Gallas pulls out of France squad with thigh injury

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The Independent Football

William Gallas has emerged as Arsène Wenger's latest injury concern after the Arsenal captain picked up a thigh injury and pulled out of France's squad to face Romania. Gallas is struggling with a small tear to his right thigh and was replaced by former Newcastle defender Jean-Alain Boumsong for Les Bleus.

The Arsenal striker Robin van Persie has a hamstring problem and is unavailable for the Netherlands' meeting with Iceland in Rotterdam, but could still feature next week against Norway. Wenger will be sweating on the fitness of the pair ahead of the Premier League game at Everton in just over a week, with Arsenal looking to bounce back after a point from their last two matches.

The good news for Wenger was Samir Nasri returning to full fitness after a month out, and Mikaël Silvestre getting a run-out for the reserves.

Meanwhile, former Arsenal winger Robert Pires feels Wenger would be suited to turning around the fortunes of France after their dismal Euro 2008. "Wenger is a gentleman, and his qualities would have a positive effect on the French national side," Pires said.

* Former Celtic and Scotland midfielder Paul Lambert has been named the new manager of League One strugglers Colchester. The 39-year-old replaces Geraint Williams, who left the Essex club by mutual consent last month following their disappointing start to the new season.