So, William Gallas smokes or, at least there’s a picture of him smoking (can’t find it yet). Ok, not actually smoking, but out at a bar late at night, with an unlit cigarette hanging out of his mouth.
On the one hand, Gallas’ problems aren’t from smoking. He doesn’t lack of wind: he always catches his opponents after they beat his paltry offside trap. I don’t think smoking is the reason he can’t pay attention on set plays. I don’t think smoking prevents him from clearing the ball. And I certainly don’t think that smoking makes you a bad leader — after all we’re all human and we all have faults some on the outside (like smoking) and some on the inside.
Besides, as long as he’s performing on the pitch, I don’t particularly care that he smokes… as long as he’s one of the regular outfield players. Robin van Persie is a known smoker and no one has a problem with that. What I think most fans and especially Arsene Wenger have a problem with is that Gallas is, ostensibly, the team leader and no one needs reminding that this is a team full of impressionable young men. As Arsene Wenger put it:
I didn’t see the picture (!!!). I have been informed, but I don’t like that. I will check that with him. He has a responsibility as captain of Arsenal Football Club. That cannot be accepted.
As captain, he shouldn’t be out late, drinking, smoking, and generally screwing around because Arsenal need to stay tight and focused right now. The day we win the league(s) feel free, smoke a huge joint for all I care but during the season, ahead of a game and as captain you just can’t be out partying.
Of course this could all be one of the press’ famous “shit stirring” stories. I remember the one from last year where The World’s Least Reputable Newspaper printed a poorly translated interview of Gallas saying that he didn’t have any friends at the club. So, until Gallas admits it, or we have proof, then we should hold judgment.
Maybe in our new found doe eyed love for the club, we should just hold judgment no matter what because I believe Arsene Wenger will get to the bottom of this story and deal with Gallas as he sees fit.