Date:Tuesday December 16 2008
In an interview reported in France Football magazine Wenger has revealed some of the turmoil around 'Gallasgate` last month.
"On the human point of view, what happened with William was the toughest thing I had to deal with in my career because I regard him with a lot of esteem." He told the magazine.
"He was stuck into a media frenzy, a witch-hunt that isolated him so much that it was becoming a handicap for the team.
"Whatever he does, whatever he says, it`s always twisted, amplified.
"He has recovered the balance regarding his football. But I`m not convinced that, in his head, he has recovered his balance and the happiness to play."
The response to Gallas` admittedly ill advised comments on the conflicts between senior and younger players at the club would not have been so damaging if the impact were only external. The fact is that it clearly rubbed an internal sore and had Gallas had the full support of a clear majority of the team you would normally have expected him to retain his place as captain.
This theme of team harmony was echoed in Vieira`s comments reported elsewhere but he also backed Gallas to want to prove his value.
"So many things get into the team and affect the team, so many difficult situations, and I think now they need to walk away from that and keep going. All the trouble outside the pitch, it doesn't help the team to come together" he said.
"The decision to take the captaincy from William is a really tough one. I know William really well and, of course, he gets hurt like everybody else but he will want to show to Arsène and to the fans that he is a fantastic player and professional. He will give 100%."
If we are to achieve the minimum we want this year it is to be hoped that Gallas and the rest of the team finds that happiness somewhere or from somewhere.
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Date:Tuesday December 16 2008
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