Jens Lehmann has just released his biography, ‘The madness is on the pitch’ with tales about his time at Arsenal and its fair to say William Gallas doesn’t come out smelling of roses. Here are the best sound bites about Gallas’ time at the club.
Arsene Wenger tried to turn Saul to Paul … and it didn’t work
Having William Gallas head the team in the 2007/08 season was problematic. We had learned of his appointment in the papers and we all shook our heads. The previous season he had repeatedly turned up very late for training or had left the training ground without permission. With the promotion, Wenger apparently wanted to appeal to Gallas’s sense of responsibility, trying to turn him from Saul to Paul. Initially, this went successfully, until Gallas once briefly lost his nerve.
Jens felt Gallas abandoned his team mates away to Birmingham
Instead of standing at the edge of the area and clearing a possibly parried penalty like any other defender in the world, he abandoned the team, ran towards the halfway line and, in his anger, kicked an advertising hoarding.
Gilberto wasn’t having it
After the match, which eventually ended 2–2 thanks to the converted penalty, he refused to leave the pitch but sat down in the centre circle like a sulky child, until the manager himself came to collect him. In the dressing room, Gallas came to blows with Gilberto, who accused him of seeking attention in a daft manner – the row dragged on for the remainder of the season. Finally, it contributed to us finishing only third, four points behind Manchester United, despite having been six points ahead in March.
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