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Nasri wouldn't want to become Gallas

Nasri wouldn't want to become Gallas

It`s a little while since I was doing business in France to any significant extent and, while it may have changed a little more recently, at the time I was struck at how formal relations were between different levels of management and employees in many French companies. Whereas here in the UK it was no great surprise, maybe even the norm, if the MD and junior office clerk addressed each other on first name terms a definite hierarchical culture existed in France which prevented them from addressing each other with anything other than title and surname - more Monsieur Wenger rather than Arsene.

Maybe something of this culture still lingers amongst the French in which case it goes someway to explaining the problems we had with William Gallas` relationships with younger, less reverential players. The former doctor for the French national team seems to be telling us that this culture was behind the difficulty that an uppity Nasri has with some of the elder statesmen of the French national team. "He has the gift of really annoying Henry, Gallas & Evra" says Jean-Pierre Paclet in a new book on the world cup travails of the tournament side, "Here was a kid with a dozen caps looking down on players with a hundred. Scarcely believable"

It`s no bad thing in my book if new talent is challenging the comfort of complacent stars expecting to be lauded for what they have done rather than what they are doing. In fact much of the problem of the current French national side seems to be rooted in this tendency to pander to celebrity status. But it can`t be comfortable for Samir Nasri to be painted as though he were something of a loner unable to forge relationships with other players. Though he does seem to be frequently singled out he isn`t alone as Karim Benzema and Ben Arfa have also been marked as troublesome. Yoan Gourcuff who you might imagine would represent a prominent figure in any future French team has also been scornful of the power of the 'elders' in the French team.

Nasri is entitled to snort in irony at the decision to leave him out of the world cup squad given the internecine warfare that broke out among the French team. If he can be branded as troublesome by those who then go on to participate in a full scale mutiny then nobody should be too surprised to see him with a smile of smug satisfaction on his face now.

What is important for us is to what extent this impacts on the spirit within the Arsenal team. Nasri`s view of Gallas as someone he, along with others, didn`t communicate with was expressed at the tail end of last season. "I don't communicate with him, but I'm not the only one at Arsenal who doesn't have any communication with him. We are four or five, but that doesn't stop us fighting for each other on the pitch" Samir said at the time. It followed revelations of that hierarchical nature I experienced among the French in Gallas' earlier autobiography which suggested factionalism on lines of seniority, claiming a lack of respect between the younger and older players, though that doesn`t explain his fall out with Toure. For all I know similar situations may exist at other clubs but still it`s uncomfortable to think that half the team weren`t communicating with a key player.

With the departure of senior players and the natural ageing of our younger players that age differential has closed to a large extent and there is perhaps the potential of better relationships as a consequence. For that to work players like Nasri have to become aware that they need people on their side. Wenger said recently of Gallas "He can be, sometimes, a little bit brutal or impulsive in his reaction." The greatest irony for Samir would be for him to allow himself to become Gallas mark 2. In a football team there needs to be a time when instead of raging against the machine you have to be prepared to become part of the machine.

The French national team seemed to have decided that sweeping away the old guard was a revolution that was needed. Hopefully Arsenals evolutionary process will ensure we have as unified dressing room as it is possible to achieve.

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Date:Friday September 3 2010
Time: 1:34PM


With Gallas and Adebayor gone, I don't see any real polarising figures in the camp at the moment. Its funny how players like Squillacci and Almunia are 'old' compared to the rest of the flock considering they are at their peak positionally speaking.
03/09/2010 14:26:00
Nice piece Amos once again. Samir does seem to be decidedly more chipper now that the Arsenal No.10 shirt is occupied by someone else. Along with the rather surly Armand Traore, the dressing room and the training pitch will seem brighter places. Once he has recovered from his injury, I would like Samir to step up as a ' senior ' player and start to take games by the scruff of the neck. He definitely has the ability to do it, so now if he is genuinely delighted with the departure of Gallas, he has a real chance to show how happy he is. Yes, we may miss Gallas for a while, but Chamakh and Koscielny seem to be real TEAM players, as opposed to the difficult but ' gifted ' individual that Gallas undoubtedly was.
Cockney Rich
03/09/2010 14:26:00
Nice article Amos, however not mentioning Gallas has gone to Spurs is the big white elephant in the room. In fact no mention of this on VA. The silence is deafening.
Clive 49
03/09/2010 14:40:00
That's largely because we aren't concerned with your small club.
Little Dutch
03/09/2010 14:44:00
Clive49 - Your welcome to him mate. Now you have 3 CB's under contract who will spend half the season out injured.
03/09/2010 14:46:00
It is indeed deafening Clive lol! Seriously though i do worry about Gallas having a bad reaction on our teams morale, i never liked him as a person. Top defender though, 1 of the best in the league and on a free hes an absolute steal of VDV proportions.
03/09/2010 14:46:00
Basically Clive, William Gallas has retired from football.
Cockney Rich
03/09/2010 14:47:00
There's no mention as yet of Silvestre going to Bremen, or Hleb to B'ham either. Why would it concern us? It's hardly Campbell at his peak joining Arsenal is it.
03/09/2010 14:48:00
Top defender though, 1 of the best in the league and on a free hes an absolute steal of VDV proportions. HuddersfieldYiddo -- I wouldn't go that far HY. Let's face it, he's no spring chicken, has a bad attitude, is always injured and prone to throwing strops, he is a risk, it may pay of for Twitchy, but it is mor ethan likely to blow up in his face judging from past experience.
03/09/2010 14:52:00
No it aint Amos not even close, but it was still your best defender joining your closest Rivals on a free...not a single mention at all does speak volumes. Personally i wish he hadnt like! But as Clive said silence is deafening! Even David Bentley had endless stuff written about him on here i seem to remember!
03/09/2010 14:52:00
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