Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho, Diego Maradona, Pele… William Gallas?! Darren Bent says Arsenal defender taking no.10 was ‘disrespectful’ after Andy Carroll’s no.2 shirt at Reading prompts debate

    Darren Bent joked that he’s ‘annoyed’ at Andy Carroll taking the no.2 shirt at Reading, but nothing compares to William Gallas’ ‘disrespectful’ no.10.

    Carroll has ended his most recent spell as a free agent by returning to Reading, the side he left for an uneventful time at West Brom last season.

    Carroll’s shirt number has caused more surprise than his signing

    @readingfc

    Carroll’s shirt number has caused more surprise than his signing

    The club mocked up a WhatsApp conversation showing it was his kids’ decision

    @readingfc

    The club mocked up a WhatsApp conversation showing it was his kids’ decision

    But unlike his first unveiling at Reading where he took the no.9 shirt, the former Liverpool and Newcastle striker instead picked a number seven lower.

    There was some consternation online at the 33-year-old picking a number traditionally and almost exclusively worn by defenders but it was later revealed it was his children’s choice.

    Carroll’s fellow former England striker, Bent, was having none of it though, but singled out one other shirt number offence which was far worse.

    When asked by talkSPORT co-host Andy Goldstein the lowest number Bent wore during a career which saw him join the Premier League’s 100-goal club, he replied: “Lowest number, probably nine, Sunday league I wore eight but that’s because of Wrighty [Ian Wright].”

    But Carroll’s choice? “I don’t understand that and it frustrates me,” he said. “It annoys me, he’s a forward, no.2 is a right back.”

    However, the Arsenal fan was even more annoyed when Gunners legend Denis Bergkamp gave up his no.10 shirt, only to see it picked up by a defender.

    William Gallas retires

    William Gallas’ no.10 caused much more offence

    5. William Gallas - 25 Premier League goals – click right to see the top four!

    The Frenchman surprisingly inherited Bergkamp’s number

    “One of the most disrespectful ones ever was when William Gallas took no.10 [at Arsenal] and then played centre-half,” he said.

    “You think about some of the players… the best players are usually no.10 and he went and took it and played centre-half with it.

    “It’s not acceptable, no.10 for a centre-half is not acceptable. Diego Maradona, Pele, 10s, Gallas, centre-half 10.

    “Ronaldinho, Messi, Gallas, come on. It’s bizarre.”

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