Arsène Wenger has re-iterated his belief in the "outstanding leadership qualities" of William Gallas.

The Arsenal captain is under the spotlight after last week's game at Birmingham when he watched the home side convert their controversial injury-time penalty from the other end of the pitch.

The 30-year-old was perhaps a surprise choice to take the armband at the start of the season but, according to Wenger, has responded to the responsibility manfully. Though he did not endorse the actions of Gallas at St Andrews, the manager give his compatriot full support.

"Ideally he should not have responded like that," admitted Wenger at his Friday press conference. "But it was not to blame anybody.

"He is a guy who is highly committed and sometimes when he goes overboard he can respond like that. He's an explosive one [and] when he is fed up, he is fed up.

"We'll keep all [discussions about that] internal. We are a team who is the most consistent in the League and, as well, we are a team, because we are young, we don't know exactly how to behave to look really good. However we are, as well, maybe more genuine. I know William is not young but he has the commitment of a very young boy, believe me!

"His leadership qualities for me are outstanding, even if on that occasion he used his commitment in the wrong way. You want people in this job who care.

"What I hate the most in this job are people who are always nicey nice and behave well. But at the end of the day they cheat a little bit with their commitment. I prefer sometimes a guy who goes overboard without hurting anybody who cares about winning. That is William, he cares about winning."

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29 Feb 2008