William Gallas: the big baby who will sadly never be remembered for his football.
Would be madness to exchange probably the best ever English left-back to your rival in exchange for £5million and William Gallas, wouldn’t it? Well, that is exactly what Arsenal did on deadline day in 2006 and what a truly awful decision it was.
It wasn’t that he was a particularly bad player; quite the opposite, in fact, he was very good. But by golly was he a problem both on and off the pitch. A problem many would admit that just wasn’t worth it.
It was a genuine shock when Gallas was handed the Arsenal captaincy ahead of Gilberto Silva, whose experience, authority and popularity made him an obvious selection. The decision went down like a fart in a lift among the players as well, who all shook their heads, according to Jens Lehmann, when they heard the news.
And for good reason, really.
We were all young once upon a time and we all likely played football at one stage or another, which means we all came across a very particular kind of player. You know, the one that takes their ball back and hides it away when they’re being beaten in a game of jumpers for goalposts or simply just sits on the ground and whines about how life isn’t fair.
Well, believe it or not, William Gallas did just that once as an adult. Whilst captain. In front of thousands of fans. Paying television customers. The world. His family. His friends. His partner. His enemies. Everyone. It’s the kind of behaviour that’s reserved for 2-10 year olds – not professionals. Yet here he was, the Arsenal captain sat on the halfway line refusing the leave the pitch, like some sort of misinformed political protester. At least it wasn’t a dirty one, hey.
For all his quality, of which there was plenty, William Gallas will forever be remembered as a problem and someone who simply didn’t know how to conduct himself in the professional arena.
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