A number of Arsenal players have been talking about a variety of topics as they prepare for international fixtures set to take place this week and next.
Captain William Gallas kicked things off by speaking about the groin injury he has sustained and how frustrated he has been with not playing. Gallas mentioned how much the injury was affecting his mood and actually issued an apology to the rest of his teammates at Arsenal for his inability to always put on a positive face.
“Trust me it’s hard to keep smiling. So I want to say sorry to all of the players, and also the staff at the training ground, because they could see I wasn’t always happy. It’s just that I really want to play.”
Most people who play football will understand how annoying it is to be out for a long period of time with injury and I’m sure it’s only worse when it comes to professional footballers. If you live and breathe football the way that guys like Gallas do it would be very hard to be injured for a decent period so I can understand where he’s coming from, but I just wonder a little bit about the mentality of a man who is supposed to be the top leader at Arsenal. His comments suggest he has probably been taking out his frustration on the people around him and although he genuinely feels bad about it, it’s not something I’m particularly thrilled about. I can’t see Gilberto Silva or Kolo Toure doing it, but I guess that’s just Gallas.
Speaking of Toure, he had a bit to say today about the performances of everybody’s new favourite player, Mathieu Flamini. The Ivorian gave a great indication of just how much Flamini is appreciated by the whole team for doing his hard-working and selfless job at defensive midfield.
“He does such a huge job in midfield. Thanks to him, in defence we are rarely put in trouble. He has a fantastic heart and fights for everyone. He is involved in any clash, but only for the good of the team. That is why we call him Gattuso.”
The first time most people found out about the nickname ‘Gattuso’ was in the video clip of the Arsenal team completing the crossbar challenge. I said at the time that I thought the respect Flamini held within the team was quite evident, and if Toure’s comments are anything to go by then I can only say it has increased. I’m a big fan of Flamini and I’m happy to see him continue in the middle next to Cesc Fabregas for the very reasons that Toure mentioned.
Two strikers, two opinions
Two Arsenal strikers whose chances in the first team have been hindered this season by the great form of Emmanuel Adebayor and Robin van Persie are Nicklas Bendtner and Eduardo da Silva. But the Dane and the Croatian have shown they have very different ways of viewing the current situation at the club. Frustrated with a lack of opportunities, Bendtner suggested that his future may lie away from Arsenal if the situation doesn’t change at some point in the future.
“It’s obvious that I don’t want to sit on the bench for two years. I will stay at Arsenal to fight for my chance and in case it doesn’t work, I will join a different club permanently.”
It’s not the first time Bendtner has shown some discontent and whilst he definitely has a point, I don’t think this is something he should be making public. Besides, he’s only 19 and will no doubt get plenty of chances over the next season or two (has he forgotten that Adebayor will be off for a month in January?). I’m a massive, massive, massive… fan of Bendtner as player and feel he has a big future at the club, so hopefully he can have a chat to Wenger about his problems and sort things out soon.
Whilst Bendtner is showing some signs of impatiency, Eduardo has shown that he is in for the long haul at Arsenal. The Croatian revealed how much he is looking forward to his national team’s match against Israel and gave some indication that he is fitting in well with life in London.
“I haven’t lost form, but I do need matches, and I’m really looking forward to this one. I’m feeling better and better every day at Arsenal. I have moved to a new flat, I have an English teacher and I speak the language better now.”
When you look at his goalscoring record for Croatia it’s no wonder he is looking forward to the match against Israel. Add to that the fact that it will be his first game back from injury for quite some time and you can understand his enthusiasm even more. He doesn’t say much, Eduardo, but when he does it’s usually quite positive and I like that about him. Even though he’s had a relatively quiet start to his career at the club I just get the feeling that Eduardo can still have a big say in Arsenal’s season. He always looks like he has a goal in him and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him poke home a injury-time winner or two in a couple of big matches. Fingers crossed then.
That’s about it for today. Just a reminder that if you enjoy the blog you can subscribe to it via RSS or e-mail by clicking here. Things have been building nicely in the past few days with the release of the first issue of ‘The Gooner Gazette’, and I just want to say thank you to everyone who has given me feedback on the eMag. If you haven’t checked it out yet then I encourage you to do so by clicking here. Cheers.
Have your say on Gallas, Toure, Flamini, Bendtner and Eduardo by leaving a comment.