World Cup 2010: Does Lack of Ambition of French Squad Affect Arsenal Indirectly?

Snide CommentsCorrespondent IJune 23, 2010

POLOKWANE, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 17: William Gallas of France gestures during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group A match between France and Mexico at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on June 17, 2010 in Polokwane, South Africa.  (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images)
Christof Koepsel/Getty Images

After watching France lose to South Africa and bow out in shame, a little thing came to mind.

Since Arsene Wenger came to Arsenal, he revamped the way Arsenal played, made them more attacking and used tactics that entail precise passing and fast counter attacks.

Also Arsene Wenger likes signing French players.

The core of Arsenal's best players in their best-ever season under Wenger and in history was in 2003, when Arsenal's potent attack consisted of the best French players available, excluding the legend Zinadine Zidane.

France had winners and great players in Thierry Henry, Robert Pires and then Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira.

A later addition to the Arsenal squad and a proven winner is Sylvain Wiltord.

All the players but Wiltord won the 1998 FIFA World Cup and Wiltord joined the French national team and won the 2000 Euro Championship.

All these players helped Arsenal win the English Premier League, FA Cup and Community Shield twice or more for some.

As the core players started leaving, Wenger signed replacements and not surprisingly, the supposed next generation and some of the current French players.

Abou Diaby, Gael Clichy, William Gallas, Samir Nasri, Backary Sagna and maybe you can add reserve player Mikael Silvestre.

Any Arsenal fan who followed the club this season will know of Diaby's inconsistencies.  Clichy and Sagna had decent seasons and Samir Nasri also had his moments.

William Gallas was crucial until he got injured.

Moving back to France...

In 2008, Nasri and Gallas had a misunderstanding that was exposed recently by Nasri.  He said no one on the team talks to Gallas and he (Gallas) might have ruined his chances of making the National team.

The other Arsenal players who made the team were Diaby, Clichy, Gallas and Sagna.

Diaby, Gallas and Sagna all started three games.

Gallas arguably came back from injury and was really embarrassing in defense, lacking communication and understanding with Eric Abidal and Sebastien Squillaci.

Also he was his usual controversial self, clashing with coach Raymond Domenech over the armband.

It was also the same Gallas who caused Kolo Toure to leave Arsenal due to a rift and he chose to leave when Manchester City came calling.

Diaby was great in the first game, but faded out of the rest, playing without conviction and giving the ball away by being caught in possession in midfield.

Sagna was an attacking threat at times and did his job well.  I can't blame him for the lack of attacks, because the French attack overall was impotent.

Clichy started in France's defeat to South Africa and was very unlucky as he was exposed by his defenders and had to move from left to center to cover up countless times.

All these players play key roles for Arsenal. The poor showing by France would make you think that the natural winners on the French team are long gone, and Wenger might have a long way to instill the winning mentality in the French players to come.

I am not saying that Wenger should stop signing French players, but the lack of commitment to winning that Arsenal and France have shown in the same year by pretty much the same players raises a few eyebrows.

In Arsene We Trust



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