‘Incredible sulk’ Gallas in a strop over France job

Jun 9, 2010
Bill Mann

The Arsenal defender refuses to speak to media during the World Cup after Evra named captain

Move over Nicolas Anelka, there is a new "Incredible Sulk" on the scene, and surprise surprise, he's also French.

It was back in the early days of Anelka's career when he earned the Sulk sobriquet after a series of toy-throwing incidents as he worked his way through stints at Arsenal, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool and Manchester City

But while Anelka seems to be mellowing in his old age the same cannot be said for his compatriot William Gallas. The 32-year-old Arsenal defender, reportedly about to leave the club because he hasn't been offered more than a one-year extension to his existing contract, has now let it be known that he won't be speaking to reporters for the duration of the World Cup.

Gallas was scheduled to hold forth at the French squad's press centre in Knysna yesterday but then decided to snub the event. He later got squad spokesman Francois Manardo to speak on his behalf, and what he had to say confirmed Gallas' as the new Incredible Sulk. "William has decided not to speak to the media for the duration of the World Cup," said Manardo, though he wouldn't be drawn on why Gallas had spat his dummy from his mouth.

But French reporters say Gallas is sulking because coach Raymond Domenech has appointed Manchester United's Patrice Evra captain of the team for Les Bleus' opening match against Uruguay on Friday. With former skipper Thierry Henry relegated to the bench these days, Domenech might have been expected to give Gallas the armband. Gallas has twice captained France in the past but Domenech has doubts about the defender's fitness following the calf tear he sustained for Arsenal earlier in the season.

No one in the French squad would comment on Gallas's decision, with goalkeeper Hugo Lloris saying: "That's William's choice, it's up to him. Whatever happens in our squad, stays in our squad."

As Arsenal fans will remember, Gallas has a habit of sulking when things don't go his way. In February 2008 the Gunners were held to a 2-2 draw away to Birmingham – a James McFadden penalty bring the Blues level in the fifth minute of stoppage-time. That prompted one of the more bizarre sights in Premier League history as captain Gallas, incensed by the penalty decision, first assaulted an advertising hoarding and then staged a one-man protest at the in the centre circle. As the Sun commented the next day: "What a strop. What a girl. On second thoughts scrub that. Girls have more balls."

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