By Chris Harris
The public perception of William Gallas is unfair, according to Arsène Wenger.
The 33-year-old defender is in the news after being strongly linked with a move to Tottenham just weeks after his contract at Arsenal expired, bringing to an end an up-and-down spell for Gallas at Emirates Stadium.
The centre back succeeded Thierry Henry as skipper in the summer of 2007 but hit the headlines with a sit-down protest in February 2008 following a game at Birmingham. Gallas was relieved of the captaincy in November of that year following quotes attributed to him in the French media but he went on to produce his best form for Arsenal.
Wenger admitted at his pre-match press conference that Gallas can be "brutal or impulsive" but he insisted that his compatriot's reputation is ill-deserved.
"He has an exaggerated bad reputation," said Wenger.
"I believe that he is a genuine winner. He wants things not to be done at 90 per cent and is completely focused and motivated to win.
"He can be, sometimes, a little bit brutal or impulsive in his reaction. But when you are a manager, he is not someone who talks behind your back. He is somebody who is straight and is completely focused on the game. You respect that."

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20 Aug 2010