By Richard Clarke

Arsène Wenger argues that William Gallas has come out of a turbulent week with “a lot of credit”.

Seven days ago the French centre back was under intense scrutiny after comments attributed to him in his country’s media. He was left out of the side for the subsequent game at Manchester City and, on Monday, the captain’s armband was handed to Cesc Fabregas.

However, the following day, Gallas put in a focussed, professional performance as Arsenal qualified for the Champions League Knockout Stages with 1-0 win over Dynamo Kyiv. According to Wenger, it was an indication that the 31-year-old had responded well. 

“For me, William comes out of the situation with a lot of credit,” he said. “He is as committed as ever, he organises well his defence in training and he works very hard. I think that is a credit to him.”

Of course, Sunday will be a different test entirely as Gallas returns to Chelsea, a club where he spent five highly-successful years.
“I am confident his experience will help him get through this game,” said Wenger. “I believe what gets you through everything is your focus on what you love the most - to win the game.

“No matter what people say, when you are on the football pitch you don't hear [the crowd].

“In fact I believe that after the game players sometimes will not know that it rained because they are so focused on the game and they forget everything around them.”

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28 Nov 2008