William Gallas, a man of class, a man who once took his passion so far, he sulked on the halfway line when a teammate gave away a dubious penalty, has shown the man he really is today… by sticking the book into big Phil Senderos.
“I knew Philippe Senderos, before a match he would need to speak a lot, you could see that he was sweating, that he did not feel good,”
“Especially against certain players. I saw him against Chelsea, against Didier Drogba, where he would genuinely panic, like he was going through his match before playing it.
“And unfortunately, when you saw him on the pitch, he lost his playing abilities, he didn’t play well. But against his own team-mates, he played better.”
I mean, I’ll be super honest here, who didn’t realise this when they watched the Swiss? He looked terrified when he had to play against Drogba. As a shite footballer myself, I used to take solace in the fact that most of the best footballers don’t really think on the same level as normal people. They’re kind of vacant, they just think about the game.
Not Phil. The guy had a degree, he was a master of 5 languages, he no doubt had a Proust novel tucked away in his boot bag, maybe even a notebook to take down casual after training musings about the interplay between nature and man. He was a sensitive soul and it sadly never really worked out for him.
That said, always remember, he was part of that record-breaking defence that stormed to a Champions League final, he’ll always have the Bernabeu.
Anyway, not sure why you’d level in on an ex-teammate like that? Gallas was a precious little bitch who always put himself above those around him. He was a shite leader who couldn’t contain his emotions. Sure, he was a great footballer for a time, but he can hardly powder his tenure at Arsenal a success.
What is notable to me from those words is that Wenger never let up. I wonder if he ever prepared some sort of program for the Swiss to battle his demons? Who did the club draft in to help him get through those bad times? How did they help him learn to deal with Drogba?
It’s also interesting that there are rumours that Xhaka is also world class in training. Not that I want to make every post about him…
You don’t have that issue with Emery. Whatever I think about his overall quality as a manager, his effort cannot be doubted. Like God himself, the man has a plan for everyone.
“For me it is a new moment, for us and for every player,” Emery told a news conference on Thursday.
“The reason we are working is to prepare each match with our players to have the possibility to arrive in Newcastle in the best condition for every player.
“That’s the same for Mesut. He’s working well. He is OK. I want to push them, I want to be demanding to prepare this match – Mesut the same.
“I want to find with him the possibility to do the best, to make decisive passes, to do more near and in the box to score. Also, I think he is working for the team to help us with his quality.
“But he is feeling like I am feeling. He can improve, he can do more. In this process, we will work, we will help him, give him the possibility on the pitch to be together, to find his qualities for us”
My hope is that Mesut can react well to being told there is more to come. The German does need to do more in games, he does need to score some goals and he has to find a way to make himself more visible in the big matches. I think that’s as much about finding a system that can support him. I think the manager is all over the place at the moment with selection at the minute because the balance of his squad is so off key.
I wouldn’t want to doubt the chances of Newcastle turning us over tomorrow, but if we’re being real, this is the easiest match we’ve got coming up. Everton next Sunday is going to be a very tough game, especially off the back of a trip to Ukraine. I really like Marco Silva, but for me, there’s no excuse for us to be considering getting turned over by Everton. It’ll be tough, but those sorts of games are the difference between 4th and 5th.
Finally, Smith Rowe continued his great form from preseason into the new season scoring for the U21s. Freddie Ljungberg had some nice words to say about him here.
“Unai has seen a lot, he knows. Emile has a great career in front of him,”
“His presence and the way he behaves, for me he’s a role model for everyone at our club. The respect he shows people and then on the pitch he plays so well.
“If any young players want to look at how I think a player should behave they should look at him. With all the success he has got he is still as humble as he was before.”
Fingers crossed he gets a look in this season!