William Gallas is no stranger to Premier League fans, with the former France international racking up over 300 appearances between London clubs Chelsea, Arsenal, and Spurs.
Alongside 84 caps for his country, we sat down with William Gallas to talk FIFA, Chelsea’s struggles in the Premier League this season, and whether Harry Kane needs to leave Tottenham this summer.
Which of your former teammates was the best player at FIFA during your playing days?
“To be honest, I didn’t witness many of my teammates playing video games and perhaps that’s because I was a little bit older. I didn’t witness a single player on video games as I only saw them usually during training, lunch or dinner. I used to just spend time in my room when I was away with the squad and I wouldn’t go to the room which had the consoles in it. Perhaps more professionals started playing video games once I retired, but whilst I was playing in England, I didn’t see any footballers playing video games.”
Onto football, Mauricio Pochettino is said to be the frontrunner to become the next permanent manager of Chelsea. Do you believe it’s a good appointment by Chelsea and who was your first choice for the role?
“You want a manager that has a lot of experience, that has won titles in the past and has the ability to lift the players at Chelsea. At the moment they look like they don’t have any confidence and they don’t know what they need to do. The club is lost because there’s been too much change in one year and that’s why they’re in the position they’re in. You need a manager with a lot of experience and the ability to bring Chelsea back to the top of the table. It’s a shame to see Chelsea where they are at this moment in time.”
Chelsea are currently 11th in the Premier League table. Since the beginning of your affiliation with the club, is this the worst team you’ve seen at Chelsea?
“Well, you can’t say it’s the worst team. The players in the squad have a lot of quality, but I believe the problem is that the owner didn’t have a strategy. The club just buys and buys players. I don’t even know if Graham Potter wanted to sign those players either, it just looked as if the owner and his staff were deciding who to sign for Chelsea.
“They’re Americans and they’ve got experience in the sport of baseball. Football is completely different to baseball. I think they’re going to understand their wrongdoings now because they’ve failed this season. They now know that the manager has to agree on which players the club is signing, because the manager is the best person to identify which players fit into their system.
“I’m not going to say it’s the worst team I’ve seen since my affiliation with Chelsea began, but the position they’re in isn’t a good one. As a former player, it’s sad to see what’s currently happening at Chelsea. For the rest of the season, the players just need to respect the shirt they’re wearing and perform as well as they possibly can going into next season.”
It was reported that Chelsea’s owner Todd Boehly had a rant in the club’s dressing room after last week’s home defeat to Brighton. Do you believe that he was entitled to rant at the players or do you believe he should have no place in the Chelsea dressing room?
“I believe the owners can go into the dressing room to figure out what happened, but I believe the manager is the person that has the right to speak and that the owner should listen to what the manager has to say about the performance. The manager can speak, the sporting director can speak and the owner can just be there and listen to the response of the players. Owning a football club in England is new to Todd Boehly, so he will learn what to do and what not to do.”
Chelsea, along with Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Manchester United and PSG, are all said to be in the hunt for Napoli striker Victor Osimhen. Chelsea are clearly in need of a natural striker and in your opinion, would Osimhen be the perfect solution in that department? If not, then who do you believe they should realistically go for?
“This would be a very good signing for Chelsea if they can get him. With Napoli he’s been simply magnificent and he’s shown all defenders out there how hard it is to play against him as he’s quick and strong. I don’t know who’s going to sign him, but he’s a great striker and a player I really enjoy watching.”
Speaking of strikers, do you believe Romelu Lukaku could resurrect his Chelsea career when he returns to the club in the summer once his loan at Inter Milan expires?
“No. It will be very hard for him to do that and there’ll be even more pressure on his shoulders if he was to attempt to resurrect his Chelsea career. There will be some people who will not be happy to see him again and he’s already attempted to come back to Chelsea before and it didn’t work. Inter Milan is the club for him and I hope he’s going to stay there as you want to see happy players. I don’t believe he will be happy if he returns to Chelsea.”
Harry Kane’s future has been of major debate over the past few months. If you were to predict where Harry will be playing his football next season, then where do you believe he will be and why?
“Harry has to leave Tottenham. He definitely has to leave. Tottenham aren’t going to be Premier League champions next season, so he has to leave. Tottenham can’t give him what he wants.
“Manchester United needs a striker. Wout Weghorst won’t be at Manchester United next season, and even if he is there he will be second choice, so Harry Kane can go to Manchester United.”