Arsène Wenger has called on the Arsenal supporters to cheer
his side rather than jeer Ashley Cole when Chelsea come to Emirates
Stadium on Sunday.
This weekend, the England left back is set to return to his mother club for the first time since leaving for Stamford Bridge in August 2006.
Although Arsenal received William Gallas in return, the manner of Cole's departure means he is likely to receive some barracking from sections of the crowd. Ahead of the game Wenger called for calm, suggesting that the supporters needed to a play a positive role in order to help their team.
"I want our fans to be behind our team and not to especially have resentment with Ashley Cole," said Wenger. "He did well for the Club for as long as he was here and ideally you want everybody who has played for you to be respected.
"What is over is over and you have to take a distance with
that. He has been educated here, he has done well for us and
overall we want him to get a fair reception.
"Then of course the fans need to be 200 per cent behind the team. That makes a difference. In the big games your fans and your team have to be one."
Abuse from the stands has been back in the public eye over recent weeks but Wenger wants Arsenal's fans to set an example this weekend and when Tottenham arrive next Saturday.
"You can never guarantee it," said the Frenchman. "How can you guarantee that every single one of 60,000 people? But usually we have never had a problem with that.
"A football game has to remain a football game and we have a responsibility in that."