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What reception will Gallas face when Arsenal play Tottenham this week?

Harry Redknapp, the Tottenham manager, has already said signing Gallas on a free transfer was an excellent piece of business for Tottenham Hotspur. Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, today conceded that he could understand why Gallas chose to move to Tottenham. Obviously there are logistical issues. The man has lived in London since 2001, he is clearly settled, at least relatively, in the city. He desired to stay and Tottenham offered the best option. What’s more, he could play in the Champions League and play as captain. The move was understandable for Gallas and good business for Tottenham. Even Arsenal did alright out of it, releasing one of their highest earners and signing a couple of other centre backs (Squillaci and Koscielny) in the meantime. Gallas might not feature when Tottenham play Arsenal in the Carling Cup this midweek but if he does he should expect a hostile reception. Although it is unlikely to be as hostile as that which Sol Campbell faced on his return to White Hart Lane, after leaving Tottenham for Arsenal.

William Gallas joined Tottenham Hotspur from Arsenal in the summer but the move had little of the furore that surrounded Sol Campbell’s move in the opposite direction. Campbell was the captain at Tottenham when he moved whereas Gallas was no longer the captain of Arsenal. Gallas had been replaced by Fabregas a while previous. Still, Gallas was the captain of Arsenal, a relatively prestigious position yet when he moved the Arsenal fans were seemingly quite calm. Was it case of the Arsenal fans just being happy to see the moody Frenchman move? Did they not especially consider his departure a loss? Or was it just a case of realising better days were ahead and there was no need to repeat what their North London rivals had done and behave so viciously?

Nobody knows or can clarify and speak on behalf of the multitude of Arsenal fans, however, the consensus is that the truth is to be found it all the suggestions. He was not really appreciated by the Arsenal fans, he was considered overrated, his temperemental problems were never a particularly attractive feature and the Arsenal fans wanted to show that they were better than their rivals.

William Gallas has now played for all three of London’s biggest clubs, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. Success, however, has not followed him. At Chelsea the French international was routinely winning trophies, celebrating two Premiership titles and an FA Cup triumph. At Arsenal Gallas did not win a single trophy.