Gallas was not referring to me, claims Van Persie

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The Independent Football

Arsenal's Sunday matchwinner, Robin van Persie, has refused to accept that he was the player William Gallas was referring to in the Frenchman's much-publicised remarks that lost him the captaincy.

Gallas said that a player, six years his junior and widely held to be Van Persie, was particularly confrontational and had shown him a lack of respect. However, when asked about the comments the striker said: "[Gallas' criticisms] of me? Are you suggesting that William was talking about me? I don't know that, because he never told me anything and I didn't see my name in the papers as that he said anything like that, so I never felt that he was speaking about me because for me, there isn't a problem.

"[On Sunday] I think we showed a big example, especially in the last 15, 20 minutes. We knew it was going to be difficult and we stuck together."

The Arsenal players involved in the victory over Chelsea will be given tonight off as Arsène Wenger once more turns to his youngsters for the Carling Cup. Of those who played on Sunday only the veteran defender Mikaël Silvestre will be included for the quarter-final at Championship side Burnley to add some experience.

The Wales teenager Aaron Ramsey, 16-year-old Jack Wilshere and striker Jay Simpson, who scored twice in the last round against Wigan Athletic, will all be in action. Goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski and striker Carlos Vela are also expected to play.