Premier League – Gallas dropped, stripped of captaincy

William Gallas has been stripped of the Arsenal captaincy and has not travelled with the squad for Saturday’s match at Manchester City.

FOOTBALL 2007/08 Premier League William Gallas - 0

France Football report that France international Gallas, 31, has been dropped by Gunners manager Arsene Wenger after revealing comments the defender made about disharmony within the squad.

The respected news source also claims that either goalkeeper Manuel Almunia or full-back Gael Clichy will captain the side at the City of Manchester Stadium.

Gallas revealed in an interview earlier in the week several incidents where he has had arguments on the pitch and in the dressing room during matches, including at half-time during the 4-4 draw with local rivals Tottenham Hotspur in October.

“When, as captain, some players come up to you and talk to you about a player … complaining about him … and then during the match you speak to this player and the player in question insults us,” Gallas told AP.

“There comes a time where we can no longer comprehend how this can happen.

“I am trying to defend myself a bit without giving names. Otherwise I’m taking it all (the blame). It’s very frustrating,” he said.

“I’m 31, the player is six years younger than me.” The 25-year-olds in the Arsenal squad are Robin van Persie, Emmanuel Eboue, Bacary Sagna and Eduardo da Silva, who has been out injured since February.

Another incident occurred during the recent 4-4 draw at home to North London rivals Tottenham, in which Arsenal surrendered a two-goal lead in the dying minutes.

Those revelations from the centre-back – who arrived from Chelsea in 2006 as part of the deal that saw Ashley Cole move to west London – were then followed the release of a part of his autobiography detailing a row with a young member of the France squad during Les Bleus’s failed Euro 2008 finals campaign.

Gallas wrote: “I was also 20 years old once. I would never have allowed myself to speak in this tone to a footballer who was older than me.

“The youngsters from the Euros seem cheeky, very sure of themselves. They think they know it all, but they don’t know anything.

“Faced with his contempt, I raised my voice. The young player said: ‘Lower your voice, speak less loudly’.

“I replied: ‘How are you speaking to me? Who do you think you are? You are only 20 years old. I am not your friend.

“He said: ‘Me neither, I am not your friend’.”

Gallas was made club captain following the departure of Thierry Henry during the summer of 2007.

His captaincy was called into question the following February at St Andrews when – following striker Eduardo sustaining a horrific broken ankle and James McFadden‘s last-gasp penalty securing a 2-2 draw for Birmingham – Gallas slumped down in the centre circle at the final whistle and remained sat there, visibly upset.

Tony Mabert / Eurosport

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