Wenger anger over Gallas smoking picture
Friday 24 October 2008
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has reminded his club captain William Gallas of his responsibilities after the Frenchman was photographed leaving a nightclub with a cigarette in his mouth.
"He has a responsibility as captain of Arsenal football club and that cannot be accepted," Wenger told the club's Friday news conference. "I didn't see the picture but I don't like that.
"He does have a bigger responsibility as captain and I believe that is completely true. It is a public job with a public responsibility and therefore it is for everybody exactly the same."
Gallas, 31, has gone through an indifferent spell since he was appointed captain and admits his current form is way below his best.
The French defender, who has been sidelined with a thigh injury for the last two weeks, has said he has given some 'tired' performances this season and needs to improve.
Newspapers, which pictured Gallas leaving a London nightclub in the early hours of Thursday, said the cigarette was unlit.
Despite the incident, Wenger said his captain had made big strides to improve his leadership and would learn from his latest mistake.
"He wants to do well, he wants his team to win and he has made a mistake - who didn't? Great captains, we all make mistakes.
"He has taken a lot of criticism, of course, but I think he took it in a positive way. He has learned a lot and he himself has come out and said 'I made a mistake last year and I will change and re-address my attitude'."
Wenger ruled out a move for former England captain David Beckham when the transfer window re-opens in January. Beckham spent a month training with Arsenal last year and is set for a move back to Europe but Wenger said his destination would not be the north London club.
"I wasn't in touch with him at all and certainly not as a player for the club," Wenger said. "If he wants to be fit and practise, why not? But we have Theo Walcott who plays in this position, Emmanuel Eboue who plays in this position, so we are not looking for a right midfielder."
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