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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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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday September 3 2010

Time: 1:34PM

Your Comments

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.
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
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
That's largely because we aren't concerned with your small club.
Little Dutch
Clive49 - Your welcome to him mate. Now you have 3 CB's under contract who will spend half the season out injured.
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.
Basically Clive, William Gallas has retired from football.
Cockney Rich
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.
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.
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!
True that LondonGooner, but if Sol Campbell famed for being a total bell and past his peak, can be SO effective for you last season then theres no doubting Gallas for us cant be either at 3 years younger.
Vermaelen was our best defender last season. Gallas is a good defender but he'll be 34 at the end of the season. He ain't getting any better. It's a bit like Djorkaeff joining Bolton - still looked a class act at times but yesterdays hero.
you gooners do make me laugh. Clive came here complimenting the article and not saying anything derogatry and all you lot come back with is pathetic remarks such as "he's retired from football" and "because we're not concerned with your small club". i agree amos, its not in the same bracket as campbell leaving us in his peak but i still think it is a good bit of business. i cant stand the bloke tbh and he'll have a real job winning me over but im sure he will. As for "our small club" spurs, we'll just keep doing our thing as im sure the ar5ena1 will keep doing theirs. But i know as well as you do that you all have one eye on spurs, the gap between the teams has closed dramatically. should be a good season
No-one has here has really rubbished Gallas as a player. Most have accepted that with a choice of King, Dawson and Woodgate Gallas was a good bit of business for you and he was running out of options. But if you're expecting anyone here to be inconsolably distressed at his departure and to be writing lengthy articles about his loss then you've got it badly wrong.
cb25yid, it wasn't an attempt at a witty retort towards clive (one of the many perma trolls that haunt VA), it was the truth. It's because we don't care about you a millionth as much as you care about us. (As evidenced by the growing collection of regular Totnum contributions here).
Little Dutch
Nice article Amos. Interesting stuff. And hello from Paris everyone! I'm going to see for myself how the 'revolution' is going under Laurent Blanc at the Stade de France tonight. Feel a bit bad for Nasri as he was in fine form before he got injured. Tough to be French players these days, so fingers crossed the 3 Gunners get a nice run-out and go home healthy and confident after the break.
Hmm. You bring up a lot of complex issues, Amos. First, the existence of a kind of "respectful distance" (hierarchy,class) in a workplace is not confined to France- it's very real in Latin America as well. Not everywhere of course. The kind of easy, more casual rapport between midlevel staff and their boss that exists in the US or England -- that culture has seeped into the urban, more cosmopolitan workplaces in Latin America, but mainly when there are American/Canadians/Brits working alongside locals. But only in those contexts. Apart from that, in Brazil, a mid-level/low-level employee calls their supervisor/boss "doutor/doutora" or "senhor/senhora/senhorita" (usually shortened to "seu" or "sua"). There is a definite hierarchy. In Brazilian football teams, there is most definitely a traditional hierarchy between players. However, as with Nasri, the younger generation--being influenced by the more casual culture of the Anglo world with their exposure to TV/movies--do not view that hierarchy as strictly as players used to in the past. I have mixed feelings about all this because there's a lot I respect about this tradition. It's a way to maintain respect for the aged. I despise the way older people are dismissed in American culture--after a certain age, we treat people as if they no longer exist. Their knowledge and experience keep us all grounded, it's invaluable, yet they're treated like they have nothing to teach us. And this definitely relates to Arsenal where in recent yrs, where the young players have had no older, wise heads to guide them, keep their arrogance in control. So I sympathized with Gallas' complaints re Nasri, Benzema, Ben Arfa (the worst of the 3). Gallas wrote that when he was a young player he never dared treat older teammates the way he saw today's younger French players treat him. Gourcuff, btw, is not one of those who behaved this way. He is known as the most polite, quietest French footballer on the team. [cont.]
Give it a rest little b1tch, sorry i mean little dutch. your honestly telling me that you dont care about a team that only finished 5 pts behind you!! dont make me laugh fella!!
[cont.] However, all that said, over time I felt Gallas had become much too precious about this, and too easily offended. Gallas seems to me to be someone who feels things too deeply. And since he was one of the cabal of older players who organized the strike in SA, he hardly comes out looking well in all of this. It hardly demonstrated wisdom or judgment. The principal ringleaders were Abidal, Evra and Ribery. Gallas and Toulalan were also very much a part of it. (I was very disappointed about Toulalan because I'm a huge fan of his as both a player and a man of character--but at least he came out with a complete public confession of his participation and a genuine apology and self-criticism---unlike Ribery, Evra, Abidal or Gallas). As for Gourcuff, there were dubious press reports about the gang of players from poor, urban-tough backgrounds who ostracized him -- Anelka, Ribery, Abidal, Gallas, Evra. He's from an affluent family, loves reading books and often keeps to himself. He's known as just a nice, quiet guy. Supposedly Ribery made homophobic jokes about him and called him homophobic insults. That's according to L'Equipe, anyway, we don't really know how true that is. But the bottom line is--the 2006 France team had strong, older, experienced players with some younger ones. The older players--Zidane, Thuram, Vieira, Makelele--wrested control of the team from the divisive and inept Domenech and took the younger players along with them with no trouble. They united the team and took it to the final after struggling in a poor group stage. The hierarchy between old and young was well observed in that team--because those older players were decisive, strong, and commanded respect. The older players on this recent team simply didn't. So while I sympathize with Gallas up to a point, the fact is that he and his teammates did not have the same character that the veterans in 2006 did--and were thus unable to command their level of authority, nor generate the respect he expected from the younger players. Further, Domenech's inept reign over the team from 2006-on did not engender unity and cohesion--inflaming divisions and resentments instead. And none of the older heads had the fiber, authority and character to counteract it. For the record, the players I blame the most for the wc debacle are Evra, Abidal and Ribery. And it pains me to add Ribery in there as I've always loved Ribery. For me, they should all be permanently banned from the NT. (France are my 2nd int'l team).
You only finished 2 points behind us in 2006 so why should we be any more fussed about you now? Come to think of it Citeh only finished 3 points behind you last season - shouldn't you be more worried about them?
As for Nasri, I was actually a bit worried about how he'd do at Arsenal because his record at Marseille was not spotless as far as personality clashes, petulance, immaturity were concerned (tho nowhere near as bad as Ben Arfa at Lyon & later Marseille--I'm still trying to get my head around seeing him at Newcastle, it's like Bizarro World football). I only hoped that AW would be able to influence him. I've been delightfully surprised because he's shown no hints of that immaturity at Arsenal.
So Clive and HY, what are you saying? This "deafening silence" re Gallas means we're all jealous? Hurt? There were a couple of pieces on David Bentley here and your lot came on here saying we were just jealous, and why did we care so much that we had to talk so much about him? Geezus, we can't win! You really think us not talking about Gallas means something more than us just thinking MORE about MORE IMPORTANT things??? Like the transfer window, the goalkeeping issue, etc. Honestly, what is it that you want? If there'd been an article here about Gallas, you'd STILL come out and say well, we're just jealous and resentful.
Gallas will do well for Spurs until he get injured again. I'm not concerned about Gallas to Spurs at all, but I am about van der Vaart. Now there's a transfer that I did not like seeing at all. And Sandro's a good, simple DM - I hope spurs just don't expect him to create anything. It's not what he does.
Amos, i never said we were not looking over our shoulder at citeh mate. i think this season will be closer than ever and any one of 6 teams could easily finish between 3rd and 8th!!! but to say you havent even been a little worried surely must be way off the mark. i admire your confidence and you have every right to be seeing as you havent finished out of the top 4 for god knows how long but the gulf between all these teams has closed right up now.
Very interesting posts jaelle and some great perspectives. You're right that the casual level relationship is much more of an Anglo-American thing and you do see it in other parts of the world. Even in Europe I see the Austrians with a very similar attitude to hierarchical etiquette as the French (though less so the Germans - at least in the north). It's also to be seen in Italy to a lesser extent whereas the Dutch and the Scandinavians are similar to the Anglo-American style. I must say I struggle a little with this concept of automatic respect for your elders - especially where we are talking about a difference of 10 to 20 years tops (or 6 years in one example given by Gallas). I've always believed that respect is to be earned and not demanded. It's when you insist on it as a right that inevitably some will question your entitlement. Great detailed background to the French wc saga - most of which I was ignorant of.
cb25Yid, you're another spuddie hypocrite. Clive came on here complimenting the article did he? He came on here talking about a "deafening silence" gloating about one of our players going to your club, implying we're jealous or resentful about it, which is why our "silence" is so "deafening." That's a compliment? You spuddies are all indulging in your belief that we're all simmering here jealous and worried and afraid and resentful of you, that we're just trying to hide our true feelings, that we think about you all the time and are really really worried about you. Hilarious stuff from a club whose fans are always always totally obsessed about us. It's called psychological projection. You're obsessed with us so you think we're obsessed with you.
BTW, there's talk of making Sagna captain of the NT.
Jaelle - interesting post. Was going to ask how comes you know so much about the French until I read your very last comment in parentheses! As for the Spuds that keeping coming on here, you'd really think that supporters of a team that had just lost at home against Wigan would know better. But then we are talking about those with the inferiority complex from down the road. Muppets!
Why not wait until the end of the season before deciding how close we all are? It's only Spuds that seem determined to decide the outcome of the season before a ball has been kicked. History suggest thats your best opportunity but its better to do your bragging when the game has finished.
your bang on Jaelle. i cant stop thinking about ar5ena1!!! i read every article thats on VA and can only wish that i supported the red side of N.London........... get real fella, there is no obsession here mate. I came on here cos i saw that you had Gallas in the article title. I find it amusing though that you all seem to say that we you are not worried and we are not one of your rivals!!!! Of course i do not think you will all be jelous of us getting Gallas, he's good cover for an already decent defence. but dont act like the yids are not catching you up, if we havent already just about got there.
"I must say I struggle a little with this concept of automatic respect for your elders" -- since I am a product of both types of cultures I certainly sympathize with this sentiment. I've seen the good and bad of both, depending on context. I'm often appalled at the way my younger cousins talk to their parents, like hooligans. But then I see in Brazil where this demand for respect is abused in the context of class---worker/employer, customer/salesperson, etc.
Hey, Lou, I am massively massively jealous of you being in Paris to see the French NT under the new manager!
You didn't make much progress towards us last weekend did you? You're neighbours not rivals - you've flattered to deceive for 50 years. When you've proven that there is something to be concerned about then maybe we'll be concerned. As it stands the only clubs we need be concerned about are those above us - if we end up in front of either or both of those we'll end up in front of those below us. Now - you can an eye or those below you - I hear Wigan are showing a bit of form lately.
Being a product of both types of cultures is a positive that not everyone can share. You are better able work out what to take from each - even if it isn't always easy to decide.
cb25Yid, look, you're doing very well, you have a good squad. Any gooner who denies that is just plain silly. You're playing good football. And I for one am not complacent about you because I have issues with our own team. I was merely responding to your depiction of Clive's gloating about Gallas and his silly comments about a "deafening silence" -- implying some kind of great significance to our not talking about Gallas going to your club. I can tell you that if Gallas had made some public comments about Arsenal that were critical, we would be talking about it. He may still yet do that.
Well it will be interesting to see who will be better off, Us with Gallas or you with Squillachi is it? Suppose hes better isnt he. And that other guy you signed, that little bloke who got sent off against Liverpool...well he plays for Arsenal so he must be bettter too i guess.....As for Vermaelen, i rate him. Hes also good at attacking corners, but hes not a patch on Gallas still. Its crystal clear hes not. The only thing working against him despite being an ex-Arsenal egocentric idiot is age but hes still got a couple of years like Sol Campbell at the top.
mate you of all people should know that teams can slip up to teams like wigan. didnt they beat you 3-2 towards the end of last season so that doesnt really make a great deal of sense throwing that one about! OK we're obviously not gonna agree on this so we'll just leave it at that. thank **** the arsena1 fans that i know havent got their heads shoved as far up their own ar5es as you have or i'd never end up having a normal chat with them down the local.
and it says it all about your club that the day England play you all talk about the ******in French and their game!
2 more years at the top? I thought he'd signed for the Spuds? Where's he off to next then? As I said as good as he has been he ain't getting better. Campbell is a bit more of a static clear the box type of player - Gallas will rely more on mobility and pace - time might not work as favourably for him as it has for Campbell. Vermaelen was better than Gallas last season - and he will get better. Overall we're better off with defensive cover this season than last. That's all we need be concerned about.
You're a spud - you're incapable of having a normal chat with anyone - other than how this is gonna be the year - when the year ends in one - and all that delusional crap you spout season after season after season. When you've shown some sustained success then you can come and wave your willy about if you feel the need to. Otherwise you just look the pathetically needy attention seekers that you have been for so many years.
Totally OT: Yes, I enjoy twitter and follow some footballers, incl. some Arsenal players. (Ramsey and Wilshere have some funny banter). Today I tweeted Denilson and he tweeted back at me! Ok, that's enuf of the fangirl business for today. :-)
Oooh my mistake, i seem to have entered the spuds board by accident.
insider says
Amos and jaelle, I was really enjoying this thread with all your comments. Then the VS morons turned up and it all went pear shaped. I personally would much rather read your views on Nasri etc, than see you wasting your time trying to educate the Spuds lot. It's a futile exercise trying to make them see sense, it is clearly beneath the pair of you and is a waste of your writing talents. However, if you genuinely enjoy their pathetic intervention, then by all means carry on.
Cockney Rich
Nothing wrong with a bit of Spud bashing. Though heaven knows why they bother to come here just to be ritually humiliated escapes me. It isn't as though simply being a spud hasn't been a humiliating enough experience in itself over the last 20 to 50 years.
HY, remember the bet we had about who was a better DM - Palacios or Song? That time as well, you said that we think Song is better because he plays for us. Well, the answer is hopefully before you now. Palacios is not a patch on Song.
CR, you're right of course. I routinely let myself get derailed by these idiots. It's a weakness of mine.
I didnt realise this was an educational exercise. Its turning into a slagging match. You don't half spout some verbal poop Cockney Rich, also try pulling your tongue out of Amos also its not healthy. As to Gallas, he may be over the hill. He's probably not though is he...remember LD saying on VS how hes still a top defender and didnt Wenger want him for another year anyway? Time will tell i guess.
Palacios has certainly lost form, he had a tough year afterall and Huddlestone has been great in his position. Song i recall also hasnt been a first team regular either for you guys? (Or for his country) Time will tell
Song has very much been a first team regular for us HY. He is the first choice DM for our first team now. Secondly, no one here has slated Gallas for not being a very good defender. He is. However, he is slowly becoming injury prone with a calf problem routinely bothering him. His recovery pace is also not what it once was. His tackling skill and ability to read the game and play with the right mentality remain top notch. Overall, the Gallas move will be good for you if he manages to play more than 30 games across all 4 competitions for Spurs.
Song is absolutely first choice DM for us... guess your recollection is a bit off
Gallas is a top defender and I think it's a good signing for Spurs, but I also think his time with us came to a natural end. We needed to rebuild the defence so better to clear out the old guard. But I'm certainly not crying any tears about it. Gallas was a free agent looking for a club, he found one in the city he's lived in for 10 years, fair play to him. But I'm not arsed about him going to Spurs. jaelle, to touch on your point on the French side, I actually had a lot of respect for Toulalan's reaction post World Cup. He said something like, "We were all complicit in this, nobody is blameless and nobody was dragged along with the crowd, we all wanted this and anyone who says different is a liar. So we all deserve punishment." Fair play to the guy. It's clear now that Domenech dfropped Nasri because of internal politiking, but letting his senior players call the shots was a sign of a guy who had lost the plot.
Little Dutch
Also HY, its only a matter of time before Vermaelen becomes even better than he is. He is very young for an already exceptional defender and will mature further over time. He is aggressive, fast, has good judgement and a winner's mentality.
I wish this forum was like a fan page on facebook, where you go to the wall and select whose posts you want to see, coz I sure as hell would choose to ignore all the posts from anyone with "spur" or "yid" in their username. They're almost always soooooo irritating!!! Good banter I don't mind, but how often do you get good banter from a spurs fan on VA? It's as rare as picking up a fiver on the sidewalk; it's been known to happen, but it's so rare no one walks about with their eyes on the ground looking to pick up some loose change. Tsk!
To be fair, I see what cb25yid is saying, he's not a troller here, he's seen an article on a Spurs player. HY also always comes to talk football. I think most of us are just weary with the likes of Clive 49, TRH and lordjonson trolling every article and adding zero value to the thread.
Little Dutch
LD, spot-on re Toulalan. I was disappointed in his role in the whole thing but his response was really the only one I could respect. Toule is another very quiet, unassuming guy, speaks very little, almost never talks to the press, just gets on with his job, fights for his team and apparently has a very uncomplicated, modest personal/family life. // Ditto to Gaga's comment. I've often wished I could just blot out most if not all the spud comments here. The hijack every single damned thread.
@jaelle...i read articles on most sites but mostly comment on mine as i cant be bothered with the immature and amos strike me as different though,,,,i like your shout ..its long but not boring and constructive indeed....the point of the younger ones having no respect for elders is now a worldwide thing it seems...but some of these egotistical pups in sport think because they get these big pay packets they can do whatever....maybe it needs the fans to put them in their places..after all....who pays them....AND IS IT NOT HISTORY THAT SHAPES THE FUTURE ?
Haven't finished reading the discussion above. Will come back to them later especially when Jaelle's posts seem interesting. Just back from the game and wanted to say that France actually played okay. I thought I was watching Arsenal 2006-07 when the passing, the possession, even the tackles were there but the sharpness up front was lacking. They created enough chances and some were near misses - whether because of fitness issues or pressure I don't know. The fans were fantastic but a section of them booed off the players at the end after Belarus scored a late goal in one of the rather few chances they had to get the shock win. A bit of a cultural eye-opener for me too. It's not a brand new team that Blanc put out but the performance was there. Some of the home fans were just a bit quick with the booing I felt, but that's just a minority. But the press (I was just reading the Guardian) are starting to make a story out of it, I can see it coming.
Excellent posts earlier, jaelle. Interesting insight on a lot of issues. Nasri's attitude seems to be worse with the French squad, I guess the old guard at Arsenal was non-existent, apart from Gallas, so that helps.
Yeah, there are a few Ok ones, but before you get one, you're going to have to listen to so much crap. Remember those "prosecutions" of Mourinho and Wenger we had either here or VC? Now that's good banter...
Great perspectives Amos, jaelle and all other VA members.
It is possible that Nasri hasnít been disruptive in the Arsenal camp because of the less formal approach. Amos is right when he says that respect has to be earned and not assumed and presumably Nasri feels amongst his peers. Iím happy with the departure of Gallas because he wasnít particularly good for us, not because of any lack of ability, but because of his negative aura. This is a team game and you have to WANT to work for each other whether you are professional or not. And it is because of that that I am happy heís gone to the Tots.
Sir Henry

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