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Player of the Season- 3rd Place

Curiouser and curiouser. If a guy who has played fifteen games can inch his way into 4th place, the list surely cannot accommodate further anomalies. How can it get more bizarre than that? Well, the man in third place spent the first two months of the season looking like he`d rather be anywhere else in the world, admitted in his autobiography to not liking Samir Nasri very much and admitted to Chelsea`s charge that he threatened to score own goals lest they let him leave, he accused the team of lacking the stomach for a fight and was stripped of the captaincy in disgrace by November. He was even dropped for a league fixture at Manchester City and looked to all intents and purposes to be out of the door the second the clock struck midnight on January 1st. Of course, Robinho tore Arsenal`s defence a new rectum that day at Eastlands and we decided that we probably needed him more than we would like to admit. William Gallas is our mate? Possibly not. But he`s a bloody good defender. The best we`ve got by some distance.

Last summer speculation was rife that Gallas was to be displaced as captain following a hissy fit that was soon to be made the focus of Arsenal`s title collapse at St. Andrews. Wenger told the press he was prepared to give Gallas one last chance as skipper, William himself oozed contrition and regret and began the season with the armband fastened to his shirt. The press scrutiny was intense, and Gallas was caught between a rock and a hard place. When seen geeing his team up with a rousing address pre match, he was derided for being false and performative. When barking instructions at other players, he was told to look closer at himself before berating others. (Usually by the same people who had no problems watching Adams dish out ear bending rhetoric to team mates. You know? The Arsenal captain that spent a few months at her majesty`s pleasure because he got rat arsed and drove his car through an old lady`s wall?) When keeping his counsel and staying quiet around his team mates, he was accused of not rallying the troops and being self centred. The rights and wrongs of Gallas` admonishment have been debated at length, but what was clear was that he was in an impossible situation, his legitimacy as a leader had been sent crashing through an advertising hoarding in the West Midlands. Personally, I think the players have allowed that to become an excuse for them in the aftermath. However, in the opening throes of the campaign, Gallas was hardly helping himself with some listless displays and his mental state was clearly fracturing by the game.

He actually opened the scoring for Arsenal`s season in Arnhem with a goal in the Champions League qualifier with Twente. But on the opening league fixture, a Djourou error allowed Morrison through on goal, Djourou made amends by clearing the ball off the line. Gallas` subsequent rant at Djourou was ill measured and entirely over the top. In the next match, the aberration at Craven Cottage, Gallas limply allowed Brede Hangeland to jog past him in the area to score the only goal of the game. In Kyiv, his comedic miss kick allowed the Ukrainians though to score the opening goal of the game. He atoned for the error with a late equaliser, yet after allowing both Kevin Davies and Daniel Cousin to easily out jump him for corners leading to soft goals in September, questions were abound as to whether Billy should even be first choice any longer. He rather drifted through October unconvincingly, then in November, the brewing storm became a full on tycoon. They say still waters run deep, where Gallas is concerned, there is always something bubbling under the surface. In his frustration at the intense scrutiny his stewardship was under, Gallas took the ill advised decision to take to the Dictaphone. Whilst I am sure shouldering the blame for all of the inadequacies of the squad was somewhat frustrating, Gallas gave the press ammunition for weeks. The Gunners had already lost four of their first thirteen games and rumours of civil war were rife. Gallas showed them an itch and they scratched until it bled. Why Gallas felt the need to go to the media, who routinely misquote him anyway, I`m not sure I will ever fully understand.

Gallas accused a 25 year old Arsenal player of displaying unacceptable insolence towards him in the 4-4 draw with Tottenham. He also rather tactlessly accused a 20 year old France player, who he names as 'S` as also displaying a level of disrespect which Gallas says he could not relate to. The rumour mill in France has suggested Gallas and Nasri were never best of friends. In retrospect, the extremely protracted nature of Nasri`s transfer last summer was never fully explained to us, I wonder if Willy nearly scuppered the deal. In trying to attest that he was not solely to blame for Arsenal`s 2008 implosion, Gallas had well and truly jumped in the dingy and cut himself adrift from his team mates. Then there was the autobiography release, in which he admitted to threatening Chelsea to secure a move. Arsenal fans were left wondering how on earth they`d managed to swap one whingeing, malcontented scribe of appalling autobiographies for another. Gallas was instantly removed from his station as captain and dropped from the squad for our next league fixture, despite injuries to Toure and Sagna. City tore into us and won 3-0 in what would prove to be the nadir of the season and undoubtedly the lowest ebb of Wenger`s thirteen year reign. The game showed us the quandary we were in, we couldn`t live with Gallas, but we also couldn`t live without him.

He sheepishly came back into the team for the game with Dynamo Kyiv, this time emanating from the tunnel behind new skipper Cesc Fabregas. In the week that Barack Obama was ushered into office in the States amidst euphoria and optimism, Gallas must have felt somewhat like George Bush as he took his place at centre half behind his younger, sexier and more popular successor. But you have to give it to Gallas, the five month spell he produced in the team from that point until his untimely injury in April was absolutely peerless. With the captaincy removing the glare and the pressure from his every move, Gallas was allowed to do what he does best again. His experience allowed him to be a cajoler and organiser in the defence again without cries of "phoney" being heard up and down the gutter press. What is also interesting is that during this five month spell, indisputably the best of his Arsenal career, Gallas` goal scoring feats decreased. He did manager crucial late winners against Portsmouth and Hull City from set pieces, but his early season form in front of goal was more audacious, perversely, I think that proves that Gallas relaxed slightly and stopped taking all of the team`s foibles so personally. He was no longer trying to take responsibility for the whole team, just his defence.

Arsenal`s post Christmas defensive form points to his influence. Arsenal conceded only eight goals in the sixteen league games he played after the shoeing at City. After his injury in Eastern Spain, we leaked ten in the last seven league games for which he was missing and succumbed to cup defeats to Chelsea and United in his absence. Our season literally fell apart when his medial ligament collapsed against Villarreal. I suspect we would not have beaten United in the Champions League had Gallas been fit, but I`m certain we would not have shipped four in defeat. Billy also showed a rare trait in 2009, Kolo Toure asked for a transfer in the wake of a bust up with Gallas after letting a two goal lead slip at Villa Park. It had long been speculated that the pair could not play together, now it was apparent they could not even stand the sight of one another, forcing Wenger to be uncharacteristically candid when he assured us, "Players don`t have to be friends to play well together." He was right too; the Gallas and Toure axis began to bear fruit as the pair wracked up the clean sheets in tandem with one another, Gallas, for once, was willing to let bygones be bygones, he has kept his counsel over the Toure row and instead the pair have concentrated on making their symphonic partnership work.

Having stayed away from the Dictaphones and had the spotlight removed from him with the removal of the armband, Gallas has been liberated and has thrived in an environment where he is allowed to use his immense experience and quality to marshal his defence. His organisational skills are very under rated, but it was that quality that Wenger identified when making him captain. Gallas is quick over the ground and has always been amongst the top readers of a game I have ever seen. Even at Chelsea, it was obvious every time he covered John Terry`s arse. But now at the age of 31, he has the requisite experience to take these skills to a new level. His lunge on Agbonlahor in the area at Villa Park aside, William is a defender rarely inclined to going to ground and making rash challenges, always choosing to shepherd the striker into less dangerous positions instead. For such a hot headed character, he has an eerie calm about him when choosing to make his challenges, like a boxer throwing a few tame jabs before delivering a precise upper cut and taking the ball off his opponent. In fact, his calm football kind juxtaposed with his igneous personality puts me in mind of a defensive Ian Wright. He has also clearly worked on his aerial prowess, winning headers had proved so difficult for him previously, Gallas now leaps like a gazelle and is not easily bullied. Kolo Toure is a very good defender, but he needs a cajoler or an organiser alongside him and Gallas has proved to be that foil in the way Sol Campbell once was. We have always known that Gallas was a good defender, but what has surprised nearly all of us has been his reaction to being stripped of the captaincy. I think we all expected a hissy fit and a transfer request, but William deserves great credit for his psychological response to that indignity. From Arsenal fans clamouring for him to leave in November, we now hope openly that he stays. Take note Emmanuel Adebayor, supporters will forgive you most things if they can see that you put in the time and effort where it matters. The football pitch. As it happens, Gallas was forgiven months ago. It seems crazy putting a man guilty of so many crimes against his team mates in third place for Player of the Season, but since that fateful day at Eastlands, that`s just how good Billy has been.LD.

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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday June 5 2009

Time: 11:34AM

Your Comments

Weird choice as he wouldn't have been in my top 20. I rate him slightly better than sylvester the cartoon cat.
You can't deny the numbers. With Gallas in the team we weren't shipping goals. When he got injured we started conceding like it was going out of fashion.
Little Dutch
"Barack Obama was ushered into office in the States amidst euphoria and optimism" -- by whom, LD? He won only 52% of the vote in an utterly foregone democratic year... and the other 48% of the country are in utter despair that they elected the first Socialist president. That despair is only growing as he bankrupts our nation... I have never seen LESS optimism in the country than I see now. Euphoria my arse! Anyway, as for Gallas, you are spot on. Full credit to the man, he buckled down, didn't let the press (or fickle fans) chase him out of town, and was a rock in the back for our unbeaten run. Notice we faltered at the end, precisely when W.G. went out injured. Coincidence? I think not. Well played, Billy G. Good call, LD.
I actually had Gallas as my player of the season. I feel only ignorant people can deny his obvious qualities in the team. Yes he made some bad choices because he is the captain and a high profiled footballer, but much of what he said about the team was true. As for the ST andrews incident, i felt his pain too as i through my cereal at the wall.
threw*. And i assume seymour that you just jumped on the sun/daily mail band wagon where he could do no right. Lets not worry about him being the best defender at Arsenal because he had an unlit cigarette in his mouth. We should all be envious of John Terry & Steven Gerrard, true english professionals who beat people up in clubs and take prostitutes to cheap hotels.
A truly excellent piece even by your lofty standards Tim! I think that Gallas has certainly done enough to earn a top three place and also enough for a bottom three on some counts. Judged purely as a player he is top drawer. It's a shame his personality doesn't seem to allow him to be even more than that. There is no doubt that he has been the architect of most of his troubles but equally he has been sorely misunderstood and misrepresented. In some cases by those in a position to have chosen to have given him more help.
devvil, at the risk of going off topic, I couldn't honestly say I buy into the Obama hype either. However, there was generally a mood of optimism, if only because Obama is black as opposed to any qualities he has as a politician. As for the St. Andrews incident, most over hyped incident, I kicked the seat and broke it myself. Those of us there didn't even pass comment. The incident was allowed to become something it wasn't and, as I said, I think the team were more than happy to use it as an excuse for their collapse.
Little Dutch
Agree, big willy has been a stiff influence on our back line.
Agree with both of your comments as well.
i live in America, the only people who are happy about Obama being in office are people who dont understand civics or economics -but good choice for 3rd, without an in form Gallas we have no Toure, and with young gibbs being so new, clichy being known to wander, we need him in there telling them where to be
devvil, there most certainly was a lot of optimism when Obama was elected, LD was correct. And 52% is a helluva lot more than Bush the clown ever got. LOL!! "first socialist president!" Hilarious! To you non-Americans on this blog: yeah, there actually are people in the US who think Obama's a "socialist." And as for never having seen "less" optimism, NOTHING compares with the despair felt by an overwhelming majority of Americans during the Bush years, esp the 2nd term. (And I don't buy into the Obama hype either and didn't vote for him, I'm a 3rd party voter). Sorry guys, I had to respond to devvil's idiotic delusions.
Fantastic defense of Gallas, absolutely NO question that we suffered greatly in his absence. Which tells you something about how weak our defense is, that it relies so totally on our most experienced, professional defender. (If Adams was out, our defense didn't collapse). I was completely on Gallas' side in the Birmingham incident and I very much liked your comment "I think the players have allowed that to become an excuse for them in the aftermath." Agreed. Also, all season long I thought the "Gallas-was-horrible-in-1st-half-of-season-then-improved-greatly-post-captaincy" meme was too simplistic. I remember during the fall Gallas had a few very good performances (like at Man Utd) and arseblogger (who hates Gallas) being criticized for refusing to acknowledge them. I agree that after he lost the armband he became consistently much better than he had been but I don't agree that he was consistently awful before that. "Why Gallas felt the need to go to the media, who routinely misquote him anyway, I`m not sure I will ever fully understand." -- I think this was an overall indictment of AW, symptom of a dressing room in disarray due to his refusal to strengthen the team and the team's subsequent poor performances, disorganization, complacency. Gallas saw all that and didn't know how to respond in the way he should've. He should not have gone to the press but his frustration with a coddled, complacent, disorganized, undisciplined team that had not been strengthened in the summer, and were putting in terrible displays led him to blow up. I remember how a lot of us fans were feeling during that time, angry, confused, disgusted with what we were seeing on the pitch. We felt like Gallas--except he was seeing it all up close. Goodplaya described an incident where Song turned his back on Kolo, a senior player, during a set piece and refused to do what Kolo told him to. With hindsight I actually think what Gallas did was good for the team, it woke them up and made them put their heads down and take stock. Too bad it had to take a hissy fit in public to embarrass the club -- but, again, I think that's AW's fault for letting things slide. "the extremely protracted nature of Nasri`s transfer last summer was never fully explained to us, I wonder if Willy nearly scuppered the deal." -- he may have expressed his dislike for Nasri to AW but the reason that deal was so protracted was due to the protracted Ben Arfa deal with Marseille -- a hysterical, highly political, knockdown, drag-down saga that was directly linked to Nasri coming to us.
As a fan of Manchester City i can't understand all the criticism Gallas has had from Gunners last season. If he came onto the market we would be in a bid for him immediately. He is a great defender and Arsenal are lucky to have him.
devvil and bootoo are clearly the types who get their opinions force-fed to them by Rush Limbaugh.... the fact that you call Obama a socialist is so embarrassing to your cause you should be ashamed.
TPowell 'clearly' i grew up and lived 21 of my 26 years in england, i dont listen to american media, but yes, 'clearly' - sorry for going off topic
you said yourself that you live in america bootoo... 'clearly' you do listen to the american media, unless of course you're blind and deaf
LD, I know who you're selecting for player of the season in the biggest surprise yet... Sylvestre!
Unless Mcain had Sauron`s ring, I don`t think he would`ve stayed in power for much longer... And in times like these, two terms is the ideal time to deal with a crisis. Of course people are feeling desperate now. Decisions made last year, are kicking in now. Obama`s new decisions are going to take time to have an impact. Rome wasn`t built in a day. Nor was it burnt in a day.
Oh and on Gallas. How many jokes you lot did mocking us for believing what Chelsea said. lol. Footballers can`t be trusted. Even makelele is a cúnt.
kevin, you're right to throw that in our face about your club's claiming Gallas threatened an own goal, I was one of those that totally disbelieved the story. But I have known that Makelele is an absolute jerk for a long time. The guy has almost singlehandedly engineered Le Guen's ouster from PSG, waging a very nasty campaign against him. He's also always been one of the most meanspirited men on the pitch.
LD sorry for sparking political debate on a football blog, generally I try to keep them separate but your comment just didn't agree with my expereince as an american gooner -- everyone I know is in utter despair at what we've elected and the direction the US is going. jaelle -- moron. Obama is a socialist. He's taking state control of industry; wants to confiscate money from those who earn and produce it and give it to the unproductive; and is breaking the social contract between debt-holders and capital providers and giving it to his favored groups. If that's not socialism, what is? Idiot. We're in the midst of the biggest power grab by government ever seen in the US. You and TPowell should go support Spurs... Getting back to topic... I really hope Gallas stays with us next year and doesn't bugger off. While I do want to see a big strapping center back brought into the team, I'd love to see it be an addition and not a replacement for W.G.
TPowell, i live in america, not North Korea - i have a little more choice than talk radio and fox news what with the internet and all, sound reasoning shown again
You most certainly do have a choice to ignore the American media, though I doubt you exercise that choice. I too have lived in foreign countries, including England, and to be completely ignorant of the media in that nation is an absurd notion. And for one who claims to choose to ignore the American media you certainly do know an awful lot about it... And devvil, thank you for informing us that Obama is the first president to tax the American people (or as you call it confiscation). A truly new and hazardous practice that has only been around for thousands of years. And last I checked, our tax money goes to police, military, and building roads which all people are allowed to use (or the unproductive as you call them).
So Obama is a modern day Robin Hood....
Chocolate Robin Hood.
Hysterically funny stuff from devvil, truly loonytunes material! :-D Laughing hysterically here.
'to be completely ignorant of the media in that nation is an absurd notion'...'you certainly do know an awful lot about it' - 2+2 = i majored in political science with a minor in economics - what do you bring to this conversation?
Enuf of this hysteria from the American lunatic fringe, please, esp. for you poor English/Brits/Australians/etc. who've endured enuf of our overbearing bullsh-i-t for so long. More interesting to discuss is the very interesting stats for our season from the official site: Arseblogger and gunnerblog have some good commentary on the stats: and . It's shocking to see how many offsides Ade has. Does anyone in football have worse offside stats? This is jaelle reporting from the American Stalinist Dundgeon.
In my opinion the greatest American President is FDR, and he was practically a socialist dictator. Maybe that is what the US needs right now as well. Not the dictator part, but a bit of socialism might help. Socialism, in theory, is the perfect society, but it can never work in reality. But maybe in small doses socialism can help rebound the economy just as it did in the early 1930s.
jaelle, those stats are absolutely terrible. Not correct and totally pointless. Denilson making merely 169 passes all season and Clichy making 16 tackles?
GK, took the words out of my mouth. Wasn't FDR's new deal described as "creeping socialism"? I can only go on the reaction in this country and in Europe and it was one of optimism, though like I say, I didn't subscribe. My missus at the time was in New York when he was elected and relayedwhat it was like there, but that's essentially all I have to go on. Too many parallels with Blair's New Labour which was always an overhyped crock of *****. Obama though is no more a socialist than I am an economist reading, pro lifer Thatcherite. Regardless of what you think of that, it is out of order to attack people for not agreeing with you and particularly to say they should support another team. Shoot me down if you will, but some of my closest friends admitted voted for the BNP yesterday. I abhor that party and every single thing they stand for and I always will, but ultimately I won't exclude or alienate people for holding different views from me. This is a democracy and people are entitled to their opinions so long as they are not murderous, no matter how much I destest them. Unfortunately, far right support is symptomatic of living in inner city London and these people I believe to be beholden to the media and their constant racist bombardment.
Little Dutch
"i majored in political science with a minor in economics - what do you bring to this conversation?" Well I too majored in political science, and also history. I followed that up with law school. I have studied administrative, legislative, and of course common law in my three years there. Very shortly I will be a fully certified lawyer and member of the Virginia State Bar. Currently I am working at a privately supported non-profit organization that provides legal services to those with low income. I have a third year certificate which means I am able to provide certain legal advice with supervision. Good enough for you?
And for the record, I have no issue with those who have conservative viewpoints, but when people dismiss Obama's actions by calling him a socialist or accuse those who voted for him as being ignorant in civics, I find it necessary to say something. I hope you're enjoying your time here bootoo, I've said my piece and now it's time to enjoy Friday!
touche - but i still stand by my observation and am happy to discuss on a non-arsenal forum - enjoy your friday
Wake up people is the "New World Order" take over. >>>>Arsenal Rules, Spuds Drool<<<<
Devvil> "If that's not socialism, what is?" Er, well. Why not try finding out what Socialism actually means before spouting off. Socialism is a very simple and narrowly defined thing meaning that the 'the means of production should be in the hands of the workers'. It is basically communism, in that almost all property is owned by the state, although without the fascistic primacy-of-the-state flavour. Not that I don't agree that Obama is all mustard and no sausage, but you're completely wrong about him being a Socialist. I hate it when people use that term wrongly :)
Thanks for the lesson Josh. So when Obama took GM and Chrysler away from the bondholders who were owed some return on their capital, and gave it instead to the unions (i.e. "workers") who by all legal rights were not entitled to own the company, because they are huge Obama supporters... does that meet your definition of socialism? Exactly my point.
Can we cease with the one-upmanship and e-penis diatribes, please? One would fathom that the internet already has too much of this behaviour.
Jonus Busan
From Gallas to socialism in one day ...... that's pretty spectacular even for this site.
If push came to shove I think I'd rather be a socialist than a right wing red-neck. If GM and Chrysler hadn't made such a hash of things in the past there would have been no need for any kind of 'state' rescue. Perhaps Obama's government is just trying to save at least some of the automotive industry and the associated jobs? Anyway isn't it a bit early to be labelling Obama as a failure? It takes longer than six months to build a football team so it must take even longer to sort out a nation's troubles. Nice argument for Gallas in third place LD - I think I have to agree.
norfolk dumpling
What's wrong with Socialism? The present problem in society are the children of Margaret Thatcher's "Me! Me! society"...blame the silly Essex voters who because they owned a Ford Escort and were on £200 a week got above their station and thought they were high class and should only think of themselves. The Tories privatised all the banks, building societies, water, electric etc...and now look at us! Some stupid people on here!
Orange Quadrant ........ there you go fellers, that's the place to carry on this discussion. I realise it's the off-season but at least SOME football talk would be nice.
what a 4th place - my arse - worst player at arsenal.....
Thanks Danny ..... that should get things back to normal!! lol
Danny is known to be silly.
Like I said Danny, the numbers don't lie. You don't have to like the guy, I'm not sure I do, but he's a good defender in spite of his character flaws. Credit where it's due and all that.
Little Dutch
How is Arshavin Arsenals worst player Danny?
Well, I think William is a better Captain than Fabregas. That guy seems burdened by the band!
sorry guys, i was a little bit drunk when i wrote that - i saw the headline and thought "WTF" - i don't rate gallas at all, and if i'm honest i think he is the reason why our season started off so badly. Is it only me that thinks after Gallas got injured we went on a great unbeaten run and made the champions league and F.A cup semis? I just think that we need to get rid of him and sign a commanding and tall - possibly world class - centre back to give us all that we need to challenge on all fronts?
How's Silly Billys medal haul coming along since he swapped London clubs?
no danny, you are just talking total cr@p
Hmmmm Merlin how many titles and champions league medals has Cashley won at your place? Feck me you paid a lot of money for the guy to help you win 1 FA cup.
William Galls should be No.1 player of the year, passion, standing by his morals, leadership & delivery of results.
Dorset Red
Is it only me that thinks after Gallas got injured we went on a great unbeaten run and made the champions league and F.A cup semis. Yes its just you considering his injury happened once he got us to the 2 semi finals. I think your here for the wind up
When Gallas got injured our unbeaten run abruptly ended.
I have jumped on no-ones band wagon as I have opinions of my own which I have every right to express, as I would allow others to express theirs. I agree that when gallas was injured we shipped goals by the sackful, but he was replaced by silvester ffs. Which team would not let in loads with that ar****le playing. Even gallas, as poor as he's been, is an improvement on silvester. If gallas stays then let's all hope he becomes as good as he was when he first signed. Another period like the last season and a half will mean that whoever we bring in to strengthen the defence will always be let down by his playing partner, w gallas the Mr Bean of football.
Don't often disagree with LD but in this case you couldn't be more wrong. Has done ***** all, and I'm inclined to think you picked Gallas third to be controversial, as is on occasion your want. Lol at devvil, socialist, what a *****tard you are. You think Obama is socialist, try living in Venezuela or Bolivia you douche bag.
Ozi Gooner
Just hope Van Pussy isn't number 1, old wet cardboard legs!
Dorset Red
A bit out of order Ozi, you don't have to agree with the choice but you don't have to posit some bizarre ulterior motive just because you don't agree. I've givenmy reasons in the article and I think they're sound ones, and a fair few people agree too.
Little Dutch
Ozi, we know you don't like Gallas for your own pathetic reasons, but you don't have to chat rubbish about LD trying to be controversial, he is just stating his correct opinion.
Tom your opinion is your opinion, mine is mine, and whether you or LD like my opinion or not, by writing on this site that has a comment section I'm also allowed to voice my opinion about what he writes. As for my being anti-Gallas being pathetic, I'd say that my opinion on the matter hardly warrants such strong sentiment, a much more apt use of the word pathetic would be to describe the way Gallas, a leader and elder statesmen of the club, conducts himself on and off the field and in interactions with his team mates. He's a 30 year old male primadona/Diva, nothing more pathetic than that mate.
Ozi Gooner
Gallas certainly has his faults as a person, but this is player of the season. If it was "player I'd most like to have a Guinness and a pack of pork scratchings with" Gallas would be only slightly above Adebayor at the bottom. Love him or loathe him, since November I think he's been our best player.
Little Dutch
Arshavin has been miles ahead of Gallas since he's arrived, I would put Arshavin above him even though he only played 15 or so games for us. LD, I understand your argument about seperating on and off the field stuff in making your judgement, but if your attitude, personality and behaviour make others uncomfortable, feel less a part of the team or make a communication issue in defence then that comes into his role as a player and in my opinion he should be judged on that as well.
Ozi Gooner
I don't actually think there's an argument here at all. I think we all agree that he has a tendancy to be a bit of a ****, but is also a very good defender who has proved himself crucial to our defensive set-up, and has done well to handle himself after his outburst.
My problem Oz is that you don't even seem to accept that he is a bloody good defender. I can take your over the top criticism of Gallas off the field, but you have to look at the performances on it, which are by far more important. At least he did not hand in a transfer request at a very very bad time in our season like some other clown.
And the reason Toure handed in the transfer request was??? Pretty sure it was cos of Gallas, who was at that stage his captain. A captain should not be alienating his players so much that they want to leave, particularly not the player with whom he forms possibly the most important partnership in a team. I can accept that Gallas is still our best defender, but he's not getting any younger and his behaviour is unacceptable for a 15 year old boy, let alone a supposed leader. I will be happy as a pig in ***** if this summer we see the back of him.
Ozi Gooner
As happy as you were watching us ship dozens of goals without him? I am sorry, but however disruptive he is for all the softy pansy boys in our dressing room (how pathetic are you if you hand in a transfer request because you are shouted at?) he is fecking world class, and we will not just pick a defender like him out of the water. I can see Toure going before him to be honest (if we were forced to ell one of the two)
The fact is Gallas is not the most Inteligent of players. We have a team full of kids wrapped in cotton wall who cant take criticism. Alot of what Gallas said was true and needed to be said, however he should of voiced those oppinions behind closed doors. Saying that, i can imagine most of them crying like little girls and hiding behind Wenger so he felt he had to say it in the media. Like him or not he is the best defender at Arsenal and can handle big pressure games unlike Clichy or silvestre for example. I think he should stay for 1 or 2 more seasons.
I think Paul has a point there, he was wrong to conduct himself the way that he did in his criticisms of the team, but they were true and we did go on a massive unbeaten run straight after he made them. I think a lot of people in the team were bumbling along pretending everything was all fine and dandy- the manager included. Gallas, perhaps unwittingly, cleared the air.
Little Dutch
I'd prefer people stuck to judging our players based on their performances on the pitch, rather than try to gauge their character based on how the media choose to portray them. We all know the media will twist/invent stories in the interests of selling more papers. Just look at what all of the papers were predicting when he was stripped of the captaincy – the general consensus was that he would throw a hissy fit and demand a transfer - yet he did the complete opposite, and put his head down playing some of the best football of his Arsenal career. Throws a little bit of doubt as to whether the picture painted of him is really all that accurate.
Now this is why I love this never know what you'll get...loads of smart people here. I dont think i can add much to what has been said...from Obama to Gallas to FDR to Kolo..erm what else..on Gallas though I think we need him for one more season
i dun disagree with this, infact i'd even give Gallas 2nd place. im really perplexed as to why we don't defend properly. on paper we have an awesome defence. Sagna, Toure, Gallas & Clichy are all world class. ok they all lack in height and maybe the only thing they all collectively need to improve on is in the air, thats the only part of their game where they can improve a lot. but besides that, there isn't much wrong. for me the problem is the midfield. Denilson has been very good this season no doubt about that, but he just isn't the kind of player that we need in the team. his game is fine, no problem with it, but we don't need someone like him. a Gilberto or a Essien is just what we need. a guy who is only on the pitch to protect the defence and do nothing else and someone whos good in the air too. Yaya Toure may fit the bill, but then we turned him down in 2005 for a reason, so maybe he just isn't that good, but i like wt ive seen of him this season, but anyway Arsene knows best, so we'll have to see what he decides..
and i'll have Senderos back and ship Silvestre out. Djourou and Senderos are extremely good players to have behind Gallas and Toure. and this Thomas Vermaelen dood, not so sure if we need him, but if he is better than Gallas or Toure, then lets get him..
Gallas is a top quality defender, and thats clearly seen in 5 months of performances. But this comes after 2 seasons where he could not maintain these standards of consistency. Now, if the players dont like him, then Wenger could probably sell him for team morale, but the lessons from Gallas need to be enforced by Wenger, who I believe is far too lenient on the squad. Gallas is our only world class medal winner who knows what it takes to win, and he can see that this squad has significant problems in that area.
luckys, I would argue that both Yaya and Essien are far more concerned about going forward than Denilson. In fact, Denilson is about as defensive as they come, with stats to prove it.

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