In an interview with Goal’s Nizaar Kinsella, former Chelsea, Arsenal, and Tottenham defender William Gallas, a person who knows a thing or two about haters, has come out in support of Tiemoue Bakayoko by giving him some words of advice regarding the ongoing verbal abuse aimed towards the midfielder via social media and even in the stadium.
“I would tell him to just ignore what people have said. Maybe they are right so maybe you have to work more, but don’t let people put you down because you play football.
“That was your dream to play football and you made a lot of sacrifices to be where you are. Don’t let people put you down and take the criticism in a positive way. Try to finish the season well and be ready for next year.”
Think of Gallas what you will but he's definitely right in saying that Bakayoko should naturally be aware of the criticism aimed at him but also use it to spur himself on and improve, instead of taking it to heart. While some players might have problems heeding this specific advice, I do believe Bakayoko is capable of turning the hate he's receiving into a sort of motivation and can illustrate his real talent next season.
William Gallas himself was of course no stranger to receiving hateful messages and jeers from fans, something that's partially remained up until this day (on the other hand, it's not really a surprise after playing for three fierce rivals in a single city, duh). Despite the Frenchman's controversial Chelsea departure, Gallas' words are very welcome and a nice touch as Bakayoko might currently need all the encouragement he can get, especially after disappointing yet again against Leicester City, a game that saw him get substituted at halftime.
The now retired French defender, who played in over 200 games for the club, ended the interview by addressing a very troublesome development in football and reiterated how one really should wait until next season to assert whether Bakayoko can become the impressive player he was at Monaco once more.
“I know now football is really, really impatient. People want results straight away, but what we have to understand is that he arrived from Monaco. The English language is not his first language so you have to adapt.
“He has to adapt as well to Premier League football, you have to give him time. That’s why it is really difficult to speak before, I like to give time to the players and the manager. For me, if I have to judge him, I will do it next season. For me, this season is about adaptation.”
-William Gallas; source: Goal
Maybe we'll already be able to see these words have an effect on the midfielder's game come Sunday, you never know! One can hope, at least.
Until then, let me finish by making use of the occasion and leaving you with this video of one of my favourite goals ever scored against Spurs, namely a memorable last-minute winner scored by Gallas against Tottenham in our title winning 2005-06 season. Bring on Sunday!