Let’s face it, yesterday’s performance at Eastlands was a new low this season. Whilst the outburst and subsequent stripping of Gallas’s captaincy played a part, it was not the sole reason for the stunning ineffective performance.
However, I think Gunners fans needn’t panic just yet. Whilst it’s true that the club need to come away from Stamford Bridge with something next weekend, the problems at the club do appear to be eminently solvable, and the two men to lead the recovery are already in situ at the Emirates.
The first person who can set things right is indeed the man who has found himself in the firing line for a while now, and that is Arsene Wenger. I am sure the Gunners boss would be the first to admit he has made some mistakes in terms of replacing outgoing players over the past 2 or 3 years, and he may also concede that an over-reliance on youth has come at the cost of immediate success.
However, whichever way you look at it, the former Monaco man has achieved far more for the club than three seasons without silverware can undo. Many believe that in recent months and years, he has become a little complacent, even arrogant about his position of importance at the club, but I feel that such suggestions are unfair to say the least.
The second person who will surely be able to take the team by the scruff of the neck is captain-elect Cesc Fabregas. It seems that most supporters would lean towards the Spaniard over the excellent Kolo Toure, and I think that such a move would be a good one. The 21-year-old midfielder is mature beyond his years and, after 200+ appearances at the club, he has proven just what he is capable of. In many ways, he is perfect to take the mantle from Gallas. After all, what better way to move the club out of a seemingly endless transitional period than to install a leader who himself has grown from teenage phenomenon to international superstar.
There will be those supporters who would understandably question exactly what Arsene would have to do in order to be given his marching orders, but I think everyone knows that such a move would only set the club back even further, and that reason alone should be enough to resist any kneejerk reaction to remove the Frenchman.
A team much like a manager or indeed an individual player doesn’t become bad overnight, and it won’t take long to settle the club back into its deserved place near the summit of the top tier. After all, this is a team that beat Manchester United two weeks ago! However, William Gallas must surely be offloaded before his adverse influence becomes even more entrenched at the club.