Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Gallas Is Going Nowhere and Remains Key to Our Future, Says Wenger; Staying Power: William Gallas Will Not Leave Arsenal Next Month, Says Arsene Wenger

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Gallas Is Going Nowhere and Remains Key to Our Future, Says Wenger; Staying Power: William Gallas Will Not Leave Arsenal Next Month, Says Arsene Wenger

Article excerpt

Byline: JAMES OLLEY

ARSENE WENGER today insisted William Gallas is happy at Arsenal and will not leave the club in next month's transfer window.

Gallas was stripped of the captaincy after a turbulent year amid rumours of dressing room unrest and suggestions the 31-year-old would move back to play in his native France next month.

Injury will rule the defender out of tomorrow's Premier League clash against Wigan at the Emirates Stadium and Gunners boss Wenger said: "My desire is clear so I want him to stay.

"The problem in the modern game is that you always have to fight against an environment that tries to destabilise you by creating news.

"I cannot fight against that, I can only give what we want inside the club. We want to keep William with us because he is an important player in the squad.

"What other people try to provoke, we cannot master. We have to deal that but that doesn't change my mind that in the end, I will decide that.

"When I tell you I want him to stay it is because I have spoken about that with him." Arsenal lie seven points behind leaders Chelsea and Liverpool after last weekend's victory at Stamford Bridge and Wenger claims that tomorrow's clash with the Latics represents the biggest test of the season to date.

"It is because it is the next one," added the Frenchman. "Many eyes will be turned on Arsenal to see how we respond tomorrow.

"Let's believe in this team and I demand that of the fans as well. Lets get behind them because they want to do well and I feel at the moment they need a little bit extra support.

"There was a lot of scepticism around the squad at the start of the season that affected our supporters, our environment and the team.

"From now on I feel that we have recovered our confidence enough to think we can do well in the Premier League.

"We had some inconsistency that was linked to different reasons but I never questioned the deep desire of this squad, nor their potential.

"We have the desire, quality and commitment and that should help us go into the game tomorrow with a strong belief." Beating champions Manchester United last month was hailed as a potential turning point but only served to precede successive League defeats to Aston Villa and Manchester City. …

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