Gallas remains tight-lipped over Chelsea row

September 7, 2006

Arsenal defender William Gallas remains unwilling to talk about his row with former club Chelsea after helping France to a well-deserved 3-1 victory over world champions Italy in Paris.

Gallas played his part in their Euro 2008 qualifying victory as France gained some revenge for their defeat to the Italians in the World Cup final in Germany this summer.

But Gallas, accused by Chelsea of threatening to score an own goal if selected by the English champions, would not be drawn on the bitter row with his former employers.

Chelsea also alleged that the 29-year-old twice refused to play for the Premiership champions during his long-running contractual dispute with the Blues.

Gallas was eventually sold to Arsenal as part of the player-plus-cash deal which took England left-back Ashley Cole to Stamford Bridge on deadline day.

The French defender has already rejected Chelsea's allegations and preferred to dwell on joining up with his new Arsenal team-mates rather than defend himself any further.

When asked about Chelsea's allegations, Gallas said: 'I don't want to talk about that.

'I will see when I come back to London with my new team Arsenal. I'm very excited to train with them,' he told Sky Sports News.

Arsenal have confirmed they will not be making an official complaint about Chelsea's unprecedented attack on their former player while Gallas continues to contemplate taking legal action against the champions.

Meanwhile, Cole has revealed how the chance to play alongside some of his England colleagues was a major factor in his decision to make the move to Stamford Bridge.

Cole helped England to a 1-0 Euro 2008 qualifying victory over Macedonia on Wednesday night and the prospect of playing club football alongside Frank Lampard and John Terry - a man he describes as 'a great captain' - was too good to turn down.

Cole faces competition for the left-back spot from international colleague Wayne Bridge but he admits he does not expect a guaranteed place in Jose Mourinho's side.

Cole said: 'I didn't come here just expecting to play.'

Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba has praised the early-season form of midfielder Michael Essien as Chelsea prepare for their clash with Charlton on Saturday.

Essien's form has seen him play a major part in creating goals in all of Chelsea's games so far and Drogba, who regularly played against him in the French league, reckons the Ghanaian will get even better.

Drogba said: 'Michael had a great World Cup and I hope he will play like this for the season.

'I have known him since he was playing for Lyon and what he is doing now is nothing new.'

Meanwhile, Chelsea have given their support to a campaign for action against anti-Semitism in Britain.

An influential panel of MPs spanning the major political parties and including former Conservative leader Iain Duncan-Smith, found that anti-Semitism remains a growing problem.

Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon said: 'Chelsea condemns discrimination in all forms and is committed to stamping out anti-Semitism as part of our ongoing work to tackle racism.

'In particular Chelsea has recently worked closely with the Football Association, Kick Racism Out of Football and the leading Jewish organisation Maccabi GB to raise awareness on this issue.

'There is no room for racism in football and we support the work of those who seek to eliminate it from our sport and society as a whole.'