Posts Tagged ‘William Gallas


Diarra of the Mouth/ St. Totteringham’s Day

Good day to you! I don’t know why my opening sentence is so chipper, but there it is. Wenger gave his Friday “press conference” but I haven’t had a chance to watch it because I spent all afternoon yesterday taking care of a 1 year old with an ear infection. Owing to that I’ve had about 5 hours sleep and I have to get to work so it’s a short blog for you, I’m sure you’ll survive.

I’m not Lassana Diarra’s psychologist but judging by the constant swipes he takes at Arsenal, there is obviously something deeply disturbed about this guy. This month’s bon mot has Diarra saying that Wenger basically destroyed his self confidence. This guy really has nothing to complain about as far as Arsenal. He was NEVER going to get a game in the Chelsea system as he was 4th on the list behind Maka, Essien, and Obi. So, he bitched and moaned until he got transferred for dirt cheap to Arsenal. Once he got to Arsenal, he seems to be under the impression that he should have jumped straight into the first team and been best buds with Wenger who would give him a daily Dutch Rudder before massaging his ego.

Yes, he’s technically more proficient than Flamini but the problem is that Flamini had put in 3 years of hard work to EARN his spot and was a crucial part of that Arsenal team’s psyche. Wait… why the fuck am I explaining this? He was given a chance at the Arsenal and he fucked it up because he is a huge pussy who refused to put in the requisite work to EARN a spot on one of the greatest clubs in the world. Now he’s taking a swipe at Arsenal because, basically, he needs a scape goat for his own actions and knows that the Brit Press will run with this story.

I am very happy he’s gone and even more happy that he’s over in Spain ruining the dressing room for Real Madrid. Anyone who would act this unprofessionally, after three English clubs gave him everything he asked for, in such a brief stint, is a cancer and will eventually turn on his current employers and teammates. This is a man who has no character, who cannot overcome even the smallest obstacle, so no matter how technically good he seems, in my estimation Real Madrid were jobbed in that transfer.

On to the real news: Wenger talked about Gallas today and while Gallas is going to be out for the rest of the year, Wenger does not see him moving on in the summer and I’d like to think, took a swipe at Diarrhea:

He has a year left on his contract. I envisage him to be here next year.  He had a challenging season but I believe he had to cope with a major disappointment. You have to give him a lot of credit because he came back with great performances so he dealt well with the situation.

Totally, tons of credit to Gallas. If he does move on, I’d be surprised if it was anywhere near as acrimonious as the Diarrhea transfer has been: and Gallas is a man who was publicly taken down by the boss, ravaged in the press, and stripped of his captaincy.

So, tomorrow, there will be an early blog, and then some work around the house, and the game, and some beer, and hopefully a win for the Arsenal. More on that tomorrow.


I meant to look this up first thing before I wrote the blog so I apologize for having an “update” but I have great news! With only 7 games left (and a possible 21 points) and Arsenal on 58 points while Spuds are on 38 points, tomorrow could very well be St. Totteringham’s day!

For those who don’t know, St. Totteringham’s day is the annual event marking the day after which it is mathematically impossible for Spuds to finish above the Arsenal. With just 21 points to go and 20 points between the two any combination in which Arsenal win makes Saturday April 11th, 2009 St. Totteringham’s day.


Gallas loses his joie de vivre, Eduardo finds it.

Good morning, I hope everything is going well with you wherever you are. Here it is “snowing” and “freezing” which actually means that we have had weather below 40F and there was a 1/4″ of snow. This in turn means that the men who typically wear shorts all “winter” will have to bust out their extra long pair of shorts. It’s a tragedy and I’m prepared for the Governor to declare a national emergency at any moment.

Meanwhile, on a foggy night in London’s Underhill sports complex, an Arsenal reserve side featuring the long awaited return of Eduardo da Silva took on some kind of Portsmouth team and won 2-0. I will be the first to admit that when I saw the score line I fully expected to see Eduardo’s name next to at least one of the goals, but it wasn’t to be. In fact, he only played 45 minutes because he tweaked his hamstring, which puts him out for two weeks. His hope is to return for the FA cup match in January, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the man out of the first team until the Spurs match in February.

Reports indicate that he looked pretty good out there which is to be expected since hopes are high at the moment and any flaws were bound to be overlooked as the halcyon glow of a triumphant return clouded minds (and even lenses). I’ll just say that Eduardo is a tremendous talent, a relentless finisher, and a key asset to Arsenal’s title aspirations. Whether he plays or not is probably irrelevant as his long journey back should provide an emotional lift to a team that are struggling under the weight of all our expectations magnified by the constant roil of the London press. Despite the odds, Eduardo never gave up, he wants to play football, he loves playing football; how is that not inspirational?

Unfortunately, given the fact that Arsenal play 1st place Litterpool on Sunday and 4th place Aston Villa away on Boxing Day this team will need to stay in the title race without him on the pitch. So, let’s hope the emotional lift is enough to sustain the team until we can get him back and scoring goals.


Much speculation is surrounding both Gallas and Bendtner with Italian clubs supposedly interested in both players.

Juve is reportedly interested in Gallas and Arsenal is reportedly asking for Chiellini in return. This deal will not happen.

First, Juve would be fools to take a head case like Gallas. He’s a good defender but there’s something wrong with him emotionally: he’s the guy who sent Arsenal into a tailspin last year with his Birmingham sit-in and he’s the guy who sent Arsenal into a tailspin this year with the Tottenham half-time bust up. If there’s a shit-storm at Arsenal over the last two years, William Gallas always seems to be at the eye. Who wants that on their team?

Second, I’ve watched Serie A football now for a couple of months, usually while typing the Sunday blog — NOW I’M AN EXPERT ON THE TOPIC, and compared to the EPL, the Serie A is a walk in the park. Contact is basically forbidden, movement is minimal, the pace is insanely slow, and since every team is leaking goals at rate that would embarrass even Arsenal, defenders aren’t really asked to do much.

Add in the favorable tax breaks, the good weather, the food, and the fact that English women have filthy vaginas (hey, don’t kill the messenger) and I seriously doubt that many Italian players want to come to England.

I do see Gallas leaving, but rather than bring in some big name, I’d bet Wenger recalls Senderos. Now, put aside your prejudices against the man and think about it… ok, it’s crazy but exactly the kind of thing Wenger would do. And you know Senderos would be happy to play backup, he’s done it before so don’t be surprised if you see big Phil back in the red and white!

The other speculation is that Inter are lining up a bid for Bendtner.

He would fit right in with the slow pace, deliberate style, and outright laziness of Inter.

The huge transfer story of the morning, though, is that Diarra got his wish and used Pompey as a stepping stone to a bigger club, with Real Madrid reportedly offering somewhere between $13.5m – $36m (£9m – £24m) for his services. This is really a crazy story. I know that a lot of us Arsenal supporters had a real hard on for Diarra after he put in, like one good performance in the Carling Cup but is he really one of the top 3 or 4 holding midfielders in the world? A guy who couldn’t get a game over Flamini, a player who now sits on the bench at AC Milan, is suddenly worth 6 times what Portsmouth paid for him? I guess he did play on a team that won the FA cup, so that must explain it.

Seriously, Diarra is a fine player who reminds me of a sort of poor man’s Makalele, mostly due to his short stature and the fact that he plays in the same position and not because he’s a proven winner.  He has a good engine and what he lacks in passing and offensive awareness he makes up for in hard work. Arsenal could certainly use him right now, but he’s no £20m player. If he’s worth £20m, you can forget about Arsenal buying anyone who has ever accomplished anything ever again. I mean come on, Arsenal wouldn’t pay £18m for Xavi Alonso, who has won a lot of silverware against the world’s best players.

What’s also strange is that as talented as he is on the pitch, he’s the world’s least trustworthy player off the pitch. Everywhere he goes he’s always angling for a new deal with another team and as soon as he signs he’s quick to rip his old team.

Huh… in a certain way, he reminds me a lot of Gallas: he’s at the eye of every shit-storm. Again, why would you want a guy like that on your team?

The only part of this story that makes me mad is that Arsenal didn’t get paid $30m to offload him! Oh well.

And finally, I would be remiss if I talked about transfers and didn’t mention Andre “the great hype” Arshavin and his possibly transfer to Arsenal. He’s not coming to Arsenal and I don’t want him.

This whole saga is just comedic. This is a player who may be the most overrated player in modern history. A guy who’s sole claim to fame is one good game in Euro 2008 and a UEFA Cup!

I’m glad he’s not coming to Arsenal. In fact, I would be pissed if Arsenal did business with that club. Zenit St. Petersburg should not be allowed to play sanctioned football while their coach talks openly about discriminating against black players because the racist ass fans would riot much less be allowed to do business in the transfer market. If Arsenal ever gave them a dime while they had an open policy of racial discrimination I would be shocked and dismayed.

Ok, long post but that’s because I got up early when the baby started crying — no William Gallas was not spending the night, I have an actual live 7 month old baby that cries at night.  William Gallas is a 31 year old baby that cries at night.

See the difference?


Captain Fabregas, Gallas back in


I didn’t read a single opinion piece yesterday and it felt, well, it felt good. I did read all of your comments and I want to thank all of the readers who left comments yesterday and Saturday, I always read all of your remarks and enjoy each of your insights. But I stayed away from the Independents’, Suns, Beebs, Telegraphs, Arsenal.coms, Setantas, and Goal.coms, because I knew that it was just going to be a feeding frenzy by the press; blood is in the water after all.

One of the things that I noticed while scanning through the news stories this morning is that everyone thinks that they know what’s going on at Arsenal. Something is clearly going on, no doubt, but what exactly is happening is pure speculation.

The one story that we haven’t seen yet is speculation about why Wenger hasn’t bought big in the last five years. I have been very suspicious that Arsenal just don’t have the money that they keep claiming that they have. Whether there’s a drain on finances due to the Emirates, the huge payroll, or there’s some kind of dividend being payed, we just don’t know. The facts are very clear; Arsene Wenger has broken even or earned money in every transfer market for the last 5 years. Further, Wenger has admitted that he bid for Alonso (an experienced midfielder) and Chelsea have admitted that he bid for Malouda, but that both bids fell short and were not upped is telling. That behavior can’t just be explained away with Wenger’s insistence that he is pursuing a “youth” policy or that he doesn’t want to “pay over the odds.” There’s something going on, I suspect.

It seems I too can speculate with the best of them.

But instead of the finance story, there are dozens of stories about how Wenger is afraid of Gallas, how there are cliques in the dressing room, how they argue on and off the pitch, and the worst of all, how Wenger has lost the plot. The point of all these stories isn’t to really shed light on Arsenal, but rather just to draw you in. They take one quote and spin a yarn around it. Who really knows what’s going on in training? Arsene Wenger, and I trust him to make things right.

Which brings me to today’s press conference. Just a few minutes ago, Wenger announced that Cesc will be captain and Gallas will be included in the team. Time to drop the speculation over whether Cesc will make a good captain, we’ll see if he will or not. Last year I called for Gallas to be replaced by Cesc and I was roundly criticized so, despite my reservations this year, I have to admit that I see the quality in him. It’s a tough, tough time to take over as captain but, like President Obama, when you take over at such a pivotal time you will either pass with flying colors and be one of the greats or you will go down in flames.

Here’s hoping that Cesc is the former.

The very first thing I would do, if I was Cesc, is knock on Wenger’s door, close the door behind me, and tell Arsene Wenger to go out and buy an experienced midfield partner. I would not leave the room until I had a promise from him that he would buy that person. You all know that I want Stephen Appiah, he’s available right now and I think he would be magnificent for the job. But maybe Wenger has a January target, someone better, he needs to let Cesc know now.

The very next thing I would do, is I would squash the bullshit squabbling between RvP and Gallas — neither player is good enough to get away with this stupid bullshit and tear apart my beloved Arsenal. Wenger has stated that Gallas will be used for the remainder of his time at Arsenal saying:

William is a player that I rate and a man that I rate. I have a big respect for him. He was working as a captain in a very difficult media environment. He was under big pressure from the press. For me, the player is committed to the club and I think he can be stronger as a player because he took all the problems of the team to his heart. I think it can be a new start for him.

Given the fact that Wenger is determined to select Gallas (who is arguably the best defender on the team — I said ARGUABLY) Cesc’s second big challenge is going to be to support Wenger and Gallas in this. At least until the man can be moved on in January.

The last thing that Cesc is going to have to do is heal the wounds at the club. This is probably the most difficult task ahead because right now, the club and the fans are a club divided. If winning is the salve that heals all wounds then so be it, go out and get some wins. But I suspect that Cesc will need to do more than just win in order to keep this group together. He will need to put an arm around the shoulder of his teammates when they screw up, he will need to work a lot harder on the pitch than he has as of late, he will need to inspire his teammates, he will need to back his teammates up, and he will need to back Wenger up.

That’s what Cesc has got to do over the next few weeks. It’s a lot to ask any man at a healthy club, but it seems a superhuman task to ask a 21 year old at a club that is tanking games and in danger of losing their place in the Champions League.

Up next is Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League more on that tomorrow.


Citeh v. Arsenal Preview — “We need a massive commitment”

Before you start a football game there is always a good chance to win it, but we need massive commitment on Saturday. — Arsene Wenger after the loss to Aston Villa talking about today’s game against City.

Officially, nothing has happened: the lineup reported by The Beeb includes Gallas, the dot com is silent on the issue, and even The World’s Least Reliable Newspaper (I don’t link to The Sun because I find that paper to be vile and won’t generate a single click for them) is left making up quotes that they heard from “a close family member.” That said, this is exactly how I would expect Arsenal to handle this situation. It would be undignified of the club to strip Gallas of the captaincy for publicly humiliating his teammates by releasing press statements and then turn around and publicly humiliate Gallas by releasing a press statement. That’s the kind of thing that a classless organization like Chelsea would (did) do.

So, if he has been dropped (we’ll find out in about an hour) I would be surprised if the boss says anything about it other than a terse “this is an internal matter, we are dealing with the situation” type of statement.

I will admit that I have taken some cheap shots at Gallas the last few days, really it’s been a long time coming. As I said before, I felt like I needed to bite my tongue about the man and the player for this whole season and so in a sense it was a great relief to finally be able to just let it out.

gallas-protestAfter a few days distance from the whole thing I can say that some of what Gallas said was spot on, if it’s true. If there are players who feel like at the age of 22 they have arrived and don’t need to put in any more work, then they should be sorted out. If there are players who feel like they are equals with greats like Thierry Henry, then they too should be sorted — and by sorted I mean sold to also-rans like Tottenham. And, of course, there are players who need to show more fire in their belly — I’ve been saying that for a month!

The problems with Gallas’ statement are multiple though. First, is the problem that Gallas is one of those players who needs to show some passion and I don’t mean just yelling at his teammates, or throwing a temper tantrum ala the Birmingham protest. I mean he needs to be the one attacking the ball in the final third. He needs to be the one who is willing to risk injury to himself to claim the ball in the air and I think he hasn’t been willing to do that lately. Second, is, well, DON’T RIP THE GUYS TO THE PRESS, DUMMY.

I’ll even throw Gallas a bone — one of the things that Gallas probably doesn’t understand is that this generation isn’t like his generation. Growing up, I was never praised unless I did something extraordinary but this generation is radically different: they need constant praise (link to first article I found — it’s a well documented phenomena). Gallas’ authoritarian leadership style just doesn’t work well with people born after 1979. Growing up being told that they were all precious little snowflakes, constantly praised for just doing their job, treated equally, and having rules and ideas explained to them rather than forced on them shaped the way that they expect to be treated by their work place. You can’t scream at Clichy when he makes a mistake that costs Arsenal the game — if you do, you risk losing him forever. These young men need mentors, leaders who lead by example rather than authoritarian dictators who scream at you for every mistake you make. So, maybe Gallas didn’t understand that generational gap, his interview sure seems to indicate that he didn’t get it; wanting players to respect him just because he is older. That’s just not how it works any more.

That said, Arsenal gave Gallas every chance. The moment that will be iconic of the Gallas reign was the Birmingham Sit In. Universally condemned by everyone outside the club, Arsene Wenger protected him and explained away his behavior by saying that he is just a passionate player. Then, this year he’s caught out late smoking a stogie before a match, the boss again defended him. And those are just the highlights. After all the chances he’s gotten I can’t see how he would get away with this latest event.

What happens next is being speculated on wildly. T-Town Alex reports that L’Equipe is linking Gallas to Bordeaux. Some other blogs are speculating that he might have his contract terminated and become a free agent. Doing that would free up $160,000 a week in wages, which could be used to bring in Stephen Appiah. Or, Arsenal could loan him to a French side, or Arsenal could sell him on in January. I find the last option least likely since Gallas is such damaged goods right now. The most likely scenario is a loan or free agent situation… then he can re-join his mates at Stamford Bridge.

I’m sure we’ll all know more about Gallas’ situation at the club here over the next few days. Today, the team has to somehow put all this stuff behind them and come out to play. Citeh has been struggling as of late — since their 6-0 win at Pompey, they have gone L-L-D-W-L-L-L-D. Of course, on the other side teams have been licking their chops to play Arsenal lately as we have put in some very ordinary performances.

The good news is that defensively, Arsenal are actually a better away team than they are at home so far this season — conceding 10 goals at home and only 5 goals away. Add in the lift that sometimes happens when a team has a massive change (if Gallas is actually dropped — which the Beeb is now reporting Almunia as captain and Gallas being dropped) and we could see a real classic today.

To get there, though, “we need massive commitment” from these young lads. There is not doubt that there will be a strange lineup today, some kids may be drafted in to fill the gaps due to injury and big mouthedness. Those kids are going to have to be 111% committed to get a result against City at home. I know that they can do it: Arsenal are a machine, one cog breaks, you insert another. They all have the talent, they have the ability, and today they need to show that they have the desire.

There have been many pivotal moments this season but I think we’re reaching the pinnacle of pivotal moments today. The game that sets the course of the season? Maybe. Go out there and win it!



Bolton v. Arsenal preview


3 years in a row now Arsenal have lost to Bolton.


Arsenal’s Premier League season now hinges on winning an away match to one of the dirtiest teams to ever disgrace a football pitch.

Bolton. Ugh…

There is a ray of hope here though. Bolton no longer have Sam Allardyce and there can be no doubt that Bolton’s home form against Arsenal was largely (pun intended) a product of the Fat Man. Bolton also let Anelka go this January (which prompted me to predict relegation) and they have really missed his presence. So much so that the second leading scorer on the squad (behind Anelka) is midfielder, skipper, and hard man, Kevin Nolan. Unfortunately for Bolton fans Kevin Nolan won’t be on the pitch tomorrow either, because he is serving a suspension for his 10th yellow of the season.

No Sam, No Nicholas, no Nolan: a walk in the park right? No way.

Bolton are fighting against relegation and players like Davies (7 yellow cards) and Diouf (10 yellow cards) are not going to roll over and let Arsenal tickle their tummies. I fully expected the nasty game to be the one against Chelsea and it turned out to be a pretty fair match between the two — by recent standards. And now, with Bolton and Arsenal at opposite ends of the table but their respective seasons hanging in the balance I’m going to have to move the tense match to tomorrow. Throw in 3 years of bitter history, a depleted Bolton squad which will force them to ugly up the game, and it could very well explode.

Or… Arsenal could score early and put them to bed.

Personally, I’m hoping for the latter. The longer Arsenal wait to score, the more belief will creep into the Bolton side… then, one ball hoofed up to a speedy Diouf and… damn, I don’t want to think about it.

Fortunately, it looks like Wenger has studied the tapes of the last 5 matches and is calling for a defensive renaissance.

I believe we will do it but we need to get back to our defensive stability. We were leading with 20 minutes to go at Chelsea and then surrendered it. What we produced defensively was just not us: we can do much better than that.

Yes. “Defense wins championships” we say here in America (because our sports don’t have draws) and in this case it’s true.  Arsenal need to shore up their defense, stat.

It’s important to note, however, that while Wenger was reminding the team to tighten up their defense, he was also giving 100% support to William Gallas. So, while he’s calling out William to lead the team, to lead the defense, he’s not doing it in such a way as to undermine the squad.

Some Arsenal supporters (me included) would do well to take note of this technique. It’s too easy to slide into attacking and blaming when the team has a slump in form. But that’s when the team need us most — supporting.

And so, Bolton tomorrow at 8am PST in a potentially tense match. It would be a nice match to see Arsenal regain their form, wouldn’t it? No one needs reminding that Arsenal have three tough tests against Liverpool next week, do they?

The match is live on Setanta, which normally means me at the pub at 8am, but I’m busy tomorrow and so I’ll have to watch the replay at 5pm.  Here’s to a break-out match for Arsenal, a 7-0 thrashing, and everyone goes home unhurt!   Hell, I’ll take three points and everyone unhurt.

Until then, kickers…

p.s. The Madness of King Kev has struck again! There’s a story that he wants to sign former Gunner, Reyes. Um, Kev? He’s a striker who scored 16 goals in 69 appearances. And when he wasn’t taking up space on the pitch? He was bitching about the weather or the physical play of the PL. Come on, this story HAS to be a fake, right?

p.p.s. The Madness of Jens Lehmann has struck as well! 20 years ago this would have been a non-story but in these day and times, feeding non-alcoholic beer to a toddler is probably a crime. It’s a real shame that, I remember my dad gave me beer when I was very young AND I TURNED OUT FINE.



has a captain ever been replaced?

I was reading the Arseblogger this morning and he reminded me of something that happened on Sunday. When I was watching the pre-match there was a moment that the cameras picked up on an on-field team meeting presided over by William Gallas. At the time I kinda thought, “that’s odd, but hey, maybe that’s how the team gets motivated for a big match.” I turned my attention to something else for a second and like a shot, I heard Gallas say, in his best English, “We have to show them that we are not afraid!” It wasn’t the assured voice of a man who was instilling confidence in other men. It was the shrill voice of a man who was pleading for his men to have confidence. That was when I knew that they were afraid, desperately afraid, and I got a twinge. Like when you just know something bad is going to happen. You can see the whole thing for yourself here:

I like the look on van Persie’s face. That says it all.

And the stink over the 2-1 defeat is starting to spread a bit. The boss has now made it clear who he thought was at fault for the loss. With this statement he laid the blame squarely at Gallas’ feet.

We have some defensive problems that we need to sort out. We gave away an easy goal against Middlesbrough, against Aston Villa and again today. The spirit is right, the mentality is fantastic but we needed a bit more defensive authority. You can say we played badly but we were vulnerable today.

But it’s not just once that Wenger blamed the defense, he’s now done it in at least two different statements. For Wenger, Gallas is the captain, Toure is the co-captain, and that pair are responsible for the loss. What will be interesting is to see how they respond. Will Gallas talk to the press about Theo’s lack of creativity or will he pull his head out of his ass and work on his game? You know, set the example for the young players. I don’t really think of Toure as any kind of captain so I’d be surprised if he made a statement, but I’m waiting for Gallas to react. The boss is now saying over and over that the defense was and has been the problem over the last 5 games. So, will Gallas blame others or will he take responsibility? Given his history, I would put money on the former.

Adding even more fuel to the Gallas fire is a big story on a small statement by Willi.

Asked by a French newspaper who his mates were at Arsenal, Gallas said: “Mates? Well, they are more like acquaintances. At Arsenal there is Theo Walcott but he is very young. Really, it’s the guys at Chelsea like Frank Lampard, John Terry, Wayne Bridge and Joe Cole. It always gives me pleasure to see them again. We all have our own lives but when we see each other – especially Terry – we always like to spend some time talking together. After all, I spent five years by their sides. There is always something between us. John Terry in particular. I like his mentality. He is a real warrior. In fact he is an example to me even though he is much younger than me.

Just to clarify: William Gallas has no friends at Arsenal, save the man he notoriously slagged off a few weeks ago, but he does have an abiding love for his former Chelsea teammates, especially John Terry. Ugh. I think I just puked up my breakfast.

Has a captain ever been replaced at Arsenal at this point in a season? I suspect the only way to do it would be to claim an injury and pair Big Phil with Toure (a partnership I like!). Then you could hand the armband to someone who has actually been inspirational, who has played hard every match, someone who paid his dues, someone who cut his teeth for the club in the Champions League where he played out of position when asked because of his selfless dedication to the team… someone like Flamini.

I am officially done with William Gallas.  Time to throw out the spoiled apple if you ask me.


Have no fear, Captain Gallas is here!

William Gallas is ready to get down to business and he’s doing it in the one way that most makes sense during a title run-in; by making a press statement. Here’s his statement in full:

I’ll tell you why there was a difference between the win in Milan and our next game. It was in the head. It is human nature that after a huge game in Europe it is difficult to find the same level of motivation for the following game. The fact is, what we needed was an even higher level than we had in Milan. We all have to understand that and we have to understand it quickly — because time is running out for us this season.

We need to understand what it takes to become champions if we want that trophy. I’m not saying we’re in trouble but we have lost our lead. So from now on we just have to think about ourselves, not look at the table any more. And we have to win every game. We need to have a high level of motivation from now until the end of the season. We have to give 200 per cent.

YES! I knew Gallas would be a great captain…

Two weeks too late.

I suspect that Wenger gave Gallas the captaincy in order to tame a problem child. And in some ways it worked: he brought the team together in a way that Gilberto couldn’t do. As he grew into that position he seemed to be a real leader on and off the pitch.

But as the pressure mounted, he seemed to lose his way. He started lashing out at players (I have noticed several arguments with Flamini over the last few weeks), then he threw a huge, public tantrum. That tantrum represents the nadir of the season for the club and the captain. Since then he seems to have gone into a shell: and the last two weeks, I have to say, Flamini looked to be motivating this team. In fact, Flamini said almost the exact same things in Gallas’ quote from yesterday — LAST WEEK.

And I have to say, coming from a man who plays every match 200%, who leaves everything on the pitch, I feel reassured. But when William Gallas repeats the same thing a week later, and after several poor displays on his part, I feel 100% less reassured.

I’m this [] close to calling for stripping Gallas of his captaincy: damn the consequences.

Anyway, enough of that.

Good News Everyone! Barcelona wants Eboue! I say yes, but only in a straight up exchange for Lionel Messi. What? That has as much chance of happening as any team taking Eboue off our hands so why not?

Also Good News! Martin Taylor is back! You might remember him, he’s the stand-up young man who had his career threatened when Eduardo’s leg broke itself on Taylor’s foot. If only Eduardo hadn’t been so quick… or on the pitch at all… this tragedy to Taylor could have been avoided. I mean, look at him, he’s not even starting for Birmingham, he’s playing for their reserves squad. Meanwhile that attention whore Eduardo showed up at the Middlesbrough match in crutches and a little pink outfit. How dare he mock Taylor like that while he’s still serving his 3 MATCH BAN??? God, Arsenal are such, such, cunts.

Sunday is being billed as “super Sunday” as Man U and Liverpool face off and Chelsea and Arsenal, erm, face off too. Yay! Another round of 1-1 draws that are hyped to the gills!

Oh yeah, is it St. Patrick’s day or not? I really don’t care since I’m not Irish, Catholic, an American who claims to be Irish, or an amateur alcoholic (I’m a professional alcoholic thank you very much) but I heard some crapola about it being moved to Saturday, so I’m just wondering. I suspect that was just a marketing ploy by the Guinness brewing company but I wanted to be sure I was wishing folks happy day on the actual day of the happiness.

So… uhh… anyway, happy Nationalist Saint’s day for a nation of people that America despised for hundreds of years but who we pretend to embrace with fake holidays and non-traditional food!

Americans are funny about this stuff. For example, I identify as 1/2 Scottish, 1/4 English and 1/4 French. Why does it matter to Americans? I suspect that since we have no real history and are a nation of immigrants we like to glom on to something larger than ourselves. I say that we should just enjoy being Americans. Which means celebrating St. Patrick’s day by packing yourself into the local Irish pub and drinking green beer with a bunch of other amateurs until you start puking. Also, eat some corned beef, it’s “traditional.”

That’s all I can stomach. Until tomorrow.

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May 2020