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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 August 2005, 07:09 GMT 08:09 UK
Gallas writes off Arsenal hopes
William Gallas
Gallas reckons Arsenal are no longer the force they were
Chelsea defender William Gallas believes Arsenal are on the wane.

"Things will no longer be easy for Arsenal. The future is Chelsea, we are the ones moving forward," the 28-year-old told The Sun newspaper.

"Arsenal have had their time. They have never gone beyond the Champions League quarter-finals.

"I'm not burying Arsenal, far from it, even if it will take them a while to get a big team back," added Gallas, who played in Sunday's win over Arsenal.

The French defender has started the first two games of the season alongside John Terry in central defence.

That prompted Ricardo Carvalho, a regular last season, to criticise manager Jose Mourinho for dropping him - although he has since apologised.

Gallas said he understood the Portuguese international's frustration.

"I understand Ricky's resentment, I have gone through that situation," he added.

"It will get him to come back even more motivated."

Blues skipper John Terry says Carvalho's comments will not affect the team.

"It's only good for a team when a player gets it off his chest," he said.

"It has been taken out of hand over the last few days with Riccy's and Robbie's comments.

"If they are not getting picked and they are happy about not getting picked then we have problems."

Terry cited Joe Cole as a good example of the way to respond to criticism.

We want opponents to come and to know that normally Chelsea don't lose a game at home
Jose Mourinho

He said: "He took it on the chin and listened to what the manager said to him.

"If the manager has an opinion about something and says you need to defend more and forget the attacking side, you are playing first of all for the team.

"That's what Coley did. He had a look at himself and improved as a player and now he has his England place as well."

Victory over Arsenal on Sunday means Chelsea continued their unbeaten home record under Mourinho, a run the manager is keen to extend.

"This is crucial, to have the feeling that at home we are powerful, for people to come here and to feel Chelsea normally get a result at home," Mourinho told Chelsea TV.

"We want opponents to come and to know that normally Chelsea don't lose a game at home.

"That is why we won the Premiership, that is why we got to the semi-finals of the Champions League and that is why we reached the Carling Cup final.

"Maybe if we had played Newcastle at Stamford Bridge instead of St James', we would also have got to the FA Cup final."

Chelsea 1-0 Arsenal
21 Aug 05 |  Premiership


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