My Soccer World

Football: Gallas Stripped Of Gunners Captaincy, Say Reports

Posted on: November 22, 2008

LONDON : William Gallas was fighting for his Arsenal future on Friday after reports emerged that he had been stripped of the captaincy and dropped for Saturday’s trip to Manchester City.

The French defender came under fire for his shock blast at his young team-mates when he lifted the lid on the simmering discontent in the Arsenal dressing room in a remarkably candid interview on Thursday.

The 31-year-old accused the club’s youngsters of lacking the stomach to fight for the Premier League title, claimed he had to separate arguing team-mates during half-time of his side’s 4-4 draw against Tottenham and insisted an unnamed Gunners star insulted him and several colleagues.

On Friday, the respected France Football website reported, without quoting a source, that Gallas has been stripped of the captaincy by furious Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.

Meanwhile, it was claimed in London that the player was not on the team coach which left for the airport for the flight to Manchester for Saturday’s Premier League clash.

Wenger had reportedly summoned the centre-back to a meeting at the club’s London Colney training ground on Thursday.

Wenger has gone out of his way to defend Gallas against accusations that he lacks leadership skills ever since the defender was criticised for his on-pitch tantrum at the end of Arsenal’s draw at Birmingham last season.

The Times newspaper claimed Wenger was ready to hand the captain’s armband to Cesc Fabregas or Gael Clichy if the rest of Arsenal’s squad expressed unhappiness with Gallas’s comments.

Former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn, who made nearly 600 appearances for the club from 1987-2000, joined the chorus of disapproval over Gallas’s rant.

“I’m very disappointed with Gallas’ comments,” he told Sky Sports News. “We all know arguments happen at half-time and full-time in any game, not just at Arsenal, and they’re dealt with inside the club.

“It certainly doesn’t need the captain to come out and tell the world players have fallen out – that can be good, it shows they care and are not prepared to accept defeat.

“He actually said one team-mate is being disruptive, which puts the suspicion of blame on four or five players. He hasn’t come out and named the player.”

– AFP /ls

Channel News Asia

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