Arsenal captain William Gallas has launched an astonishing attack on the club's bickering young guns.
Gallas, 31, claims he had to break up several dressing room bust-ups between Arsenal players, including a half-time row in the recent 4-4 draw against Tottenham.
The France defender has been disgusted to see his team-mates turn on each other as the pressure of their spluttering title challenge starts to take its toll and he has told them they must show more maturity.
“There are things that can't be said and can't be tolerated,” Gallas said on the Times website. “When, as captain, some players come up to you and talk to you about a player … complaining about him … and then during the match you speak to this player and the player in question insults us.
“There comes a time where we can no longer comprehend how this can happen.
“I am trying to defend myself a bit without giving names. Otherwise I'm taking all the blame. It's very frustrating. I'm 31, the player is six years younger than me.
“There was a problem at half-time at Tottenham.The only thing that I could say at half-time was 'Guys, we resolve these problems after the match, not at half-time.'”
Gallas also believes the youngsters emerging into Arsene Wenger's team lack the stomach required to cope with physical matches and fears that lack of fortitude could shatter their already faint title hopes.
“We are not brave enough in battle,” Gallas said. “I think we need to be soldiers. We have to be warriors. There are teams who can do it well against us, and we have to be able to face up to these attacks.
“We are coming up against teams who are not scared to play football against us, who are not scared to take us on at our place, and this is becoming dangerous for Arsenal.”
Gallas has yet to win a trophy since moving to Arsenal from London rivals Chelsea in 2006 and the Gunners are nine points behind league leaders Chelsea are losing four matches already this season.
The centre-back is growing increasingly frustrated by the team's failure to challenge for silverware.
“I have to win something this year. I have to win something, Arsenal has to win something,” Gallas said. “It's four or five years since Arsenal won anything. That's nearly five years, and that's not good.
“For me the title is not over, it's true that we are nine points behind Chelsea, but you have to be optimistic and you can't give up.
“Four defeats is a lot, but it's a long season. I think it will be very tight this year and we will have to hope that Chelsea draw a few games and have a few defeats.”
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