‘Not the same Arsenal’ – Former captain slams the club and players

William Gallas has taken a swipe at his former club Arsenal, slating their players and criticising the decision to hire manager Mikel Arteta.

The Gunners’ most recent season saw them fail to qualify for European football for the first time in a quarter of a century after finishing eighth in the division for th second year running.

Mikel Arteta oversaw the end of both campaigns, and former club captain William Gallas claims Arsenal made a mistake hiring such an inexperienced manager, before taking a swipe at the players also.

“Mikel Arteta was not ready yet to manage a club like Arsenal,” Gallas told TheSun.

“OK, he was assistant coach at Manchester City. But he had never managed a team. It is completely different.

“The board made a mistake picking him. I’m sure he will be a great manager but you need to have experience to manage a big club.

“To be honest, it is a great shame for the Arsenal fans after finishing eighth.

“Arsenal is not the same Arsenal we knew 18, 20 years ago. We had players who were strong with strong personalities.”

The club has slowly dropped away from the top of the table over the last decade, and you can’t help but believe that the changes at the club need to be coming from the top.

While Arteta’s appointment had to be a long-term decision, the club needs to show they are serious about bringing us back to the top by backing the manager to make some serious changes to the first-team squad this summer, otherwise it will prove to be a wasted decision.

Arteta has had 18 months with the team and should know his plans to try and take the club forward now, but there is most definitely the fear that the task in hand is too big for the manager.

Will Mikel prove Gallas to be wrong?


Tags Mikel Arteta William Gallas


  1. MA will eventually come right I’m sure, even a broken clock is right twice a day. Maybe it will be next season, maybe it will be in 5 years time who knows.

    The point is that he shouldn’t be doing his learning phase at a club like Arsenal. He should’ve followed a path similar to that which Gerrard has taken as an example, which will likely lead him to be the Liverpool manager one day I’m sure.

    Gallas is right.

    1. 👍 How much is Mikel Arteta being paid to learn on the job? Expensive “L” plates.

  2. Gallas was a talented player and racked impressive stats over 15 seasons with some top clubs.
    Unfortunately he fell out with the club toward the end and that is all some Arsenal fans choose to remember about him.
    He is right though the team lacks presense and too often folds under pressure and only plays freely when the season is over like the past two seasons.
    The club lived off the Invincible memory 15 years while the league changed.
    Wenger stayed 3 years too long as the rest of the league got stronger with the emergence of Spurs Liverpool and Leicester and now Westham. Arsenal have stood still and been overtaken.
    Emery was sacked too soon.
    Arteta was too inexperienced.
    Now the club hope’s he has now learned enough to compete at the top table.
    The fans exhortation to buy, buy, buy would indicate they trust in the market to deliver rather than the manager.

    1. ‘team lacks presense and too often folds under pressure and only plays freely when the season is over like the past two seasons’
      This did not just start, it’s been like this since Wenger time, we lost all cup by February/March and afterwards becomes a super team. The only season we didn’t have super end of season was UE season because he was focusing on UEL sacrificing EPL, a decision that bounced back and cost us dearly.

      Point to note- Despite that and the woeful final, arsenal didn’t sack him until the following season when it all seems he lost dressing room and was becoming a joke in front of media while performance seems to be dreadful, I want to say the club gave him enough chance too just like they are doing with Arteta, I remember the case was like a dead end before UE got sacked

    2. Wyoming almost the only post from you that I have ever thought to be sensible and largely correct. But as they say, better late than never.

      1. Jon thinking he is the forum’s gatekeeper of what’s sensible and what’s not, great stuff. Your opinion is just that, and will never be anything more than that.

          Here is a thought for your consideration though; whatever I say, people know exactly who said it, as I USE MY OWN REAL NAME, FEARLESSLY. Unless your real name is Martinelli though, you cannot say the same. CAN YOU!

    3. William Gallas fell out with Arsenal because of exactly what he is pointing out now. He openly spoke out about players not putting in for the team, not giving of their best and accepting sub standard performances. That was the sort of thing that Tony Adams or Patrick Viera would have done, but they were talking to professional footballers with pride, who listened and took notice. The players in Gallas’s time resented his calling them out.
      What Gallas says is true and it is a disgrace that many of the current players get to wear the same shirt and use the same dressing rooms as the great Arsenal players of the past

  3. Just like I said when Arteta was hired ‘it’s a gamble’ . Every reasonable fans will understand what the club is trying to do, it’s clear we have been on a steady decline for over a decade now, the management thought patching up by bringing machinery coaches that win do a year or 2 years wonder and leave wasn’t the answer. In other to revitalise the club we needed to take a gamble with a young inexperienced coach whom much wouldn’t be expected from , in the early stages it would look rough but when the restructuring is complete, we would have achieved 2 things, stability and a strong core players.
    That’s why we started buying mostly young guys and a few old men on free transfer to help the young ones grow.

    From this perspective, it can be seen that though most people criticize Arteta and the team, still we feel his inexperience is his letdown so we can still hope he learn and be better, now most of our squad has under 30yo with some good young guns coming up. It’s obvious the result are not what we expected yet but that’s the sacrifice of the road we are taking and it can’t be worst than it is presently,

    I agree with Gallas from fans view but from administration view he is wrong
    Though no one is sure Arteta is the right man of the job, however I believe he will help clean up the squad of mess we have been in since and this has already started from January with departure, one may argue Willian and Auba are still like another time bomb, but I’ll say he can’t do it all at once, that will be too much of a shake up, and Willian case was a gamble that didn’t pay off, at least yet, we all thought his experience will be massive who knows he will end up been a flop in his first season, Arteta has state his form as his mistake, which is normal as human

  4. I totally agree with William Gallas. Arsenal board hiring Arteta is the biggest folly of the last decade.But it wasn’t a mistake on their part, It was a deliberate act, fully knowing that Arteta has not coached any team before now.They hired him because he is very cheap. Infact he was the cheapest option in the coaching market at that time, and is still is. Arsenal is now a laughing stock in the football world because of that myopic decision, and we shall remain so unless something gives…

  5. Another concerned Gunner!!
    William Gallas was a Strong defender who nearly won us 2007/2008 Epl!! When stripped of d Captain armband, He still gave Great performances!!
    His words might not be too polished or sweet to d ears!!..
    But these should be motivation for Arteta to prove his doubts!!
    For me, EPL Title in 2021/2022 n nothing Else!!

  6. Not to quibble with Gallas but he wasnt part of Arsenal 18-20 years ago. He joined 15 years ago.

    He was however an Arsenal captain in 2008 (?) when he threw a tantrum at Birminham City which arguably signalled the start of us dropping out of the title race. He was also the captain the next season when he publically slagged off his young teammates.

    Is this what he means by “strong players with strong personalities”?

    Sorry I couldn’t care a flip about what Gallas thinks of Arteta or the state of Arsenal.

    1. Gallas was a great defender, honestly very underrated, but a terrible captain. It wasn’t all his fault but I always saw that day when Eduardo was injured and Gallas tantrumed as the real turning point for arsenal – that was the last truly high quality side Wenger assembled

    2. I don’t see Gallas claiming he was part of Arsenal 18-20 years ago to be fair. he was just stating that that’s when the club was very strong and has slowly gone downhill.

      He may not have been the best captain but he knows a hell of a lot more than us.

      1. Agree with your comment, but did Arteta hire Leno, Bellerin, Mustafi, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Elneny, Ozil, Guendozi, Torrera, Laca, Pepe?Why blame him? All these players would not be wanted for Sheff Utd I bet on a free. With the players he started the campaign with, I wonder how did we reach 8th?


      2. 👍 William Gallas gave 100% and expected the same from the players he captained.

  7. Never liked him much after he had that sit down while wearing AFC colors and the armband for a spell, he let us down in the worst way imo. But he has a point about how big the job was and still is.

    Arteta has a cup under his name all the same and a large clear-out on his hands, which was never going to be easy -it’s not like with Che and Manu scooping up players at top dollars, even Liv had to slow their roll.

    One of the lads above talked about focusing on younger players with us having a young team and some few older guys to help them along for now. It’d be great to see all the younger players click together at the same time when their bit of game time starts adding up. It’ll be worth it if it works, getting a young group of lads full of confidence and vigour and having all their best ahead of them.

    This is a crucial window, we need to see his plans forming and not just hearing about a process. Good luck guys we’ll need it.

  8. Arteta has managed to “clean” out Ozil, Mustafi, Sokratis, Kolasinac and potentially Torreira and Geundouzi (if anyone will buy them) in a year. I see Maitland-Niles, Bellerin, Nketiah and Nelson following in this window (together with Luiz). That is a massive change in personnel!

    The guys brought in so far have been upgrades in all respects – Gabriel over Mustafi, Mari over (an ageing) Sokratis, Partey over Geundouzi / Torreira, Odergaard over (an ageing and out of form) Ozil. He is getting the best out of Pepe (with a bit of tough love he has managed to harden him up and get him to work hard on the pitch), Tierney, Saka and ESR. If we can bring in one more deeper lying midfield (to challenge Partey and Xhaka in the two), bring back Willock and sign an attaching mid (to replace Odergaard / Ozil) then the midfield is on its way. A new RB, back-up LB and back-up keeper would make for a brilliant window. We can then deal with our striker problems next year when we have a better picture of how bad Auba is going to be in his old age and/or how good Martinelli and Balogun might be leading the line.

    Its a process for sure

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