William Gallas Exclusive: Losing Captaincy Will Be Difficult For Aubameyang
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William Gallas Exclusive: Losing Captaincy Will Be Difficult For Aubameyang

Former Arsenal defender William Gallas has spoken out about how he struggled with being stripped of the captaincy by Arsene Wegner — with current Gunners’ star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang suffering the same fate this week. The French centre-back was relieved of his role in November 2008, after giving an interview during which he revealed tensions within the squad. He was initially replaced in the role by Manuel Almunia, before Cesc Fabregas was named permanent captain of the North Londoners.


Difficult Period 

Speaking exclusively to Genting, Gallas reflected on what was a tough few weeks in his career.

He said: “It was not easy to accept that, I didn’t accept it at the beginning, because it was not for the right reason. 

“It’s difficult for me, that’s why it was difficult for me to accept it. 

“But you have to say, ‘OK. The club and the coach took that decision, and I have to find everything to refocus myself’, and that's what I did. 

“When I lost the captaincy, the next match was away against Manchester City, and I was not in the squad. 

“It was hard to understand. The next game was at home; I think it was in the FA Cup. 

“You have to be very strong in your mind to be on the pitch to do your job, and I did it very well. 

“We played Hull City and we won that game. I scored the winning goal and I wanted to show the fans that I was strong because it wasn’t an easy decision to accept.”

Relationship Broken Down

Gallas and Aubameyang both suffered similar consequences after their perceived indiscretions, with the latter dropped from Arsenal’s matchday squad for Saturday’s clash with Southampton and tonight’s match against West Ham United.

And Gallas believes that when the relationship between a manager and their captain becomes difficult, it also affects the other players in the dressing room.

“It doesn’t help the squad, that is for sure,” he said.

“Normally, the manager gives his confidence to the captain and, normally, the captain is the first person who represents the manager. 

“If there is a little issue between the manager and his captain, it’s not a good message for the squad. 

“If Aubameyang did something wrong – I don’t know what he did – it’s normal for the 

manager to discipline him. 

“The manager must explain that he can’t do what he did because he’s the captain of the club, and it’s very important for the captain to lead by example in the dressing room.”

Captaincy A Curse Or A Blessing

The former France international – who wore the armband for both Arsenal and their rivals Tottenham Hotspur – also suggested that the captaincy can be a curse, as well as a blessing.

“Sometimes it can help you, sometimes the armbands can be a little bit too heavy,” he explained. 

“As I said, you have to lead by example, and sometimes you know that, if your team doesn’t perform, the first people they (the media) are going to attack are the manager and the captain. 

“Some people, especially some of the pundits, they may not want you to be the captain anymore.

“If they played for the club you are captaining, they will attack you for anything – I’ve got so many stories about this. 

“We lost one away game that I didn’t play because I was injured, a newspaper journalist said, ‘We should take the armband from him’, and I thought, what is he talking about? I didn’t play the game. 

So what advice would Gallas give the recently-deposed Aubameyang? 

The ex-centre-back has a simple message: “Keep focused, work hard and get back to your best level.”




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V: 1.38.0 All rights reserved. August 2021