its time some balance was provided. I read posts yesterday that Gallas must be sold coz of his 'no English' mates comment. Utterly ridiculous, when we know the media can be mischievous. And I found the co-incidence too convenient, how these stories of dressing room unrest followed Gallas' comments. Nothing but ***** stirring from the media, and it must be said, bloggers like arseblog do NOT help. That man has an agenda against Gallas, I'm certain of that. We wouldnt have reached this far without Gallas, and I have some hope that this season can still be turned around, and credit will go to Gallas for that. He has lost a bit of form lately and he needs to sort that out quick.
prits
Lou, I read that garbage, and all I can say is 'Oh my God'.,... ;). Its amazing that people actually get paid to write ***** like that. I especially liked the comment about the objective scientific experiment, where someone would kick the writer in the nuts to expand his understanding of pain :).
prits
A day in the life of William Gallas: http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/the_way_we_live/article3584455.ece
Lou the Gunneress
im sick of media lieing...Gallas is the best guy to lead Arsenal @ the moment no question about that.
fellow
As what some of you have claimed, gallas may be a "good" team captain. But these media influence will unsettle him. I believe wenger will choose a new captain.
ivanskg
fellow, nowadays a player/team will be the media focus when he/they are down. Reading these media reports, looks like arsenal is going down fast.
ivanskg
Lou do you look at every website for arsenal news. You always find articles first. Good job. On a seperate note, i heard Fabregas has split from his agent because his agent was hankering for a move back to spain and he wants to remain. Now there is a man with loyalty, respect.
paul_ownz
Yes Gallas is a good team captain. What more does he need to be?
Little Dutch
RVP played 90mins for Holland last night, how ******** outrageous is that? He gets injured playing for THEM six months ago, hasn't played 90mins since and now OUR medical staff has worked on him for six months (during which time he hasn't been able to complete 90mins for Arsenal) they play him for a full game in a meaningless friendly. Down with international football, this ******** joke has gone on long enough.
Little Dutch
"Reading these media reports, looks like arsenal is going down fast" - so you enlist the media to support your own personal desire to see us "go down". what does "going down" mean? You actually depend on the media to tell you what is the truth and what isn't? or do you only depend on the media when they tell you what you want to hear?
jaelle
LD, exactly. I always support Brazil but their game v. Sweden was dreadful. I used to like watching int'l football but in the last few years I've become so bored with it. Most of these games are very very dull. According to the official website, aside from RVP, the following played a full 90 mins.: Bendtner (who scored), Cesc, Gallas, Gilberto and Hleb. Eboue and Kolo also played but they give no info on how long they played. Fabianski, Theo, Clichy and Flamini did not play. Lehmann kept a clean sheet in a 4-0 thrashing of Switzerland and Senderos played for 74 mins.
jaelle
I usually would agree LD, but in this instance it is good for him to get 90 minutes under his belt in a friendly which wont be over physical. He needs the match fitness. I am more worried about players like Hleb, Fabregas and Gallas playing considering they have played so much football that they look tired
paul_ownz
LD is better for RVP and Arsenal for him to play full 90mins in that friendly becouse he needs that but Wenger cant afford to give him 90mins @ this stage of the season....fatigue shouldn't be on his agenda considere he was out injured since october, and s 50/50 chances for players to get injure when they are in the field of play club/country ...i believe that friendly match ill helps him out a lot on the weekend (bolton)....
fellow
Oh sh**, Bacary Sagna is out for 3 weeks at least. He will miss out all 3 games against Liverpool and Man United. I dont want to sound like i am making excuses, but how unlucky are we with injuries? Maybe its a lack of depth in our squad(of world class players) but its one bad thing after the other. RVP out for 4 months, Rosicky...., Eduardo, Now sagna.
paul_ownz
Paul_ownz hey it's Newsnow! And I usually jump right to the Arsenal section on sports/football websties, unless there's sth interesting. LD, I was surprised about RvP playing 90 mins too. Remember how Domenech did the same with Thierry last year for some stupid game with opposition of lower profile than England? And how Rosicky and Cech even got picked for Czech when they'd clearly not played for their clubs for weeks was beyond me too. Having them nominally in the squad was funny. And that reminds me of Capello's post-match interview, when asked why he took some key players (Terry, Joe Cole, Gerrard and Rooney) off at half-time, apart from tactical reasons (i.e. having Rooney alone up front didn't work) and the need to see more players' performances vs big opponents like France, he said he didn't want to over-use the key players bcos he understood there's CL and many important games coming up on the club level. That might have been an excuse for their indept performances, but still the manager's got their clubs' needs in his mind. He's clever to mention that on TV as part of his subs rationale. Jaelle, Clichy did play for France A on Tuesday vs Mali, I seem to recall he played the 1st 45 mins only. He's lively, running and sending in some crosses.
Lou the Gunneress
Oh damn. To be perfectly honest, I'd rather see Senderos in the middle, Kolo out to the RB position, than say having Eboue/Hoyte facing Liverpool and ManU, that's just plain scary.
Lou the Gunneress
Lou, yes you're right about Clichy, I forgot about the Mali game -- which, btw, was actually a very exciting friendly. Score was 3-2, both teams went for it.
jaelle
I'd still rather see Eboue in the right back position Lou. A strict talking to from Arsene regarding his responsibilities to the team should be all it takes. If he plays up, or picks up a stupid yellow, then you're right, Kolo to RB, big Phil to CB could work just fine. It was only a couple of years ago that Eboue was runner up as best defender in the CL, so I reckon he's worth the benefit of the doubt. That leaves a space on the right for a certain Mr Walcott to step up to the plate, and I for one think that he's just about ready for it. His recent selection in the England squad will certainly have raised his confidence.
flv
I'm not sure about walcott as a starter yet, flv. obviously with Eboue at right back that would be most likely in which case that is fine, but i still question his ability to get involved in games when he starts. i know he is an impact player, but i just feel that for now his best position is as a 'super-sub'.
ArsenalRob
Flv, I know what you're saying. Eboue just doesn't fill me with confidence defensively. Neither does Kolo since he's back from ACN. If you talk about the CL run 2 years ago, credit to Senderos too. Yeah I'm also thinking we could give Theo a start, but Bolton of all places..? Maybe Eboue's physical strength would be important there. I don't know, tough call. And Eboue's on 4 yellow cards now. If he picks up another one, he's out of the Liverpool game. (Correct me if I'm wrong there, I just saw it on the Arsenal Stats Centre on the club website.)
Lou the Gunneress
the only good thing about it is that Senderos will be back, I just hope he's still in form. btw, our recent record at the Reebok is pretty depressing -- I think they've beaten us there in the last 3 fixtures
jaelle
gallas is just very misunderstood. same at chelsea when he left it was very messy and i blame chelsea and not gallas for his deputure..... still he hasnt been a great success at arsenal like i though he would but then JT hasnt been at his incredible best since gallas left
MrDax
Though some of you appear to have a negative opinion of international football, playing in a 'competitive' game as the Austrian-Dutch game seems to have been, may advance the competitive match fitness of Van Persie and also Rosicky playing for the Czech Rep, allowing them to be more effective in forthcoming games.
Bran Mak Morn
Lou, I actually watched both Ibanez and Toure getting clattered in the nuts. What the journalist was trying to state, inarticulately, is that whilst both were in pain, one made an absolute meal of it to an embarassing extent, whilst the other simply received treatment and got on with the game. It was a direct comparison between identical incidents in different sports, and wasn't anti-Arsenal in content, though a number of Gunners were not bright enough to realise this.
Bran Mak Morn
BMM thanks for your insight. Whether that's an "absolute meal" that Kolo made out of his injury, you and I and that journalist wouldn't know. For starters, Kolo isn't the type who exaggarates injuries, he would have played on had he been ok. On TV, it looked to me like a real blow to him. Perhaps you guys would know about that kind of pain better than I do? If you did see it at the ground or on TV, and you put that down to being 'inarticulate', fine too. That's your interpretation. I happen to think, even IF it's not as painful as Kolo made it look like, it's not something that warranted a full-blown article on the Telegraph. And no, I wasn't implying any "anti-Arsenal" agenda. Just that they came up with a cr@p piece about our player Kolo, and talking about Arsenal players would sell papers, that's my opinion anyway. Whether that's a "direct" enough comparison between "identical incidents", we're not close enough to tell (whether from the stand or on TV) and we're not doctors. So I wouldn't put the Gooners' comments down to "not being bright enough" because everyone's entitled to his opinion, and if they're right, it'd be arrogant to say so. You feel free to agree with Telegraph or disagree with what I/we say, entirely up to you. 100% fine.
Lou the Gunneress
Oh I forgot to say, it happened in the 41th minute, when both teams were in it at 0:0, trying to get a goal before half-time. Any need for time-wasting there? Just a point for you to consider - I hope you would. I'm not very bright either, but I try to be fair.
Lou the Gunneress
From playing football 5 times a week i have had my fair share of low blows. Its not always the same. Sometimes someone can blast it from point blank range and maybe your thigh took some of the impact and it didnt hurt as much as youd think. Or maybe it caught square on your best mate but not squashing your plums. Other times a ball could deflect akwardly hitting the right spot and you go down holding em and you can be in agonizing pain for 2 minutes. Also maybe Kolo is better equipped, therefore having more on display and being more at risk. I feel i have gone in to too much depth.........
paul_ownz
Someone said that RVP was subbed against Austria. Didn't Jan Venegoor of Hesselink come to the game in place of RVP during the latter stages of the match?
entropy13
he was subbed in the 91st minute
paul_ownz
Please remember that Kolo was injured in the ACN in the groin and missed several matches. He came back from that tournament still injured. My reaction to his injury in the Chelsea game was that his ACN injury had flared up again. I was worried he might miss some games again.
jaelle
Paul_ownz and Jaelle: exactly my point - how do you even know?! There could have been so many possibilities. To conclude definitively that it's just "inarticulate" "journalism" or "not bright enough" fans is arrogant/ignorant. I still stand by what I said - to write that as in a full-blown story in the Telegraph is just tabloid journalism. It's the lack of quality and fairness that I condemn.
Lou the Gunneress
Lou, the article was written by a rugby player apparently and they love to talk about how footballers are wimps. of course it helps his cause that Kolo's not British, the British press loves to trash foreign players.
jaelle
Jaelle, the rugby player in question was Rafael Ibanez who happens to be French
Bran Mak Morn
So what? He's French. Big deal. What's your point?
jaelle
the point is Rugby is a man's game not populated by a bunch of squealing cry babies. You tried to turn it into an anti-foreign crusade by those dastardly British journalists, so maybe a little research wouldn't go amiss. How can it help that Kolo's not British when in fact Rafael is not British either?
Bran Mak Morn
and Lou, the journalist in question, John Inverdale actually achieved some fame in the press when shown with the facial scars he received playing rugby so I think he is entitled to make free comment when he seems sportsmen rolling around with nothing injuries pretending their life is almost at an end.
Bran Mak Morn
But why the focus on Toure who caught one square in the unmentionables which is bloddy painful? Why not mention Joe Cole's histrionics which led to Chelsea's equaliser? It just seemed to be a very pointless article to me that didn't make an interesting enough point to warrant coverage in a national newspaper. One man caught one in the bread basket and winced, one caught one and fell to the floor. It's happened to me a few times and paul makes a good point, it depends on which angle you catch it. One time it happened I was just about ableto smilefollowing a lengthy grimace, the other time I hit the floor and could barely breathe.
Little Dutch
Scar = entitled to churn out journalistic cr@p? All I'm asking is logic, fairness and quality in a newspaper like the Telegraph. Not the journalist's subjective speculation on another person's pain which he has no way to tell. I've said above all I have to say on this, some valid points also well articulated by these guys like Paul, Jaelle, LD. Nothing else to add. If you're so for "free comments", why'd you so eagerly want us to agree with you anyway? It's a nothing incident that shouldn't have been featured in that newspaper. That's it. Let's move on.
Lou the Gunneress
Lou you know as much about football as i do about parachuting under water. Stick to knitting luv.
AggressiveSpurs
 

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