By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger wants Arsenal supporters to show respect for William Gallas if he features in this weekend’s local derby.
The French defender turned down a new contract at Emirates Stadium in the summer and joined Tottenham a few weeks later, becoming the first major player since Sol Campbell to cross the North London divide.
Campbell received plenty of abuse from Spurs fans for that move in 2001 and some have suggested that Gallas will get a rough ride from the home crowd if he lines up against his old club on Saturday.
Wenger hopes that is not the case.
“They [the fans] should respect him, like they do every player of the opponents who play against us. And I think that will happen,” he said.
“You’re responsible for your own behaviour and not for the behaviour of other people. I think the basics of our attitude at the Club has always been to respect other people.
“We cannot dictate how other people behave we just want ourselves to respect him.”
Gallas succeeded Thierry Henry as Arsenal captain in the summer of 2007 but had the armband taken away two years later after criticising his team-mates during an interview in the French media.
That may have tainted his reputation in the eyes of some fans but Wenger prefers to accentuate the positives of Gallas’ Arsenal career.
“I don’t think it’s needed now to speak about that [the captaincy issue], that’s history and an old story,” he said.
“When Gallas was on the pitch he gave 100 per cent for the team and that’s what you want to respect.
“What I look at is just how much does the guy want to win, how much is he committed when he plays and on that front you can never fault Gallas because he was always 100 per cent committed when he played.”Copyright 2015 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source