Belfast Telegraph

Wenger urges respect for Gallas

Arsene Wenger hopes Arsenal fans show William Gallas the respect he deserves should their former captain face his old club on Saturday - but defended the decision to strip the controversial Frenchman of the armband.

The 33-year-old left Emirates Stadium at the end of his contract during the summer and joined arch-rivals Tottenham. An outburst in November 2008 prompted Wenger to replace Gallas as captain with Cesc Fabregas, but the Arsenal manager maintains there can never be any question over the veteran defender's commitment on the pitch.

"When Gallas was on the pitch he gave 100% for the team and that is what you want to respect," Wenger said.

"After the statements exactly word by word is always a much more sensitive subject.

"But what I look at is just how much does the guy want to win, how much is he committed when he plays and on that front you can never fault Gallas because he was always 100% committed when he played."

Wenger added: "You are responsible for your own behaviour and not for the behaviour of other people.

"I think the basics of our attitudes at the club has always been to respect other people. We cannot dictate how other people behave we just want ourselves to respect him."

Arsenal can, for a few hours at least, go above Chelsea to top the Barclays Premier League should they once again beat their fierce rivals at home.

"It is a big motivation for us because we have created a momentum, and have won five of the last six," said Wenger.

"We are the stage of the season now where we just want to go from game to game and get the points into our account, then see where we stand after. I always said since the first six games that it looks like the most consistent team will be rewarded."


From Belfast Telegraph