Football Insights – William Gallas
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Football Insights – William Gallas

Former Chelsea. Arsenal and Spurs defender William Gallas gives his insights:

- Spurs fans ‘crazy’ for wanting City win

- Marcus Rashford needs fresh start at Chelsea

- Declan Rice reminds me of Steven Gerrard


Todd Boehly recently defended the work he has done at Chelsea, saying ‘the plan is coming together’, would you agree with this as a former player?

“He has to defend himself, it was tough to become the owner of Chelsea in 2022. In the 2022/23 season, finishing 12th meant they didn’t qualify for the Champions League, and now they haven’t either this season, all while spending a lot of money. 

“Now, maybe they can finish in sixth place this season, which is better than last year. Even with this improvement, I still think he has not done as well as he should have and I feel he has made a few mistakes. 

“He was not patient when he took over the club - he changed too many things at the same time. He spent a billion pounds on new players and he has slipped out of the Champions League, winning nothing. 

“When you look at things this way, yes he has failed. I said this before, that they would look better this season, maybe qualifying for the Champions League. They were never going to be ready for a title challenge, but the Champions League was there for them. 

“They still have a problem in some parts of the squad, especially in defence. If they don’t find the right centre-back then they will be in trouble.” 

Jean Phillipe Mateta is firing for Palace, a nice option for Chelsea rather than £100m on Victor Osimhen?

“He’s 26, and next season they need a player who has experience of playing in big games, to play in big occasions and I think it’s better to go for the likes of Victor Osimhen. 

“They need a striker who can score goals, Nicolas Jackson has done okay though, scoring 14 in the Premier League. But, when you play at Chelsea, you have to score more, and important goals. 

“You have to score in important games, and Jackson missed so many opportunities in the FA Cup semi-final against Man City. He had the opportunity, but didn’t take it. 

“Next season, Chelsea need to reach the Champions League, and for that they need a big-name striker - they don’t have time to wait for Jackson to be ready.” 

If you’re Marcus Rashford and seeing Jadon Sancho reach the UCL final with Borussia Dortmund, would you be tempted to leave Man Utd and join Arsenal, Liverpool or Man City?

“There will always be quality players who are interested in signing for Chelsea, but we have to ask if Rashford would want to leave Man United. 

“Nobody knows the reason, maybe he has a problem with Erik ten Hag - if he leaves then Rashford could stay. A player like Rashford, we want to see the exciting young player who broke through on fire, running everywhere and scoring beautiful goals. 

“He had a lot of commitment then as well, now he is not the same player. Maybe injuries have been a problem and another club for a fresh start could be the right option and Chelsea would provide this for him.”

Is it clear to say Chelsea made a massive mistake in letting Matteo Kovacic and Havertz go? They’re both competing for the league title.

“Kai Havertz, for me, has had a good season at Arsenal but he still has not scored enough goals to justify his price tag yet. In the North London Derby last month he had a great game, but when you look at the statistics, a player like him should be better and do more. 

“I still don’t think that Chelsea made a mistake to let him go. 

“For Mateo Kovacic, bringing in Moises Caicedo and Enzo Fernandez was always going to push him out the door. But those sort of young midfielders need experience alongside them and Kovacic would have provided this, so maybe that was a mistake to let him go as well. 

“Maybe he should have stayed for another season, around the young players to help them improve. It was the right move for him, but not for Chelsea.”

Chelsea and Todd Boehly have apparently sold Cobham Training Ground to a company who Boehly owns, so they can have the money to spend on transfers this summer. Are you worried about Boehly making these deals to take advantage of loopholes?

“I don’t know, I don’t really understand all of this business - if he needs to spend more money then he needs to do what he can.  

“The rules are there, but maybe you have to accept them, I don’t think another club would do the same. Maybe another club wouldn't operate like this, they need to be smarter, scout players better and save money in this way by bringing in the right people. 

“You have to scout deeper into the players to find an edge, I’m talking about the scouts and sporting directors. At the moment they are not doing what needs to be done.” 

"We know the Tottenham fans are crazy, they would prefer to lose out on Champions League football by losing to Man City, just so they don't see Arsenal lift the Premier League trophy. They are crazy, but that's the beauty of football. But the Tottenham players are not born in North London, so their mentalities will be completely different." 

Kylian Mbappe showed he struggles to influence the game as a striker, could he ruin the attacking dynamic at Real Madrid? Would he just get in the way of Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo and Jude Bellingham?


WG: "Vinicius Jr has been brilliant for Real Madrid, and if he wins the Champions League, I think he will win the Ballon d'Or. I don't know what is going to happen when Kylian Mbappe comes to Real Madrid, because playing down the middle is not his position. I would not be surprised to see a front three of Vinicius Jr, Mbappe and Rodrygo, with Mbappe down the middle, then the next season they sell Vinicius Jr. 

"I don't think Mbappe playing down the middle will restrict Jude Bellingham. When he was at Dortmund, Bellingham did not play as high up the pitch as he does for Real Madrid, and he was still a great player. Bellingham will play behind Mbappe next season, he will properly be a part of a three-man midfield. I don't expect Bellingham to score anywhere near the amount of goals he's scored this season. He started well, but we've seen his goalscoring levels decrease in the last month or two. Bellingham is a midfielder, and he won't have the system from this season to get the same amount of goals next year, and his Spanish opponents know what to expect from him now."

Should Arsenal sign him, so he can exceed Thierry Henry’s impact at the club by winning a Champions League with them?


WG: "The football Arsenal play and their system would not suit Kylian Mbappe. He's a very intelligent player, and probably the best attacker in the world, with Vinicus Jr, but he needs to receive the ball all the time and Mbappe wants to make the difference in the game all by himself. Like how Vinicius Jr did against Bayern, where he controlled the game himself. Arsenal don't play like that, they play as a team, and Mbappe would not fit in their system."

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are still dominating their respective leagues, should they still be playing in Europe?

WG: "Where Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are playing at the moment is best for them. They wouldn't be able to compete in the top leagues, like the Premier League, Serie A, LaLiga and Bundesliga. They are both nearly 40 years old, and they seem happy where they are. If Messi and Ronaldo came back to Europe, they would have a lot criticism and possibly put a stain on their careers, because they wouldn't be able to keep up with the other top players."

Man United have lost the most amount of Premier League games in their history, and will finish lower than they ever have. Are Man United no longer a top team?

WG: "The performance against Arsenal was probably one of the worst performances I've ever watched by Man United. I played many games against Man United at Old Trafford, and yesterday was a shock. I know they had a lot of injuries, but when you play at home in a big game, you expect the players to fight. Sometimes, it's not the quality of the player that makes the difference, it can be the spirit and fight. I didn't see any Man United player on Sunday fight for their shirt, which is crazy in a game with this much history. I have some friends who are Man United fans, and they feel very down at the moment, there are lots of problems at that club." 




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V: 1.38.0 All rights reserved. August 2021