Sébastien Squillaci’s time at Arsenal isn’t the best period of his career. He joined the Gunners in 2010, having fallen out with the manager at Sevilla, and simply wasn’t ready for the demands of English football.
Too short a break after the 2010 World Cup, which prompted the disagreements in Spain, meant he wasn’t at the same level as some of his teammates and struggled to achieve that.
Speaking to L’Equipe, the former defender has been asked about the ‘most difficult’ period of his career, and it didn’t seem a difficult question to answer for the Frenchman.
Squillaci responded to the question by highlighting his troubles in London, and it sounds like he felt he was thrown in at the deep end, and struggled to stay afloat: “It was at Arsenal. It was after the 2010 World Cup. When I returned to Sevilla, I felt that I did not like the manager (Antonio Alvarez Giraldez) – the only one in my career with whom the feeling wasn’t there.
“He only wanted to give me a fortnight’s vacation. I asked for an extra week, especially after what had happened. Monchi told me ‘no problem’, but the manager took it badly. When I got home, I didn’t have any preparation and he immediately put me on a team that had had three weeks of preparation. He didn’t make me play the friendlies so I asked to leave.
“I was in my 30s, I had choices to make, the family aspect was a factor. I went to Arsenal, but without preparation. I thought I was third in the hierarchy but I played quickly. At first I played decent matches and then I physically exploded and lost confidence.”
Squillaci somehow managed to stay at Arsenal until 2013, when he left for Bastia.
He’d see out the rest of his career at the Corsica club, and retired with a good selection of trophies, although his League Cup runners-up medal from his Arsenal days probably isn’t that cherished.