x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Gallas's captaincy questioned after outburst against teammates

The former England manager Graham Taylor has called for a rethink by Arsene Wenger on retaining William Gallas as his captain.

The former England manager Graham Taylor has called for a rethink by Arsene Wenger on retaining William Gallas as his captain after the defender launched a verbal attack on his Arsenal teammates on Thursday. In an interview, Gallas questioned the commitment of the squad following four league defeats this season. The France international also revealed some teammates have approached him to complain about one member of the squad in particular, although Gallas did not reveal his identity.

He was also fined two weeks' wages and received a stern rebuke from Wenger after being photographed leaving a nightclub with a cigarette in his mouth last month. "Would we not think that by now Arsene Wenger, the manager that he is, would know the kind of person he wants as a captain, and if it isn't working for him, make those changes," Taylor said. Arsenal play Manchester City who are looking for a goalkeeper on loan to replace the injured Joe Hart after sustaining ankle ligament damage.

Mark Hughes will see the return though of captain Richard Dunne, midfielder Gelson Fernandes and striker Danny Sturridge for the home clash. Dunne and Fernandes have both completed one-match bans for their red cards against Tottenham a fortnight ago, while Sturridge has returned to training following three weeks out with an ankle injury. Meanwhile, Dimitar Berbatov will miss Manchester United's trip to Aston Villa tomorrow after picking up a hamstring injury on international duty with Bulgaria on Wednesday. Rio Ferdinand may also miss the game as he struggles to shake off a back injury.

Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he only has himself to blame for his two-match touchline ban and £10,000 (Dh68,000) fine for his post-match rant at referee Mike Dean after the Red Devils 4-3 win over Hull. Ferguson claimed a couple of weeks ago he was surprised to have been charged. "It happens," reflected Ferguson yesterday. "It is my own fault." "You will always get inconsistent decisions because every referee has their own opinions of things. That has not changed from the day refereeing started."

* Agencies