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Football Insights - William Gallas

Former, Arsenal, Spurs and Chelsea star William Gallas gives his exclusive insights on Arsenal's great start to the Premier League season.


On Arsenal

What did you make of Arsenal’s game against Newcastle? 

It was a tough game for both Arsenal and Newcastle. I think Arsenal will be very disappointed to only walk away with one point. When you play at home, especially against a team like Newcastle,  at the end of the game, you have to come back to the dressing room with 3 points.. But when you look at how Newcastle play out  there, there were very strong. So that's why you know, they're in third place at the moment.   

I was happy because of the reaction of the players at Arsenal, because it  was really good. They were a unit, fighting for every ball even if it was not easy. They didn't give up, they were fighting during the 90 minutes. If it was the same game last season against Newcastle, I think Arsenal would have lost that game. So that means  that they are ready for the title, that shows you they got character. 

 

Did Arsenal deserve a penalty in injury time? 

it's always the same problem when using the VAR. We don't know when they are using it or what for. Apparently it was a handball in the box by a Newcastle player. One minute you think it’s a penalty, and then the next, it’s decided that it is not.   

So that's why I think Arsenal was upset because then they'd believed it was a  handball. At the end of the game, I'm sure the players talked about that, but now they have to move on., They have to focus on the next game and that will be very important. 

 

Failing to break down Newcastle’s defence, are we seeing flaws in Arsenal’s game? 

I don’t see any cracks in Arsenal’s game. I think they can still win the title. That means they know they're going to play against the big teams in a few games. They know what they have to do. To beat teams like Tottenham and Manchester City, they have to do more. Because when you play the game against a big club, you know you have to do more than usual. But at the same time, they didn’t lose against Newcastle, so for me, I know they're still on track. So that means that they will fight until the end, once they have to play against the big teams. They have to go and get good results everytime. That's why that will be the big challenge for them.

 

Both Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah failed to find the net yesterday, should Arsenal be worried about Gabriel Jesus’ injury?

Before the World Cup started, I said I hope Gabriel Jesus won’t be injured and that Arsenal need a top striker just in case he does get injured. It's very difficult for one player to play every game during the season, so you need that striker who can do the same job like Gabriel Jesus. I said they should buy one striker, but they didn't do it. 

So the question is if Eddie Nketiah can score goals against the big teams and if he can lead us to win games,  that is the question. If Arsenal haven’t bought any players, that means they depend on him. So that will all depend on Nketiah -  if he can score and make his team win. In my opinion for the game against Newcastle, nobody scored and that game was very important.

 

Who should Arsenal target in January? 

In terms of who Arsenal should target, it will be difficult to to to give my opinion, because it's not really my job to do this. I'm more focused about what I know and that’s defenders. At the moment, at the back, Arsenal are strong, even though I believe they still need one top class player there  to help Saliba or Gabriel. To play every game and especially when you have to play for the title can be very difficult. So that's why, for me, I've still said they need one guy at the back. 

How refreshing is it to see a manager like Arteta being given faith by the board, despite his poor start as manager? 

Mikel Arteta is doing very well. Arsenal are on top of the league and even If they don't win, they will definitely finish in the top four. I think that their targets at the beginning of the season was to finish in the top four. So I think the Board asked him to do so. At the end of the season. we will say that Arteta did his job very well and I will say that as well. 
 

What is very important is for the manager to feel that he has the support from his board, and that's what he got at the moment. So he knows what he has to do, and he's doing very well. So I hope they're going to stay on top of the league win. This season he has the best opportunity to win the league. Next season it will be difficult. So that's why they have to fight to win the league 

 

How key would signing Mykhailo Mudryk be in Arsenal’s development? 

I don’t know if Arsenal need Mykhailo Mudryk for the second part of the season. Maybe they do. As I said the season is very long. But at the same time, Arteta has his squad already, players on the bench, players who can come on and play in that position. It's really difficult to to yet to answer to that question because I'm not there and  I don't know what is going down. So if they sign him, they know why. Im sure Mudryk is a great player who can help the squad. So if that player can help them to win the title then they should buy him. 

 

What do you see in this Arsenal squad that was probably missing during your time under Arsene Wenger? 

Playing in the squad under Arsene Wenger- we had everything. You can’t compare those two teams in all fairness. Because it was not just at the same time. It was almost 10 years ago. Football has changed in the last 10 years, that’s why you can’t compare both squads. We did what we had to do. We tried our best, we had great players, players who had won a league already, players who had a lot of experience and character. So no, i wont compare the squads. 

 

Is Martin Odegaard the league’s most in-form player?  

Martin Odegarrd has shown all his skills and qualities. He is a playmaker. I don’t know if he’s the best player in the Premier League. I think the the best player at the moment is Halaand. What Odegaard is doing with Arsenal is  just magnificent. He can see everything quickly  before any of the other players. That's why sometimes he can play with one touch and delivers a good ball into space. It also is very good to see the players like him. 

 

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