As you might imagine the William Gallas thing still rumbles on and listening to the radio yesterday and reading various websites the backlash against Chelsea was pretty unanimous.
Leaping to the defence of Gallas were his father:
I know my son through and through â€” and he is totally incapable of doing any of the things Chelsea say.
And former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri:
I cannot believe these stories. I signed William and he was always a good professional â€” on and off the pitch. This is incredible and I donâ€™t believe it.
Chairman of the PFA Gordon Taylor said:
Chelsea have scored a massive own goal by washing their dirty linen in public. This could damage Gallasâ€™ reputation. He could take legal action.
And the Mirror reports that Gallas is considering sueing while the Independent reports Arsene Wenger being in Paris for France’s game and he will urge Gallas to stay quiet and not respond thus prolonging what is fast becoming one of football’s most bitter feuds.
The whole thing is quite sordid and really it could only have come from Chelsea. Gallas’s comment that Chelsea had lots of money but no class was echoed around the web, on the radio, in print, on TV, pretty much everywhere. There was even reasoned comment from some Chelsea websites. And this statement about Thuram and Dommenech is just hilarious. It’s so petty and small minded and appears to have been written by a 12 year old on work experience, which would be a good explanation, if you didn’t take into account everything probably had to be approved by Kenyon or Buck.
Richard Williams writes in today’s Guardian about Jose Mourinho. We all remember his antics when Porto knocked United of the Champions League. We all laughed at his comments then. When he became manager of Chelsea the press corps loved his arrogance, his bluster, his self-confidence that led him to label himself the ‘special one’. He made great copy for them.
Some years on and it’s all worn a bit thin. The arrogance was not in any way tongue in cheek. The bluster was OTT, shaking hands with the opposition was typical Portuguese gamesmanship and wound up fans and he went on to label Arsene Wenger a ‘voyeur’ in another personal vendetta he launched. Witness his relationhip with Rafa Benitez which is non-existent. He lacks humility and manners. He’s a great manager but not much of a person – at least that’s the public image he projects.
Arsene Wenger said some time ago that the ‘moral leadership’ at Chelsea left something to be desired. He suggested that the owner should impose his standards on the club and that’s what has happened. Abramovich is a fantastically successful man but, by all accounts, a ruthless individual who knows what he wants and will do what he has to to get it.
He is flanked by Bruce Buck (a man devoid of any concept of what football is about) and Peter Kenyon, a so-called ‘life long red’ who left what must have been his dream job as Chief Executive of Manchester United for the filthy lucre of Stamford Bridge and he is, for a non-playing, non-managing figure a truly unpopular man in the football world.
Then we have Mourinho and I go back to what I said about him above. Truly Chelsea Football Club is a reflection of its leadership.
But what if what they said about Gallas is true? If it is true then they should present the evidence to the FA and Gallas should be punished. No question about it. To make those kind of threats is totally out of order but you know what? I don’t believe he did and I don’t believe a lot of Chelsea fans do either. Of course you side with your club, it’s normal. I am accused by some other blogs of being biased towards Arsenal.
Imagine! An Arseblog blog biased towards Arsenal. If you’re a Manchester United fan writing a general football blog then maybe you need to have more perspective. Not me. And not the Chelsea fans who want to believe what their club says is true but I bet you lots of them have nagging doubts. We’re supposed to believe Gallas made similar threats towards the end of last season but he played in nearly every game.
Now, let’s also acknowledge the fact that Chelsea are liars and have a history of being liars. When the Ashley Cole story broke Peter Kenyon denied any such meeting took place while here’s a transcript of a Sky Sports interview with Jose Mourinho about the Ashley Cole meeting:
Mourinho: â€œOn that day at that time I was in Milan, speaking with Adriano.â€
Reporter: â€œSo no contact was made with Ashley Cole?â€
Mourinho: â€œI never met the boy. I just play against him. No more than that.â€
He wasn’t in Milan. He wasn’t speaking to Adriano. He was in a hotel room with with Kenyon and Jonathan Barnett tapping up Ashley Cole just days before Arsenal played an important match. Add those lies to the unproven accusations about Anders Frisk, about Frank Rijkaard being in the referee’s dressing room and there’s a history of tall tales coming out of Stamford Bridge.
Why should we believe a word they say about William Gallas? I don’t think there’s much more to say and hopefully this whole thing can be put to bed now.
There’s little else going on. The only other story is that instead of wearing the number 3 shirt as announced Gallas will wear number 10 this season. Some people seem to think that’s disrespectful to Dennis Bergkamp but I don’t buy it.
The idea of retiring shirt number is a nonsense, if you ask me, and Dennis will always be remembered as a great player who wore number 10. The fact that someone else is wearing number 10 this season does not besmirch his legacy in any way.
And that’s that. Till tomorrow, chums.