Gunners skipper furious with Mr Bean tag

First published in Sport

ARSENAL skipper William Gallas has responded angrily to revelations that he was nick-named the French Mr Bean by a former team-mate.

PSG midfielder Jerome Rothen told how Gallas was useless at school and was caught for stealing £150 from another team-mate in his new book.

Although the Gunners defender admits Rothen's accusations are true, the 31-year-old defender has been hurt by the stories, insisting his former club mate at Caen should have been more considerate.

“Yes, I was given that name, but that was when we were 16 or 17,” said Gallas, who was branded Mr Pierre Richard – the French equivalent to Mr Bean – by his peers.

“Now I’m a family man and a father, and I’m unhappy that these stories are being told.

“Recently, I have had other things to think about.

“My best friend, David Sommeil, had an accident and I have never been able to see him. My son was born two months ago, I didn’t want to go on about what Jerome had written.

“I will respond when I want to. I want to do that on television so everyone can see how I feel. What is written is true. But he shouldn’t have done it.”

Rothen said in his book: “That is exactly who he was like – a lovely guy but always getting caught out!

“I don’t think William Gallas will mind me talking about how he used to be a no-hoper.

“At school he was a right wally – he would sit at the back of the class as far away from the blackboard as possible.

“One day the maths teacher gave us a test – she knew that William understood nothing about maths, so she allowed him to use the textbook. But even with the book under his nose he still only got four out of 20!”

In his book, 'You're not going to believe me', Rothen also told of how Gallas was foiled by another team-mate after he had stolen some money.

“One evening, Eric Sitruk burst into my room and shouted, ‘Someone has stolen my bank card and taken out 1,500 francs (£150)’,” wrote Rothen.

“Furious, he accused five of us. It made sense because we were all very close, we had the keys to each other’s rooms and knew the codes to our bank cards so we could lend each other money. Next evening, Eric said he had gone to the bank and a surveillance camera had filmed the person using the card.

“He said, ‘I know who is guilty’. It was a bluff. But an hour later, William knocked on his door and admitted his mistake.”

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