Arsenal Captain Debate: William Gallas Courts Controversy

Jon NaylorSenior Analyst IApril 19, 2008

Following the comments given to the press by Arsene Wenger that he would "review" Gallas' captaincy at the end of the season, many of Arsenal's critics have opened fire at the club captain.

But has William Gallas done enough to justify this condemnation?

What does it take to make a great sports captain?

Since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, many top flight sides have bred or bought great captains, with the likes of Roy Keane, Tony Adams, John Terry and Steven Gerrard wearing the armband for their respective clubs with particular distinction.

Many a club has been saved from the drop through the almost superhuman efforts of their skipper, with Kevin Nolan currently battling to keep Bolton up with vital goals and committed performances. 

There is one vital criterion that separates these men and elevates them to the status of true club captain: they live and breathe for their teams. 

When the chips are down, these players could be relied on to drive their team mates on and snatch a result from unfavourable circumstances.

Be it an historic European night or a wet Wednesday in Wigan, a great captain will always "leave everything on the pitch," bursting every sinew to grind vital league points out when a positive result seemed unlikely.

Unfortunately for Arsenal, the same cannot be said of William Gallas. Throughout the season, he has failed to deliver as captain when the Gunners truly needed an inspiration.

Typically, the drawn match away at Birmingham immediately springs to mind.  Following Eduardo's horrible injury, every player was understandably in shock and needed an immediate lift on the pitch.

Gallas responded by kicking advertising hoardings and sulking after the match, having to be dragged away by his manager. 

His position has further been undermined by rumours of lack of respect at the club and Fabregas leading the "real" team talk after Gallas has finished his.

It is vital for the sake of the club that Wenger acknowledges his error and hands the armband to his precocious young protege. Gallas does not have the temperament nor the dedication to be Arsenal's club captain and they will continue to suffer until they give the job to a more suitable candidate.