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We want captain Gilberto back!


The news of William Gallas' appointment as Arsenal captain left me and the fellow Gooners gathered in our local North London boozer gobsmacked earlier today.

The ex-Chelsea defender has made a number of disparaging remarks about the Club's transfer policy and overall direction this summer and many Gooners fear his appointment as on-pitch leader could destabilise the dressing room.

The French international has only made 27 competitive appearances for Arsenal since joining from Chelsea as part of the Ashley Cole transfer last summer. Billy G missed three months of last season with a thigh injury and complained that he was suffering from fatigue due to France's exploits at the World Cup in Germany.

Now don't get me wrong, when he's 100% fit - Wiliiam Gallas is arguably the best centre half in the Premier League. His versatility across the backline is also a huge plus for us, but the experienced French defender has been known to unleash the odd verbal outburst every now and then, so will his appointment as on-pitch leader be beneficial to the team in its current state?

With Thierry Henry leaving, the Club need a steady hand to steer the ship, and there is no one calmer than Gilberto when the pressure is on. His presence in the team is crucial and he does so much unseen work off the ball which allows his more creative team mates to play the attractive, free-flowing style we love.

When Henry was absent last term, Gilberto stepped in to captain the team and his own performances seemed to step up a gear. Under his leadership, Arsenal played some of their most incisive, creative and effective football and we looked a far more cohesive unit under his stewardship.

I hope Arsene Wenger hasn't just made Gallas captain to give him extra kudos and use it as some sort of bargaining too as an incentive to stay at Arsenal. Hopefully the Frenchman will prove to be a great captain for us, but I'd be happier with the cool, calm, collected presence of our laid-back Brazilian Gilberto at the helm, rather than our fiery French defender.

Picture: Getty Images

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Posted by Mark Cattini on August 9, 2007 in Debate of the Day | Permalink

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