Paul Parker

Time to end Gallas captaincy

Paul Parker

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Following William Gallas's revelation of divisions within the Arsenal dressing room, the time has come for Arsenal to find a new skipper.

Gallas proved he was not the man for the job at Birmingham last season and his latest outburst has only added more weight to the argument that he should be stripped of the armband.

He was a poor choice of captain even before his infamous sit-in at St Andrews; nine months later and he is million miles from being an ideal leader. He is too much of a disruptive influence.

Arsene Wenger should have acted after the Birmingham game but now he has no choice: Gallas must be ditched as captain - and maybe even offloaded elsewhere in January - if Arsenal's season is not to fall apart.

The last thing Arsenal need - or any team for that matter - is a whistle-blower in the ranks, least of all the man who is supposed to gel the squad together and motivate the players to get the best out of them.

What is said in the dressing room should stay there. If there is a problem, no one else needs to know about it. It is not for public consumption.

Whatever happens needs to be contained there and dealt with in an appropriate way, either at the time or at a later date.

But once it becomes public, you have a big problem on your hands. Now everyone knows that Arsenal's current on-pitch problems - and by that I mean their inconsistency - is not just down to injuries or bad luck or the 'rough-house' tactics employed by opponents.

Their troubles are more deep-seated than that; as a team Arsenal are not united. And considering football is a team game, that will be perceived by opponents as a major weakness.

Gallas has betrayed his team-mates - whatever their faults - by using the international break as an excuse to go to the media and spill the beans.

He may be a vastly experienced player, but some of his decisions beggar belief. Put simply, the latest outburst lacks professionalism.

With the captain's armband comes a certain amount of responsibility for your team-mates. But Gallas has shown no sign of that - he has even admitted he is passing the buck because he does not want to accept the blame any more.

The disruption stemming from this could now have a knock-on effect on the team's performances on the pitch - and with Arsenal struggling to maintain a head of steam this season, that is the last thing they need at the moment.

Arsenal do not need someone like Gallas at the Emirates. In a way he is a selfish player, always looking after number one. His ego is suffocating Arsenal at the moment and not allowing the club to move forward.

Wenger needs to take a long, hard look at the situation and make a decision with the best interests of Arsenal at heart, and not those of individual players.

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