By Richard Clarke

Friendship is not the most important commodity among team-mates, according to Arsène Wenger.

It was reported recently that Arsenal centre backs William Gallas and Kolo Toure had fallen out. Certainly the statistics suggest the manager has been reluctant to pair them together in the past few months.

However, Wenger claims the duo have a perfectly friendly relationship and argues that the either/or decision he has been making between the two was down to their collective lack of height. He went on to add that some of the world’s greatest footballing partnerships did not see eye-to-eye.

“They get on OK,” said Wenger. “In football you don’t have to go on holiday together but you can still play together.

“[Real Madrid legends] Alfredo di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas never spoke to each other. They didn’t greet each other but when you saw them play together you would never guess that.

“Kolo and William talk to each other but it is always very difficult to assess how much people are friends or not. What is essential is that, on the pitch, football is most important and they should respect the game. If you want to win, you do what it takes.”

The issue has arisen because Gallas has recovered from the hamstring injury that has kept him sidelined since the win over Plymouth in the FA Cup Third Round. The Frenchman is likely to join Toure and Johan Djourou in the squad for the Fourth-Round tie at Cardiff on Sunday. It means three players are competing for two positions.

“I'll consider [playing Gallas and Toure] but I have not decided yet,” said Wenger when asked about the equation. “I might rest one of the two as well, I don’t know.

“I believe they can play together but we have a little handicap in the air when they do.”

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
23 Jan 2009