William Gallas
William Gallas

William Gallas

William Gallas spent four years with Arsenal and was Club captain for nearly half that time.

The French defender moved to Emirates Stadium as part of the deal which took Ashley Cole to Chelsea on transfer deadline day in September 2006. Within a year he succeeded Thierry Henry as skipper after the striker left for Barcelona.

William Gallas Profile

Name William Gallas
Arsenal Career 2006 - 2010
Position:
Appearances 142 (142 starts, 0 as a sub)
Goals 17

Gallas was a surprise choice but his quality as a defender was not in doubt. Quick, tough and an excellent reader of the game, he added experience and influence to the heart of Arsenal's back four.

With Gallas and Kolo Toure in tandem, Arsenal challenged strongly for the Premier League title but their hopes faded after a draw at Birmingham in February 2008 - a game that started with an horrific injury to Eduardo and ended with Gallas sitting alone on the pitch in anger and disbelief.

In November of that year, Gallas was relieved of the captaincy after disparaging quotes about the team were attributed to him in the French media. But far from being shaken by the decision, Gallas bounced back to produce probably the best form of his Arsenal career.

A new defensive partner arrived in the summer of 2009 in the shape of Thomas Vermaelen and he and Gallas immediately hit it off, both scoring on the opening day of the new season at Everton. Indeed, with the Frenchman and Belgian in tandem Arsenal looked capable of ending their wait for the Premier League title.

But it wasn't to be. A calf injury sidelined Gallas in the Spring and he aggravated the problem during his comeback match against Barcelona.

That would prove to be the defender's final appearance for Arsenal; he opted to leave Emirates Stadium when his contract expired in June 2010.