Football Insights - William Gallas

Another massive week of football lies ahead featuring title contenders Chelsea v Manchester City and the North London Derby between Arsenal and Tottenham, not to mention the Champions League and Europe League next week. Genting Casino took the time out to chat with former Chelsea, Arsenal and French International William Gallas ahead of another action-packed weekend of football. Check out what expert insights William chats about and if you are looking for more great previews to a massive weekend of sport, then head over to the home page of our blog Genting Casino Insights!



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William Gallas On Chelsea

Can Antonio Rudiger take his game to another level this season and challenge the likes of Virgil van Dijk as the league’s best defender?

I think so. Last season he had a great season with Chelsea. He played very, very well. He was very strong. He has to thank Tuchel. Since Tuchel has been managing Chelsea we’ve seen a new Rudiger. When you play with a player like him you know you can go to war.

He is very important for Chelsea. With his performances they won the Champions League. You know that this guy is going to give everything for the shirt he’s wearing. He’s unbelievable. He’s a warrior. 

And they’ve started this season very well. If he’s consistent I’m sure he will be at the same level as van Dijk.

He wasn’t really playing under Lampard.

When Tuchel arrived, everything changed for him. Maybe he gave up a little bit when he was on the bench. I prefer to see the players who are fighting for the position. I know what I’m talking about because I was in that situation with Jose Mourinho when he arrived at Chelsea, and he arrived with Paulo Ferreira and Ricardo Carvalho, and it was not easy for me at the beginning but because I had such a strong personality and a strong character I showed Jose I can play in the starting 11. I was fighting during every training session and playing under pressure because I knew if I made one mistake then I’d be on the bench for the next game. 

That’s why I’m not really agreeing with the players who give up when the manager puts them under pressure. it’s fine because now he plays, and Chelsea are very strong. It’s good for Chelsea.


Do you feel like some of the players let Lampard down when he was the manager?


No, I think all the players show their commitment for Frank.  Unfortunately, it didn’t go like everybody wanted, especially for Frank, because I’m sure he will be a great manager in the future – he’s crazy about football!  As a manager he really wanted success. 

He worked very hard and would have learned a lot. He was a world class player. Sometimes you don’t know why things happen; you need to be a bit lucky. Frank didn’t get it when he was at Chelsea but I’m sure it will come. I’m sure he is going to be a great manager.


Antonio Rudiger has only got a year left on his deal and has been linked to PSG and Real Madrid. Would you give him a new contract?

The question is does he want to stay. Footballers careers are very short and maybe Toni has a dream to play in another league with another club. You have to respect that. In my opinion, he deserves a contract extension.  I’m sure they are going to speak and to try to find the best solution for the both of them. 


You played in brilliant Chelsea teams. Is this defence as good as the title winning sides you were part of?

In 2004/2005, and 2005/2006 our defence was very strong. It was very difficult to beat us because Mourinho was tough. He didn’t want us to make any mistakes at the back and we knew we could defend against any team. The only thing that was missing was the Champions League. When you compare my team to this one and even the Champions League winning team of 2012, our defence was stronger. Everyone will say “you didn’t win the Champions League” but individually we were stronger.


Does this Chelsea team have the ability to win back-to-back titles?

Yes. They are the champions of Europe. They look stronger and stronger. If they are really focused they can beat any records, especially now they have Lukaku. This is a scary team for any opponent to play. Manchester United fans may think they have a stronger team with Ronaldo back, but if you take every player position by position then I believe Chelsea is stronger than United. 

I really can’t see any club that can beat them. Tuchel is a perfectionist and he always has a tactical plan. Whenever he plays against the league’s best managers, he always finds the solution. Chelsea can win the Premier League, definitely. 

Yes, because after they won the Champion’s League, I will say the last season, Chelsea now look stronger and stronger. And for me I don’t see any club who can beat them. If they are really focused and if they want to beat any records. It’s really strong and now you’ve got Lukaku up front and that makes the team very scary. I know if you are a fan of Manchester United with Ronaldo is back, all the fans will say oh yeah, our team is stronger than Chelsea, but I believe Chelsea is stronger than United.


Would anything other than winning the Premier League be a failure for Chelsea?

If they don’t win the Premier League then they’ve failed. No excuses. There is more pressure on the club’s shoulders, but they brought good players and the manager has settled very well. They don’t have any excuses now.


After winning the Champions League Tuchel signed a new deal until 2024. Can he build a dynasty at the club? 

I think football has changed. We won’t see any more managers who will stay at one club for many years like Alex Ferguson or Arsene Wenger. It’s not possible anymore because the big clubs want instant results. You need to deliver from day one or they will fire you. It would be nice to see one manager stay at a club for many years but I don’t think it will happen. 


Were you surprised with how easily Chelsea dismantled Spurs at the weekend?

No, I wasn’t surprised. When I looked at the players that Chelsea had on the pitch compared to Tottenham, I knew Chelsea would win. Even at 0-0 I knew they would score because they looked so strong. Sometimes in football you have to be patient. 

Winning 0-3 sends a message to Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool. After this result, they know they have to be careful about Chelsea. They know Chelsea will do everything to win the Premier League. 


Are Chelsea on a different planet compared to their London rivals? 

Yes.  I have to be honest. At the moment the London team is Chelsea.  And that’s it. Because they are European champions, they beat Tottenham and won their last six away derby’s. Whenever they play a London club they seem to win. Fans may argue with me, but you can’t argue with the facts. 


William Gallas On Tottenham

Tottenham have conceded 6 goals in their previous two matches. How can they improve their defence?

To improve their defence, they have to bring in top-class players. At the moment they don’t have top class defenders. If Spurs want to qualify for the Champions League and compete for titles they need to bring the right players at the back. At the moment they don’t have the right players.

I think it will be a really difficult season for Tottenham. They need top-class defenders and they didn’t sign any top-class defenders.

 

Do you think that Tottenham should sold Kane in the summer and then used that money to reinvest in the squad?

Yes. Yes, but if you put yourself in Daniel Levy’s position, you’ve got to keep Harry Kane because he’s one of the top strikers in the world. 

At the same time, you have to give Kane the guarantee he’s going to play with top-class players; players who can give him the opportunity to win the Premier League or a title at the end of the season. He guarantees goals but Tottenham can’t guarantee him a chance at winning the title.

I said in the summer he should leave Tottenham and to go to a bigger club that can give him the opportunity to lift a trophy in this career.

I hope for he’s going to leave next season and has the opportunity to lift a trophy. I know that feeling. Every big player wants to win the Premier League or the Champions League. I’m sure that’s what Harry wants.


Do you think Kane’s form has been affected by the disappointment of not moving from Tottenham this summer? 

He didn’t have a good game against Chelsea. He is affected by what happened during the summer because he wanted to leave, it didn’t happen. 

He needs time to clear his mind. I’m sure he will give 100% to his club again. He has to start performing to give himself more chance to leave at the end of the season.

Is time running out for Harry Kane to move to a bigger club?

Yes. As I’ve said, I hope it happens for Harry next season. I trained with him at Tottenham when he was very young. Even as a young player, he knew what he wanted. He knew he wanted to be one of the top strikers in the Premier League. He has already won a few golden boots. 

When Mourinho was there Harry was different. He thought that Mourinho could give him the opportunity to win something at the end of the season. Mourinho has a winner’s mentality and that matched very well with Harry. You need to have the winner’s mentality. You need to have the desire to win. Now he has to finish his season with Tottenham and next season, yes, he has to leave, and I hope for him he’s going to leave.

    

What does a good season look like for Tottenham? 

Normally a good season for Tottenham would be to qualify for the Champions League. When I look at the Tottenham squad, I don’t think they have a chance at lifting the Premier League. Maybe they can win a cup, but they should aim to qualify for the Champions League. 


Do you think that Nuno will be given time as a manager at Tottenham? 

That is a problem in football, managers don’t get given time. The owner of the club or the president of the club doesn’t give time to the manager. A manager needs time; at least two years. Normally, After the second season if he doesn’t deliver you can sack him. That is the life of a coach at a big club. I think Nuno needs time and should be given time.




William Gallas On Arsenal

Mikel Arteta, finished eighth last season, is he the right man for the job?

Last season I said he was not the right manager for Arsenal, and I explained why. I said he didn’t have experience to manage a team. He was Pep Guardiola’s assistant, but an assistant coach is not the same role as the coach because you have to make all the decisions.  You have to take all the responsibility. And for me Arsenal made a mistake to choose Mikel Arteta.

I know the fans were not happy with finishing eighth last season. Everybody wants to see how long Mikel Arteta will stay as manager. He lost the first three games and after he won two games. The next game against Tottenham is a good test for him. After that game we will know more about his position at the club. Will he be under more pressure or will he be a little bit more relaxed in his work.  

This season he doesn’t have any excuse because they are not playing in Europe so he will have time during the week to prepare for every weekend game. They need to have a result. 


What do you think about Arsenal not playing in Europe for the first time in 25 years?

I think it’s a big shame for the fans.  Fans are always crazy about their club, and Arsenal used to play the Champions League for many years now, so during the week they have to stay at home and maybe watch another club play the Champions League. I’m sure they will be frustrated. That’s why it’s a shame for the fans.  

It is also a shame for the players but unfortunately the players didn’t play well last season, which is why they didn’t qualify for Europe this season.  

The fans have to be patient and maybe they will get to play in the Champion’s League or Europa League again next season.

Do you think Arsenal could finish in a top four this year?

This year, you know, it looks like it will be really, really difficult for Arsenal or Tottenham to finish in the top four. They are competing with Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and you’ve got City as well. It will be very hard for Tottenham and Arsenal to qualify in the Champion’s League but Arsenal has a little advantage over Tottenham because they are not playing any European games.

Arsenal were the league’s biggest spenders and the biggest in Europe. Do you think they spent the £150 million well and have a better squad than last season?

For me the squad doesn’t look strong enough. Arsenal have got too many young players and not enough experienced players. Arsenal don’t really have world class players.  And for the club, for Arsenal, I don’t understand this. I really don’t understand. OK, spend £150m but I don’t think the money has been well spent. 


Many people have accused Arsenal of lacking leadership. Do you think that there’s anybody in this team that could step up and be a leader?

The players who play for Arsenal right now, they don’t have personality. They don’t have enough experience. Arsenal has good young players, but they are too young to take that responsibility. They are still too young and the players who have got experience – some of them are on the bench.




William Gallas On Chelsea v Man City

Who do you think will win this match?

I think after the match against Tottenham, Chelsea sent a good message to City and Tuchel has already beaten Pep Guardiola twice, so that can be the advantage for Chelsea. But everyone loves the Premier League because you never know what is going to happen. What we do know is that this is the game to watch this weekend.

Both teams will play attractive football. City play their way, wherever they go. it will be very interesting to see which one is going to win but I will put one penny on Chelsea.  


Chelsea can go six points above City with a win. Is this a must-win game for City?

No, because it will be too early. We know the Premier League season is very long. You’ve got the Champions League games, you’ve got the FA Cup and you’ve got the international break. Sometimes you can have some players who are injured. I’d be worried for Chelsea if Lukaku gets injured. I’m not sure Chelsea will look like the same team.

 

Do you think City will regret not signing a striker like Harry Kane or Lukaku in the summer?

Yes. When you’ve got a player like that they can give you another option – you can mix up your game. For example, with Lukaku, if at the beginning you try to play good football and your opponent is stronger than you, you can go long and give the opportunity to your team to push forward because Lukaku can keep the ball and he’s very strong in the air.  

That can give you another option. The problem for City is that they don’t have that option. They just have the option to play their short passing style and possession football – they don’t really have players who go run into the channels. Sometimes, like against Southampton at the weekend, they can over play with too many passes. 

Before they arrive in front of the goal they have to do so many passes. With players like Harry Kane or Lukaku after maybe four or five passes you can be in front of goal.  Without them you have to bring the ball in the box.

Should Manchester City put in an offer for Kane in January?

Maybe they will have to depending on where they are in the table after the first half of the season.Maybe they will wait for the summer but if they are not in the top three they will know they have a problem and maybe they have to buy one striker. 


Who do you think has got the better squad?

Chelsea. Definitely Chelsea.


If you could take a player from the City team and add them to this Chelsea squad, who would it be? 

I will take De Bruyne, not least because he knows Lukaku very well so maybe he would assist him even more. On the other side I will take Lukaku and to City for the same reason.


William Gallas On The North London Derby

Arsenal vs Tottenham. Who do you think is going to come out on top?

The advantage at the moment is with Arsenal because they won their last two games and Tottenham conceded a lot of goals. But it is the derby. When you play the north London derby you have got to forget about everything. including form. Go onto the pitch and fight for your shirt. It doesn’t matter if you play well or if you play bad, at the end you have to give 100% for your club. For me the derby game is a war.

If neither club wins its sad. If it is a draw it has to be a good draw, we have to see goals. If it’s 0-0, I’m sorry, it means it’s a boring game. You know, 2-2, 3-3 OK, but normally they are big games, especially that derby game, one of them has to win. I don’t know which one it will be, but I will be in front of my TV, that is for sure. And with the fans back, I’m sure it will be amazing. 


Can the winner of this game use this as a platform to start their season? 

Yes. We know the season has just started, but everyone knows that both of these clubs will not win the league. They have to fight between each other to try to qualify for the Champions League.  That’s why this game is so important as well as being the north London derby. One of these cubs has to look to qualify for the Champions League. It is a crucial game in the race for the top four.


You know all about the north London derby and have captained both sides in this fixture. What advice can you give the players playing in their first derby game?

My advice would is simple. The players must try to control their emotions because we know that in this type of game players want to go on the pitch and to win every challenge. Players have to be careful. They will want to show the fans their commitment to the shirt they are wearing, but you don’t want to be shown a red card after only a few minutes. Sometimes it can be difficult to control your emotions. My advice would be to remain calm. Control your emotions and enjoy the match because it is unbelievable.  


Both Arteta and Nuno have been criticised this season. Do you expect both managers to be in charge next season?

It will depend on the results at the end of the season. As I said, Nuno has to adapt to his new club so normally next season he will be in charge with Tottenham. For Arteta it’s completely different because last season they finished in eighth position. There is more pressure on his shoulders to keep his job until the end of the season. 


William Gallas On The Champions League

OK.  So, on the Champion’s League, can Chelsea defend the title?

Of course. With Lukaku of course.  


Do you think they will?

I think the players are ready to try to win it one more time, and that will be magnificent for Chelsea.  That’s why I think Tuchel is the right manager because of his personality. As I said, he is a guy who is a perfectionist.

In every training session, in every game, if he has to shout at his players, he will shout at his players. That’s what I’ve seen from him since the beginning managing Chelsea. The first two games he was in charge, he was already shouting at his players. I’m sure he’s the right guy for Chelsea to have the opportunity to win it again.  


Does Ronaldo, going back to United make them contenders?

Ronaldo is Ronaldo. Look at his debut, it’s unbelievable but we expect that. Maybe some people are surprised, but I’m not surprised because he’s a hard working guy. What he does at the moment is just unbelievable, and the young players have to take that as an example. Ronaldo is a monster. He wants to win everything. He’s won everything already, but he still wants to win. That is good for United because with his personality he will push his teammates. 


William Gallas On Rafael Varane And Ben White


Man Utd obviously signed Rafael Varane, a player that you know very well, Arsenal signed Ben White, what’s the better deal?

It’s difficult for me to understand why Arsenal spent £50m on one player who is yet to prove himself at the top level and at the same time Manchester United can spend around £40m on Varane who won the World Cup and has four Champions League titles. He’s won the Spanish league. You have to explain to me how it’s possible. Perhaps it’s partly because Ben White is English. 

Listen, Varane is a different class player compared to Ben White. Ben White is still young. As I said, he hasn’t proved anything yet. How you can put a £50m price on him, you know? I respect him. I don’t know him. I respect him and I hope he will be the great player, but he hasn’t proved anything yet. You can’t compare Ben White and Varane, I’m sorry. It’s not possible.

And it’s not because he’s a fellow Frenchman that I’m talking like this. He comes from Real Madrid. He didn’t come from Brighton, with all respect to them.


William Gallas On Brentford

What do you think of Brentford’s start to the season?

They started well. They started very well this season and they will know it is very important to start well at the beginning of the season – it’s very important. You have to take as many points as possible because the season is very long. Brentford don’t want to be relegated in the Championship next season, so that’s why they start well and strong. The coach did a good job last season. I’m happy they were promoted – they look like they can surprise many people. 


William Gallas On Patrick Viera

How do you think Patrick Vieira is going to get on as the Crystal Palace manager? Do you think he can have as good a managerial career as a playing career?

It all depends if he can manage the right team. He was a legend as a player because he was playing around big players, and he was in the French national team, but his quality was unbelievable. So, as a manager I think he needs to have the opportunity to manage a team who can give him the opportunity to show what he can do.  He was in France and now he’s with Crystal Palace, so he has to do everything to put Crystal Palace in a good position and after maybe a few years he’s going to move to another club. 

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