By Richard Clarke

There is no risk in naming William Gallas as Arsenal captain, according to Arsène Wenger.

Last Thursday, announced the news that the Frenchman would be taking the armband during the coming campaign. Many had expected Gilberto to assume the role full-time having deputised with distinction for Thierry Henry during much of last term.

However Wenger wants all his senior players - Kolo Toure, Jens Lehmann, Gallas and Gilberto - to assume greater responsibility within his young squad this season and sees the 29-year-old centre back as a safe pair of hands.

"There is no special risk [choosing William]," said the manager.

"I think it is an important position but it is not as important as the team spirit. You do not have to overemphasise the importance of the captaincy. What is important is that he does what he has to do and not more.

"It makes it easier if you play in a certain position and have a certain experience in the game. But I was captain and I know what you can and cannot do."

It was reported that Gilberto only learned about the appointment of Gallas by reading about it on However Wenger spoke to the Brazilian face-to-face just before the trip to Prague and explained the situation.

"I respect Gilberto a lot," said the manager. "He was not in the group last week, and that is why what happened happened.

"I had a face-to-face meeting with him and told him what I wanted to tell him. I have nothing more to say about that really. I cannot justify every small decision and explain it to everybody. Things have to stay inside.

"But when I make a decision I stand up for it. I do not consider whether people are surprised or not.

"You make decisions because you just want to make the right one."

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
Richard Clarke 15 Aug 2007