Gallas will help side through growth pains, says Adebayor

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Emmanuel Adebayor has no doubt that the Arsenal captain, William Gallas, possesses all the qualities required to guide the young side through a successful campaign at home and in Europe.

The Togo and Arsenal striker saw the French defender net a late equaliser to rescue a point for Arsenal in their opening Champions League Group G game against Dynamo Kiev in Ukraine on Wednesday night, and said: "William is playing well at the moment, scoring some goals, and we are all happy for him," Adebayor said. "He brings a lot of experience to the team, with his age, because we are a young squad and have to listen.

"William has a lot of tales from the things he has done in his career and he has been sharing them with some of the young players in the squad. These are the moments which every team needs – to come through difficult times in a match."

The Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, was also grateful for his captain's late contribution to a game his side had often dominated. "There is a mixture of frustration and relief," he said. "The game should be over at half-time because we had clear chances, and in the end you could feel the game was there for the taking."

Wenger also criticised the referee, Luis Cantalejo, for failing to protect Theo Walcott – who set up Gallas's goal – from some robust tackles. "The referee should also have sent off the [Kiev] left-back three times at least during the game because he destroyed Walcott," the Frenchman said.