Arsenal v West Ham Preview - William Gallas
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Arsenal v West Ham Preview - William Gallas

Arsenal's upcoming clash with West Ham United is key to their hopes of Champions League qualification – that's according to former Gunners' defender William Gallas. Mikel Arteta's men will welcome their neighbours from East London to the Emirates tonight, knowing that three points would take them above the Hammers and into fourth place. But Gallas believes that his old side will be in for a tough evening.


Arsenal's Top Four Ambitions

Speaking exclusively to Genting, he said: “It is a big game for Arsenal in their ambitions for the top four. 

“West Ham look very strong because they play as a unit. As a team, they play very well, David Moyes has done a great job with them.

“We’ve seen what Moyes has done with his squad and it’s been terrific, West Ham play with a very compact system. 

“Moyes has got some quality players, they show tremendous commitment and that’s been key to their success so far this season.”

Lack Of Character

The Frenchman also highlighted a lack of character amongst the current Arsenal squad – suggesting that the team’s youthful make-up could hamper their chances of success.

“(They need) to bring in the right players, for Arsenal to go to another level and win the biggest trophies,” he explained. 

“OK, they’ve got good, young players. They’ve got quality, but you need to have players with character and experience alongside and that will make the difference. 

“If you look at Chelsea, Liverpool or Manchester City, they have the perfect mix of players with character, players with experience and young players. 

“Arsenal, unfortunately, do not have experienced players.”

Defensive Resources Needed

An area where this weakness has been evident at times this season is in defence. 

And speaking from experience, Gallas feels that Arteta needs to seek out a mature centre-back, to lead the Gunners’ rearguard.

“Young players will learn from the experienced players, and that experienced player will take all the pressure off the young players,” he said.

“Sometimes when you put two young players together for big games, it’s really difficult.

“Arsenal have been playing with Gabriel and Ben White at centre-back, they have done fairly well in this recent period. 

“Unfortunately against Liverpool, Manchester United and Everton they didn't have that experience at the back. 

“The best combination for me at centre-back is to have one world-class experienced player and one young player alongside him. 

“It’s crucial that when you are an experienced player at the back, you must be a world-class player – I don’t feel Arsenal have that right now. 

“Liverpool, City and Chelsea all have much more experienced, better quality defenders. 

“Arsenal want to be at their level, but aren’t there at the moment. 

“The coach has made a choice to go with younger players – the rewards may come, but right now, they can’t challenge with the top clubs.”




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V: 1.37.0 All rights reserved. August 2021