William Gallas: The Gallic Centre-Half

MILAN ITALY - FEBRUARY 14: William Gallas of Tottenham Hotspur answers questions during a press conference on the day before the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st leg match between AC Milan and Tottenham Hotspur at the San Siro Stadium on February 14 2011 in Milan Italy. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

I think a special mention is overdue for Mr. William Gallas, who has been a consistent player in our ranks this season.

There were legitimate questions regarding Gallas when his transfer was taking place.  Tottenham Hotspur fans worldwide where mixed in their opinion regarding Gallas. The most obvious concern was his time with Arsenal and the fact that Arsene Wenger was willing to let him to (I acknowledge their reluctance to give two year deals to over 30’s but still). Also, Gallas’ questionable temperament was a topic of fervent debate amongst Tottenham fans. Would Gallas be a liability? Will he sulk in the final minutes of a key game?. Thankfully, none of these fears have been realised whilst Gallas has been representing Tottenham this season. I also appreciated the honesty that came from Gallas when his transfer was confirmed. He’s with us because were in the Champions League and also because his family are settled in London. Not because he has any special affinity with club.

Gallas did inadvertently endear himself to us when he captained our side to a famous away win at Arsenal this season. It was to be our first away league win against our North London rivals since 1993. I recall Gallas playing like a man possessed that day. It was a masterstroke from Redknapp, to make Gallas captain in that particular game. It worked a charm.

That said, we all witnessed the football boot debacle at Sunderland when he left the pitch to change his boots only for us to then concede a goal. A professional his age should know what football boots he’ll wear for an upcoming game. In his defence, Harry Redknapp said he’d needed an injection beforehand hence Gallas’ discomfort with the boots he took to the field with. In addition, Gallas has already played when clearly half fit and out of position (Blackpool away). Such a strong mentality has impressed Redknapp and Tottenham’s fans alike.

Gallas’ experience also shone through in our round of 16 Champions League tie against AC Milan. Gallas was cool, composed and completely unflustered. His key overheard kick clearance after Gomes’ stellar save in the first leg was crucial. He then made a goaline clearance in the second leg which was even more crucial.

He is a player who’ll over celebrate our goals, as well as go insane whenever we concede or if any of his defensive colleagues make the smallest of mistakes.

Finally, Gallas is a defender whose been there, done that and got the t-shirt. He’s not a two-time Premier League team of the year inductee for no reason. For Tottenham Hotspur, William Gallas has been lucky number 13 and long may it continue.
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