Date:Monday October 12 2009
Arsene Wenger has been fulsome in his praise of central defender, and former club captain, William Gallas describing him as "100% professional". It looked at one time as though Gallas might go in the summer after last season`s dressing room drama following the publication of his autobiography which appeared to criticise some of his team mates. The kerfuffle resulted in Gallas losing the captaincy in favour of a player 10 years his junior in Cesc Fabregas.
"William Gallas has had a fine start to the season, which is down to both his attitude and the quality of the player," said Wenger.
"It can happen that any player has highs and lows in his career, but I must say his form now is a consequence of the way he behaves every day.
"He behaves 100% as a professional and is highly focused in training."
Gallas,who played and scored for France at the weekend against the Faroe Islands, has also scored 3 goals for Arsenal this season which might be more highly regarded had not his central defensive partner Thomas Vermaelen notched up 5 goals himself. It`s a partnership that seems to have started the season very well.
"The partnership between William and Thomas Vermaelen has gelled more quickly than I expected," Le Boss said.
"This is for two reasons; first of all, Vermaelen adapted faster, and secondly William fits more comfortably on the right side of a central defence than on the left."
It`s not unusual for Wenger to praise any of his players but he has also, apparently indicated that he will look to open discussions with Gallas as his contract expires at the end of the year. It`s never a good point at which to discuss contracts as Gallas is free to talk to other clubs from January. Coincidentally two other central defenders find their contracts also expire at the end of this season, Senderos and Silvestre. Both are also free to discuss their options with other clubs in January.
Having sold Toure in the summer and with Djourou pretty well out for the whole season there is little time for Vermaelen to forge a partnership with either Johan or Alex Song, currently employed in midfield, who might be the contenders to replace Gallas from within our existing squad should none of the expirees renew their contracts. If Vermaelen's partner next season could be someone with less experience than Gallas then maybe we will be hearing more praise lavished on Billy G as the season progresses.
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Date:Monday October 12 2009
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