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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 February 2007, 09:43 GMT
Gallas pleads for cup final berth
Arsenal defender William Gallas
Gallas looks unlikely to get his wish to start the Carling Cup final
William Gallas has told Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger he is desperate to start Sunday's Carling Cup final against his former club Chelsea.

Wenger has vowed to stand by the young players who have led Arsenal to the final but Gallas, 29, told The Sun: "I want to be in the starting 11.

"Not because we are playing Chelsea but because I'm suffering from a lack of playing time after three months out.

"It strikes me as natural I should play but it is down to the manager."

Despite his plea to be in the team, Gallas said he respected Wenger's view that the younger players should be given a chance.

The pressure is unbearable, especially for the players

Claude Makelele

"I think it is a good idea. It is a good thing for them to get to play in a final," said Gallas.

"It will allow them to learn about the pressure of such big events."

Meanwhile, Claude Makelele has revealed that Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho and his players are under intense pressure to deliver more success for the club.

"Now Chelsea have become one of Europe's great clubs there is such pressure on the manager and players from the public and media," the Blues midfielder told The Sun.

Plymouth Gooner

"And from the owner, who puts pressure on behind the scenes. In truth, we don't really know too much about what is happening.

"Roman Abramovich does not say a lot but we can see there is so much pressure the club is putting on the manager.

"It's unbearable, especially for the players. We want to be in the right conditions to win matches and, above all, trophies.

"That is difficult with this internal pressure."

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