Gunners’ boss Arsene Wenger has come under criticism in recent years for his team’s failure to accumulate any silverware.
Wenger’s contention is that consistently finishing in the ‘top four’, gaining qualification for the Champion’s League is should be considered an achievement of success in and of itself and is equivalent to winning a domestic Cup competition such as the FA Cup or League Cup.
But Gallas disagrees whole-heartedly with his former manager. The Spurs centre-back has crossed North London party lines in 2010 when he signed for Spurs – becoming the first player in history to play for Chelsea, Arsenal, and Tottenham Hotspur.
The Frenchman claimed,
"A trophy is something you lift at the end of the season. I know which feeling you can have if you lift a trophy – it’s fantastic and it doesn't happen many times in your career.”
Gallas won the Premier League title twice with Chelsea, along with a League Cup trophy and Community Shield.
“For me, to finish second or fourth, it’s the same,” he continued.
“But if you finish on top and if you’re the champion it’s completely different. For a few months you think you are the best team, the best players, you are so happy.”
Arsenal’s lack of silverware has become somewhat of a complex at the Emirates – the closest they’ve come in recent years was the 2011 League Cup final at Wembley against Birmingham, in which a miscommunication between goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and Laurent Koscielny proved fatal in a match they had been expected win and had dominated throughout.
Gallas makes a valid point – whilst finishing in the top four consistently, season after season is a remarkable achievement for any team, a club with the history and stature of Arsenal is expected to have something to show for their endeavors.
In their seven-year trophy drought, Arsenal have employed some of the continental and the world’s best players and have produced world-class talent all of their own.
The problem has been, they’ve found it increasingly difficult to hold on to their star players and, as the season’s have passed them by, the draw they have as one of a handful European elite clubs is slipping away.
The last trophy Arsenal won was the 2005 FA Cup Final – the team sheet illustrates exactly what the Gunners’ problem is today – Kolo Toure, Ashley Cole, Cesc Fabregas, Patrick Vieira, Robert Pires, Dennis Bergkamp and on the bench a 22-year-old Robin van Persie.
Perhaps if they’d have kept more of those world-class players they might not be in the predicament they find themselves in.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald