So with the news that Gallas is not in today’s squad for Man City, and has arrived at the training ground instead, it is all but confirmed that his tenure as Arsenal captain is over.
And quite rightly. No matter how accurate his statements over the past week, no matter how few potential captains we have waiting in the wings, his complete betrayal of his teammates, those he is supposed to guide, has made his position untenable. Wenger has again shown that, despite some criticising his ‘softly, softly’ approach, he can make the brutal decisions when they have to be made.
I find it interesting that Gallas is actually at the training ground today – whether that is an indication that he has a future at the club or whether training with the reserves is a punishment remains to be seen, but I fully expected him to be away from the club for a few days at least. It is unclear whether he will play for Arsenal again, perhaps the lack of options will force him back in, but it would be difficult for the new captain to lead a team with Gallas in it.
I’m sure the situation will become clear over the next few days – certainly Wenger’s interviews will be interesting, but what is important now is knuckling down and getting results on the board. An injury ravaged side (we have no right sided players fit in defence or midfield) faces a tough trip to Eastlands tonight, and another to Stamford Bridge next weekend. The odds are stacked against us, but maybe a fresh start can be created out of this mess. We’ll find out later.
Today’s captain is likely to be Almunia, and that may continue for the foreseeable future. I wouldn’t be surprised if he retained the armband until at least January.
Bet of the day
The most important thing today is to put this whole sorry mess behind us, and get three points at Man City. Van Persie returns to the side after suspension, and my bet of the day (which is 0 for 2 so far) is for him to be first goalscorer, widely available at 7/1, to add an ironic touch to the week after the finger pointing seemed to be in his direction.
Enjoy the game.