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Page last updated at 16:41 GMT, Friday, 24 October 2008 17:41 UK

Wenger concerned by Gallas photo

Arsene Wenger and William Gallas
Wenger feels Gallas's leadership qualities are vital to the Gunners

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says a photo of club captain William Gallas leaving a nightclub with a cigarette in his mouth is unacceptable.

And while Wenger confirmed he will speak with the 31-year-old defender on the matter he insists he is the right choice to lead the Gunners.

"I will check that with him. He has a responsibility as captain of Arsenal and that cannot be accepted," he said.

"William has his critics but what you can never fault him is the motivation."

The Arsenal boss, speaking ahead of Sunday's Premier League visit to Upton Park to face West Ham, added that despite the photograph, Gallas has responded well to criticism stemming from last season.

It is a public job with a public responsibility
Arsene Wenger
The former Chelsea central defender, who has recovered from a recent thigh injury, came in for criticism last season after losing his composure at the end of a draw in February at Birmingham City.

Gallas sat on the pitch after the Gunners were held to a draw and Wenger considered stripping him of the captaincy before sticking with the French international.

The pictures showed Gallas leaving a London nightclub in the early hours of 24 October, but newspapers said the cigarette was unlit.

"I didn't see the picture. I have been informed, but I don't like that," added Wenger.

"It is a public job with a public responsibility and therefore it is exactly the same for everybody."

However, Wenger believes that Gallas has grown from the disappointment of last season.

"He has learned a lot. He has taken a lot of criticism, of course, but I think he took it in a positive way," said the coach.

"He himself has come out and said, 'I made a mistake last year and I will change and re-address my attitude'."

Gallas has scored important goals this season in the Champions League against FC Twente and Dynamo Kiev, but Wenger regards his presence as crucial to guide a young side.

"He wants to do well, he wants his team to win and he has made a mistake - who didn't?" said Wenger.

"Even great captains make mistakes. William has worked very hard to come back from his injury and looks very sharp now."

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see also
West Ham v Arsenal
23 Oct 08 |  Premier League
Gallas retains Arsenal captaincy
01 Aug 08 |  Arsenal
Impatient fans disappoint Wenger
23 Oct 08 |  Arsenal
Birmingham 2-2 Arsenal
23 Feb 08 |  Premier League

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