By Randy Osae
In the midst of international duty with France, Arsenal skipper William Gallas has recalled the controversies of last season and how his captaincy has been under much scrutiny since been handed the armband at the start of last season.
The former Chelsea defender who sat out his country’s World Cup qualifier due to an injury niggle admits he made “mistakes” with his leadership – especially with the antics against Birmingham City on that bizarre day in late February.
Despite his confession and apology, Gallas still feels he was a little harshly judged and that, the media misinterpreted his winning passion which he learned at Stamford Bridge.
“The controversy about my captaincy? People had to find a scapegoat as we didn’t win any trophies last season.
“So, they talked and talked again about the Birmingham match. Indeed I made a mistake. I must admit I flipped my lid. We should have won that game easily.
“Before Arsenal, I spent six years at Chelsea. That team was capable of getting ugly wins. If we had an opportunity to win a cup, we would never miss it.
Indeed, Arsenal’s assertive captain feels only fans and outside judges decline his role at the club, because teammates really pay attention to his dressing-room motivation.
“I had to state my authority again and today when I motivate them before a match, they say; ‘Capi, we need you, we are following you.”
“If I would have been an unworthy captain, they would have banned me.”
The most likely man to replace Gallas if he does not succeed in his role is the rarely naive Cesc Fabregas. But whether the Spaniard will even be there to wear the armband one day is the question.
His strong link with former employers Barcelona has been unending. And now, Cesc’s ex-teammate and close friend Alex Hleb has restated the ambitions of him and the Catalan club to eventually lure Arsenal’s playmaker to the Camp Nou.
Hleb has once again expressed plans of convincing Wenger’s key man to join Barcelona – much to the displease of many whom he served during his time in north London.
“We get on very well on and off the pitch. For me he is like a brother. We call each other a lot to talk about things,” Hleb told El Mundo Deportivo.
“He tells me he misses me at Arsenal and, without wanting to detract from anyone, I would love it if he came to Barca to be a part of all this.
“I don’t stop insisting that he should return to Barca and he doesn’t stop insisting that he is very happy at Arsenal and with Arsene Wenger.
“I will keep boring him until he changes his mind. If in the end he listens to me, I think it would be great for Barcelona.”