Defending Clichy

Of the first team player’s whose future is open to question, Gael Clichy is deemed the most expendable. Clichy, it seems, is surplus to requirements and valued at around £8m. He has chosen not to renew his contract and that is his choice. In terms of how he has conducted himself, Clichy has been exemplary. No complaints in the media, no bitching that he wants more money. Just getting on with seeking a new adventure.

Liverpool’s recent bid is the only confirmed interest although Roma were rumoured to be a potential suitor. Hardly a ringing endorsement of a player who many believe will be easily replaced. The primary target seems to be Leighton Baines. For primary, read only. That was until yesterday when The Times claimed that Arsenal had already spoken with Jose Enrique’s Mr20%. Whether that is true or not remains to be seen.

Of course there are internal candidates but each has their weaknesses. Kieran Gibbs is inexperienced and when on first team duty, has shown some dubious positional knowledge. Thomas Vermaelen is sometimes touted as a left back but was purchased as a centre back and to be honest, I would doubt that he would be as effective as a full back.

If you look at the squad, the depth is thin for this position.

Clichy is not perfect and not an entirely modern full back where attacking ability is rated as highly as defensive. His crossing is inconsistent but his shooting is consistent. Consistently bad. Then again not one of the modern left backs of Arsenal has been a goalscorer on a regular basis. They were more of a threat than Clichy.

Equally he can be caught out of position defensively but Clichy suffers from a smeared reputation. It seems that the Frenchman has never been forgiven for St Andrews in 2008.

Let’s be clear about this; Clichy did not commit a foul in the final minute to concede the penalty which started that season’s collapse. It was a perfectly timed challenge except the usual incompetence from Mike Dean meant he and Arsenal were punished. For a crime they did not commit. And since then Clichy has been blamed for anything and everything. Looking at some of the criticism, it seems that Gael is the sole reason why Arsenal cannot defend.

He has been inconsistent in his performances but no more so than any other defender. Considerably more consistent that others. They are lambasted and demands are made for them to be sold. But why is there little said in defence of Clichy? Does he suffer from replacing Ashley Cole? Few Arsenal fans like Cole for the manner of his departure from the club but who is to say he would have brought any consistency to the defence had he stayed. Indeed would we be substituting his name for Clichy’s?

It is impossible to blame or commend one person for defensive frailties or improvements. Constant reshuffles through injury will negatively impact a record in much the same way as a bad player. In Clichy’s case, he is not a bad player. You do not get to be a French international, albeit in a poor side by recent standards, if you are bad.

Will Clichy be here at the end of the summer? It seems unlikely and it seems, very harshly, that not many will miss him.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on June 20, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 190 Comments.

  1. not many slam him for the error vs Brum…he has made costlier errors vs Spurs (4-4, 2-3) and most other opposition in the Prem…he is perceived as a weak link bcos thats how oppn teams treat him…we are heavily targeted down that side bcos ppl know Gael is weak..

  2. Its correct, the defensive implosion of the team cannot be squarely attributed to clichy. He has had his share of stupid moments. For the last 2 seasons, i feel he has not realized his potential to the fullest.
    While he has been a thorough gentleman and very committed to the cause, if he wants to leave and if the manager finds a suitable replacement , i will not be very miffed.

    I think Vermaelen can slot in there, that might bring an overall stability to our defensive set up. That is, if we buy a quality centre back and fit in there.

  3. Wasn’t so much the penality at Brum as that wasn’t one as you say, it was the brain freeze before hand when he switched off and gave the ball away. He is a good left back but has never got back to the level of 2007-2008 and maybe a change will do him and Arsenal good.

  4. While I agree that Clichy is a good leftback/player, i cant help but think something profound has gone from his game. Since that fateful day at St Andrews, his confidence has gone to shreds; as mentioned above, he has committed other costlier errors. Sometimes it seems that he gets a brain freeze and all sense of the amazing player in there disappears. I think Clichy has regressed since 07/08 and there has not been any significant sign that he is improving. There is an amazing player in there but something is holding him back.

  5. Utter tosh…

    Clichy has been making exactly same kinda of mistakes over & over again! THAT’S why Gooners have had enough! Every player makes mistakes… We can all deal with that! What we can’t deal with is making a mistake and never learning from it!
    Dilly dallying on the ball… Giving it away and conceding from it!
    Brum 08, Yids 4-4, Shatker away are just 3 that spring to my mind!

    Gooners have been so patient with the likes of Clichy and co., and how do they re-pay? By not re-signing and holding us to ransom!
    Too f**king right people slate him! He deserves it!

  6. I don’t hear many condeming Clichy for the brummie penalty or for our general lack of defending. What I say and is what I hear is that over the last two seasons he seems to have gone backwards with regards to his performances for us, seems to have hit a brick wall, don’t know why. At one stage, three seasons ago, he was touted as the best left back in the prem but now I would put him at average at best. Just time to move on I reckon, no complaints about him as you say and if he does get sorted, good luck to him.

  7. I am with you on this Yogi. It is quite refreshing to see his attitiude re: media soundbites. He has even kept his Mr 20% in check. Unlike Denilson or Bendtner, he is actually a first teamer and we will miss him.

  8. Can’t play offside – which has costs us games and a lot of points
    Can’t cross.
    NEVER blocks a cross
    Can’t shoot
    Error prone
    Talks to much about learning from mistakes without learning from mistakes.
    He should be a big leader by now but isn’t.

    Good one on one and at interceptions but really it’s his attitude that has carried him. Nice guy but he is a weak link the opposition know this and it’s so obvious he’s always targeted.

    There must be a more solid defender we can replace him with.

  9. Thought we might have had a world beater when he first burst on the scene but he hasn’t pushed on, not in Cole’s league ! Gibbs isn’t the answer and I don’t think he ever will be.

    Baines will be too expensive so Enrique seems a cheaper reasonable option.

  10. The last comment from Stevo-o perfectly summed him up!

  11. Whilst I agree that Clichy has perhaps regressed and had his weaknesses exposed, he is still a very good player.

    It may well be time he had a new start but in my mind, no matter who we put at LB, if we don’t address the exposure through lack of team defending down that side then the new LB will soon find his hands are full.

    Often Clichy is left doubled up on with no cover from his colleagues further up the pitch, either the wide man or the cm on that side have to get back quicker when we lose the ball.

    A better LB in the air and with better positioning may help but won’t cure it.

  12. Couldn’t agree more,its hard to think of manu better left backs out there

  13. Lets no 4get so soon about the good gael has done for us just because he wants to try a new challenge!

  14. good post yogi,
    clichy is vulnerable but is up there with one of the best in attacking sense…..
    many tend to forget that we play 4-2-3-1 and most of the season he had arshavin in front of him and arshavin hardly ever tracks back and so he was easily found out however he has recovered most of the times ,butagainst tough opponents he has been found out….
    the other team that plays 4-2-3-1 is real madrid and their lb is marcelo so they mostly have angel di maria in front who tracks back a lot to help……
    but still cichy is a suspect cos his crossisg is poor and he hardly gets a end product…..

  15. Bye gael and thank you for conducting yourself like a gentleman unlike ‘some’

  16. While our fullbacks advance to support the attack it makes us extremely vulnerable down the wings. More often than not Clichy and Sagna are performing 200 yard sprints to recover as the team loses possession. LB,RB,LM,RM… the most demanding positions in terms of running, even more so in the Arsenal system. This is why Arshavin has struggled, it is why Theo could never really last more than 30mins, and players like Pires an Ljungberg have short careers.

    Clichy has been an excellent player, his stamina, distance covered. interceptions, 1 on 1 tackling, dribbling ability… all have contributed to him being regarded as one of the best LB’s in football today. It is an absolute disgrace for some supporters to come on and say he only has energy and a good attitude. Some may like to slag our players as they are heading to the exit door, but for a player that has given everything to Arsenal we would be good to show a bit of common sense. The guy is not shit, and yes he is IN the league of Cole, Evra etc.. and shown he has better on a number of occasions. 1 other thing, LB’s rarely score, well unless your Roberto Carlos!

  17. it is worth notting that whenever Nasri plays down the left, as opposed to Arshavin, Clichy performs better; In that regard, all blame down our left shouldnt be leveled at him; The left attacker + left sided central midfielder should’v e done more when other teams started targeting clichy; I think Sagna has generally received more defensive support in the team compared to Clichy (from Walcott, Nasri and Song); That said, Sagna has generally been very consistent in his defensive duties

  18. Clichy is a quality left-back, in the years he has played for us we can spot 3 or 4 high profile mistakes. I am sure the same can be said about Cole, Baines and all the other quality left-backs in the world. I will miss him, he has given so much to our club and we must remember this is a player who kept some of the best right wingers in the World in his pocket on numerous occasions. He was also a member of the invincible team so couldn’t have been that bad.

    His speed of thought for interceptions and then breaking from the back to set up counter-attacks has been a major weapon in our ‘Arsenal’ so if he is to depart let it be with our blessing. He is not a contract rebel he is coming to the end of his contract and has obviously told the club he wants to leave so we can get some money for him rather than go for free next year.

  19. In the possible Clichy aftermath, no-one seems to mention Miquel who made an impressive debut against Leyton Orient. He may not be ready,YET, to step up a grade but would he be our LB in the not too distant future?

  20. Clichy is a good left back and amongst the top six in the league,however if it is genarally believed our defence needs improving, then he is one of the starting points and this I think is why AW has apparently lost patience with him, he has been suspect both to the threw ball and more, so defending cross’s and the high ball,(beaten to the header for 5 or 6 goals last season),
    I am convinced our next LB will be taller and better at defending high balls and that seems to rule out Gibbs in the short term.

  21. I think Miquel is primarily a CB.

  22. Although I agree that he has become a liability recently,we dropped 2 vital points at Birmingham because of Adeboyer.At 2-1 he refused to leave Bentner with an open goal to rap up the game and missed the chance.He put himself before the team as always.i think he got off lightly compared to Clichy

  23. nemesis

    Sagna is again the best RB in the Premiership, their is nobody that comes near to him. He offers it all, although I do believe he can again improve next season on certain parts of his game, one of them being his crossing. I agree to your point regarding cover from midfield. It has been non-existent at times. I love Arshavin and I am not solely attackking him, he brings us that edge in attack when we need it most, but I do understand the frustrations over his inability to get back and defend. Its just not one of the best parts of his game. He runs as much as he can in my opinion, you can see how knackered he is when trying to do so quickly after we have lost the ball. I think our system is what leaves us exposed, its a risk we take when playing such attacking football. The trick for us is… attack quicker or don’t lose the ball by perfecting our A game. We havn’t been moving the ball quick enough forward too, we allow the opposition to get 10 players back into defense before we reach their penalty box.

    There are greater concerns which need to be addressed, blaming Clichy is a bit childish, no matter how you put the argument forward. The team has been struggling with certain aspects of their game, only an idiot will fail to recognize how the team as a whole has struggled.

  24. Gotta be a better replacement than Verm. I can see him moving up to DM but left back? No more playing players out of positions. We have a team of attacking midfielders up front and look what that does.
    A real Left back please.

  25. I think a major overhaul on Arsenal songs for players is needed. We need to have a song for EVERY player just like we used to. Okay so it might not be as easy as it used to be with a lot of the foreign names being more difficult to fit into verse but surely if we begin to build that rapport between us and the players again and get off their backs for every little mistake they make perhaps fewer will want to leave.

    It will also give us something to show our appreciation of their efforts when certain members (I refuse to call them supporters) of our crowd get on the players backs. I simply can’t abide this attitude!

  26. Philbet

    I understand how that may prove to be an improvement in terms of set-pieces, but on the floor where we lose the ball at the edge of our opponents box… I am not so sure that we can find a LB with the ability that Clichy has the run back 200 yards. It is not just once a game either. If we can find someone who can do that, who reads the game as well as Clichy, and has that positional defensive awareness then I will be very impressed. I am more worried in Arsene finding a ready replacement for Clichy than say for instance a wide attacking player or a CB.

    We could be conservative and bring someone in to sure up the back through not demanding much of the player in an attacking sense. That will only improve the defense while sacrificing the attack, is that what we want? Clichy may not pose much of a threat in terms of scoring goals, but his ability to stretch teams and make space for others is fundamental to our attack.

  27. Chrisgoona, I totally agree I think Baines is realistically the only left back with anything like that sort of engine but even he isn’t as dynamic as Gael.

  28. All I’ll say is if Wenger paid Clichy as much as Cole is paid, he might have reached even higher levels.
    Clichy DOES break opponnents crosses.
    The one mistake that keeps happening again and again is when Arshavin is on his side and he doesn’t come down to get the ball, and let Clichy run up the pitch for him.
    And whatever you say, Clichy is the fastest left back available. Rest as mentioned by some here are more due to some bias. And you can’t blame Clichy for not wanting a crap contract. Guy’s got 5-8 years left in business, and you only offer him half what you pay our captain who doesn’t play half the time Clichy does…

  29. If Clichy just signed the contract and didnt wait around until the last year of it, we wouldnt behaving this conversation. Sure he hasnt gone to the press but the situation is his making. That says to me hes going. So you gotta look at alternatives. Discussing an outgoing players weaknesses is natural as thats what you want to see corrected with the incoming player, who bring their own strenghts and weaknesses to the table. Therefore a solid defender is a must. Thats the first thing to look for then look to improve his attacking abilities – a la Sagna.

    I just think its better to hone the attacking elements of a proper defender than the other way around. Especially in our team. I know its worked in the past where we have converted a more forward thinking player into a top defender. But this team needs more defensive stability first….

  30. Our only 4 real defensive problems are:
    1) no class keeper.
    2) too many injuries to same players again and again
    3) no defense coaching
    4) no defensive leader

    There’s no point/reason putting it all on Gael or you’re just as blind as Wenger.

  31. drew10

    If he were to leave our supporters will only realize how good he really was. We accuse our players in believing too much in the whole ‘grass is greener on the other side’ with respect to finding a better club, our supporters seem to be suffering form the same syndrome right now in terms of acknowledging the abilities our players.

  32. Gael is of cource a good player, but I don’t think he is good enough to play for Arsenal. He is good at one-on-one when defending and has a good attack awareness with terrible crossing skill. And his lacking of position awareness when making offside by teammates is a disaster for Arsenal.

    But what makes him a bad reputation at Arsenal is the lacking of concentration which has ruined his career already. He has been a potencial weak point at our defence line. You never know when he would make a ridiculous mistake in front of 50000 home fans. Though I don’t think Gierran Gibbs or Traore has the ability to step up, but I have to say I won’t miss him if he leaves for Roma.

  33. Deise, he was only offered 55k a week last year! And was on 35-40 until then.
    In any other team from Man U to Real, he’d be on 90k.
    And you blame him for just wanting his market rate?
    But I guess you’re just happy having this tight ass attitude…after that you will complain that Flamini didn’t sign as well…
    Fact is if the board was actually paying them their Market rate, they’d win trophies.
    Period.

  34. IvoryGoonz

    hmmm, here are your answers

    1) Swezhny = Cassillas was good enough at 19 and so is our lad.
    2) Only Van Persie was on our ‘usual’ injury list last season and Chamakh covered excellentlt
    3) To suggest no defensive coaching is going on isn’t worth an answer!
    4) Vermaelen, his injury proved a massive loss

    Blaming the manager is taking it to a whole new level where you have clearly just let your imagination invent a load of crap. So all 4 points, try argue against them answers ‘Wenger’ has given (seen as you have something against our manager) …

  35. Ivory

    If he is as crap as everyone is making him out to be how is he going to earn 90k a week ??

  36. Wait… you just said we don’t win trophies because we don’t pay them enough!???!!!!?!?! Oh god, forget I even responded to you

  37. Jabba's delights

    Clichy has been a good servant to the club and is a good player, however LB is definetly a position we could upgrade on. His error against Shaktar away this year was utterly appaling and set in motion our defeat. He has come extremely close to repeating that error again this season. His tackle against brum may have been perfectly timed but if he had been aware he wouldnt have had to make a tackle…..he had the ball remember. He gave away a clear pen against Utd at home in the last couple of min this year and got away with it. If we had a player as consistent as Sagna on the left side we would be a much better team.

  38. Apparently Barcelona are wrapping up that Sanchez for 35m GBP.. leaves the whole Cesc transfer out the window ?

  39. The thing is we have 5 players currently on the staff who actually play left back clichy gibbs traore botelho and the only regular international left back vermaelen. yes vermaelen the player that we play as a centre half but his country and former employers used primarily as a left back. whilst we all clamour that vermaelen is a great centre half that is not strictly true. yes he was our best centre half the season before last. however his competition was gallas campbell senderos and silvestre. remember that season we still conceeded lots of goals and vermaelen was often out of position. the reason for this is that he is a left back who is a very good defensive midfielder and a good centre half. it is a similar position with our other “left backs” they are all quality left wingers pretty good left sided midfielders but only reasonable left backs clichy asides. Of all the players we currently have vermaelen is our best left back but he is also our best centre half clichy is our 2nd best left back and gibbs our third best. the problem is vermaelen is also our best centre half and in my opinion our best defensive midfielder. hopefully this could change very soon we look like replacing our 2nd best left back with a better one and could be replacing our centre half with 2 better centre halves. i should also add that sagna is our best right back but our 2nd best right back is koscielny not eboue and our 3rd best right back is squillaci and yes having lived in france and holland i have seen all these players play in those positions.

  40. yeah clichy cannot be blamed for all our problems but the guy seems to not understand the offside rule. and with the high line we play that is criminal

  41. I dont want Clichy to go. It causes more problems to have to find a replacement. He is a fine player who is really just now coming into his prime if you think about it. I dont know what the club has offered him but i have to think hes been offered a pay increase in line with the other senior players in the squad if not the top top money. Maybe its not about money, maybe Clichy wants a new challenge?

  42. makes me think….
    arshavin does not track back and help out clichy yet in the attacking third he is deadly.
    clichy performs better when nasri plays on the left as clichy is helped out by Nasri.
    cesc wants to leave for barca.
    why cant we play a formation where Nasri plays on the left and covers Clichy where necessary, Arsha plays in the cesc position, just behind RvP where he does not have a lot of defensive duties, With Walcott on the right, Song and Wilshere holding the midfield, with Song being the destructor and Wilshere being the one through whom all the balls go through,
    Clichy at LB, Sagna at RB, Tommy V and Kozzer (Samba??) at cb and wojo keeping.
    then we can have quality at the bench in terms of Djourou, Samba, for defence, Ramsey, Gervinho in midfield, Chamakh as the forward and Fabianski as the keeper!
    The problem will come when the players get their annual injuries! So we need quality cover (not diaby and denilson and squid and bendty)

  43. @Chrisgoona: I wonder if I should even answer you but well…
    1) it’s spelled Szczesny. If you can’t even spell it don’t tell me he’s as good as Casillas at same age.
    2) I was speaking defense, just in case Van Persie plays as a forward. You name Vermaelen in point 4, that’s a good start I just hope he won’t join the list of players constantly injured in coming seasons. How about Djourou for injuries? Then you rely on Squillaci and Koscielny for your first team?
    3)there is currently no dedicated coach for our defense issues. Even Wenger has admitted it.
    4) you’re right on Vermaelen, but we should have 2 like him, just in case of what happened to him last year.

    Yes it’s the manager and boards fault.
    No one else.
    You set to forget who makes the decisions in the end…
    You can’t blame a dog for biting, only his master for not educating him correctly…

  44. Yogi,

    When you hit you hit spot on. Well done. I think your sentiments are perfectly well expressed and that the attacks on Gael and lack of respect for a loyal servant are symptomatic of the greater dilemma that confronts the current AFC. The notablie influx of new/rare commmentators today speaking (literally) for itself! And some wonder why the prospect of renewing a contract or even joining our club in the first place are no longer what they were in distant times (say about five seasons ago)?

    I also noted the drop off in form over the last couple of seasons (yet, I should add, I also noted the marked improvements at the tale end of the past season!). My feeling was that Gibbs was ready to take on a larger role in sharing standing with Gael and hopefully improving both their performances as a consequence: Gibbs getting the experience afforded by Gael and Gael getting the motivation afforded by Gibbs competition for the starting role.

    If Gael does leave this summer, he will leave with my gratitude for the many years of loyal service and my best wishes for his future.

  45. @chris: and yes, money is a big part of the reasons why we are where we are.
    Being a tight ass doesn’t help motivate your team.
    I’m not saying we should play it a la Chelsea and Man U, but that the balance of salaries is not fair for some older players who served for years, when you look at Wilshere’s salary for example, you can’t possibly believe Clichy is happy playing at 25 for same money as wilshere in his first year, or that he shouldn’t accept better money. At the end, they are human being first.
    And for being myself in that situation where my English employers pay me like half my market rate because I’m too nice and too loyal since 6 years, and they won’t give me what they pay English people, I can tell you it doesn’t motivate me to actually outperform mysel, even if I do keep my professionalism.

  46. I wanna know who the guys that think Clichy is not good enough want for replacement. How much will he cost and how much better will he be? Who out there for the price of 10-15 M can replace Clichy and avoid doing the things that Clichy does so bad. Enrique from Newcastle i hear, is he really THAT much better than Clichy? Baines is good when it comes to attack but what about defence? is there a point to replace Clichy with someone that is worse off when it comes to defence?

    Am not saying Clichy has to stay, just asking for good suggestions for replacements. So far i have heard Baines and Enriqe. there must be others that people want to replace him with. If we gonna replace Clichy he must be better than Baines and Enrique imo. he must be a SIGNIFICANT addition, that can go straingt in as 1st team and make a DIFFERENCE. There is no point using 10-15M on a player that is not going to greatly imoprove that position.

  47. www,

    The alternative positions for the defenders that you note still begs the question of the way we (AFC) play. Although technically gifted and a more solid defender than Gael, has he got the speed or stamina to fill that role in our team? Similar questions affect the way in which we use the other players that you note.

    My question is not merely rhetorical and I would like to see your response.

    It seems to me that the point you are making does not place the style and system as the determining factor of where players’ gifts are used. Instead, a players traditional positioning would determine the team. I am not wholly closed to this view but think it would need more consideration and elucidation than you have so far offered.

  48. “he” being TV5

  49. @rocky: that’s how I’d play it as well if we lost Cesc and kept Arshavin, reduce each players possibility of f*ing up, and at least one player will be in his right natural position.
    @deise; no I’m afraid there’s no real fairness in contract offered. Wilshere and Walcott are actually paid same as Sagna and Clichy, and Clichy was only offered a raise from 45 to 55 last year… Wonder why he wants a better deal?
    @www: thanks for sharing. Agreed…

  50. Apparently that Enrique is a bit of a good player. Highly regardede oop north. or do you mean we have to get a LB from a top team only.

  51. ivorygoon. Being a tight ass makes the club survive. simple as. Being a tight ass with 25M in transfare budget is the reality of being an Arsenal fan. You can moan asmuch as you want, you can quote this and that and curse the board.
    Fact is the board plays safe, the board wants the club to survive. Aslong as Arsenal does not have a sugar daddy, thight ass is the only way to run the club, to survive.
    that is the harsh reality, not everyone lives in the fairytale land of United and City. not everyone can “splash the cash”. Some clubs actually have to EARN money to be able to afford to run the club( incredible is it not).

    You can only shop with the financial muscle you got, and Arsenal has ALWAYS stated they cannot compete with the big clubs financially. that aint a secret and has never been. The players know that, so those who stay are dedicated to the cause as they all know they can go somwhre els and earn ALOT and i mean ALOT more money. Every single one of our players. Yet some of them stay, incredible huh?

  52. Im asking you DukeG, cos i do not know myself, all i want to know is who does people rate as better than clichy at LB and why?

  53. Oh no Wimbledon fukin starts today.

  54. IvoryGoonz @ 9:57am,

    While I fully accept your point about the difficulties of settling contract disputes, I worry that there is some implication in your statements that Gael’s lower performance levels were due to his disatisfaction with his contract. If you think about how this would defeat any positive point you seek to make on his behalf you will see what I mean.

    The rates that alleged bidders are now offering for him says a lot. Arsene DOES have a limited pot and he h as to decide how best to apportion this. His decision here is obviously not just made on the basis of internal worth and fairness. Flamini is a case in point and we all recognise that potential external demand is as important a consideration in renegotiating player contracts. If Wilshere were even suspected of being unhappy, how much interest (both fiscally and in sheer number of organisations) do you think would be speaking to his Mr20%?

    These are the myseries of business, even when that business is the sport and club that we all love.

  55. Poodle, honestly there are not many out there that would be an improvement but i think Baines or Enrique would be on about the same level. If Clichy does want to Le bugger off then I’d be appy with either Baines or maybe more Enrique coz he will suit our fast paced game more.

  56. Clichy’s first job as a LB is defending and lets be honest he is a poor defender.He hasntnt a clue about the offside law.And it has been obvious to everyone that other teams target him.He lacks concentration to be a top class defender and thats who we will should be having in our team.Clichy wont be missed

  57. @poodle: personally I’d keep him, you won’t find quicker than Clichy, and we don’t need an full attacking FB with Nasri on the wing. Just need the attackers to do their job,
    Now if I had to give names to replace him in case he goes for greener grass, if we keep Gibbs and get Botelho in, and if we don’t get 2 better CBs than Vermaelen to play him as LB, and actually play Nasri as central midfield, where he will strive, then id pick an attacking FB, I’d pick Alex Sandro Lobo Silva from Santos.

  58. I’ve just realised why we didnt get Phil Jones. Coz he looks a right dopey git with a face you want to slap. the ingredients needed to play for Man Utd.

  59. Chris

    Yes there is defensive coaching at the club.Its done by Stevie Wonder

  60. Ivory

    I am pretty sure you went and googled ‘Szczesny’. Your spelling is pretty crap in general mate. Where is your logic, I don’t know why I bother AGAIN, but here you go. I included extra CAPS to make things clearer for you..

    1) YES, Szczesny is as good, he has all the ingredients to be Arsenal’s no.1 for the next 15 years.
    2) You mentioned the USUAL SUSPECTS for injuries. ONLY VAN PERSIE was injured who in yours and everyones books is classed as a USUAL SUSPECT.
    3) Stop chatting shit, Wenger’s ability to coach the team with his backroom staff to an invincible season and 2 double seasons.. our greatest manager doesn’t have a defensive coaching system in place? All these years champions league qualification without no defensive training?? ARE YOU FOR FUCKING REAL ??
    4) I am glad you can agree on Vermaelen – the defensive leader you say we don’t have? Then there is Van Persie and Cesc.. apart from their ability, they are vocal and lead by example, you never see either of them slacking.

    So stop blaming the board, manager and get some perspective. There is no crisis as much as you would like there to be so you can have your little tantrum.

  61. Poodle/DukeG,

    If Gael does leave, I agree that (from the little that I have seen of him) Enrique would be an exciting replacement.

    Having said that, I await WWW’s response because if TV5 could play the wing back role for us and Arsene does bring in a more traditional lump (Samba etc) for the CB role, this alternative line up (Sagna, Koscielny, Samba, Vermaelen) would definitely bring the promised increase in physical presence and height that the manager spoke of.

  62. If it was to have similar as Sagna, I’d pick Taye Taiwo. He’s done the job brilliantly at OM.

  63. Poodle, a) we have 2 sugar daddies. One of which is as tight ass as AW, the other richer than Abramovic’s, being rejected by the board, while he does offer money, and understands we NEED to invest to insure trophies and insure future coming sponsoring deals.
    b) it is the board’s choice to act that way. Do we have to spend £50m on a player like Chelsea on Torres? No, but money was there. The board just prefers to repay the debt quicker.
    c) what has happened to Henry, Adebayor and Hleb’s money?
    d) last year Wenger could have spent £47m if he wanted. And actually, just check how much coat Kosielny and Squillaci, and ask yourself if we couldn’t have bought just one as good as Vermaelen instead
    e) why do we need 15 youngsters out on loan? Just to ensure 8 HG players at all time? Well. If you have 17 first class players, you can put any youngsters in the 8 HG slots. But we don’t. How many youngsters did we buy in the last 3 years? 10-15?
    f) Wenger this year has officially £35m to spend, counting the money from CL and TV rights and the last £25m from building sales, that’s enough money.
    g) if Fabregas goes, what will you do with his transfer money?

  64. Chris,why are you bothering?
    Poodle @10:11.That is the difference between Arsenal and the rest.Class.Which is more than can be said for some fans.
    The problem with Gael is not his weaknesses it his perceived weaknesses.Because he is thought to be week he is targeted and because he is targeted he is busier than others and will make more mistakes, that’s maths not football.
    Dgob,again ,spot on.The playing style of the team has to be taken into account when weighing up relative merits of players
    Gael is an excellent player and a gentleman to boot.

  65. Dgob, I’m not saying IT IS THE ONLY REASON, I’m saying it is one of the factors. But it does affect anyone. And the main one is not winning trophies like everyone else, as in the end if they accepted to be part of that “adventure”, it was also in the hopes of actually getting trophies and this way get better money for the club and themselves. What I’m saying is that after 3 years without result, the board should have restructured the board, allowing Usmanov to give cash for shares and board presence, while it’s now 6 years.
    The players do not sign to qualify for CL, they want to win it.

  66. IvoryGoonz ,How the fuck do you know what Arsene had to spend last year and what he has this year?
    Let me answer for you .YOU FUCKING WELL DON’T.
    We all have opinions about football.that is why we come here.But only a real twat thinks he knows how to run the best run club in the world better than our manager and board.You are a self opinionated idiot.

  67. Dgob: care to explain what you mean about rate being offered? Seems to me you put that on his supposedly lower quality rather than the actual effect of not winning trophies for 6 years, not being able to offer better contracts to your good loyal employees, because of repetitive failures … Look, why do Barca offer not even £35m for Cesc when in current freak prices he’d be worth 50?
    He would play at Chelsea or Man U, they wouldn’t hesitate.

  68. @chrisgoona: my spelling? For a French born in ivory coast it’s not too bad I think, especially on a bloody iPhone. And no I didn’t google it. I actually speak a bit polish as well, and tend to like to know exactly how are spelled (or spelt, don’t know excuse my French) our players names.

  69. @chrisgoona: wow, actually finishing reading your last answer is just a revelation. You know what? Feel free to correct my mis-spelling. I realise you don’t even try to have a discussion, just putting words in others mouth and insult them. Very constructive. Just one thing; you shouldn’t rely on what happened a decade ago when Wenger still had the backbone of the previous team.
    Now give me the defense coach name? -> yeah I know Tom, it’s Stevie W.

  70. Jabba's delights

    GeorgeRoger

    Whilst i completely agree with what you said to Ivorygooner with regards to him not knowing transfer spend, your defence as to why teams target him and him makng more mistakes than others is paper thin. They target him as they know he is more prone to to make error’s it plain and simple. He is a good player and a gentelman but good is definetly something we can look to upgrade if the right player comes along.

    Ivory different positions warrent different pay scale. Full backs across the board not named Maicon or Daniel Alves often get payed less. Its the same covering every sport. Some positions warrent higher pay scales

  71. Jabba, you are right .I did mean to add that the reason for his perceived weakness should be found.
    But as I clearly think Gael is a better player than you do ,then we will have to agree to disagree.As that is pure opinion and yours is just as valid as mine.

  72. A poll would do nicely to settle what fans think of Clichy for his overall contributions to the team since he replaced Cashley. I would vote: let him go.

  73. Good morning Luke,
    I vote keep him.

  74. Man is there a full moon or something today you guys are all very fractious. Relax dudes we still support the best club in the world!

  75. @George; did I say I would be better at managing arsenal than wenger in the current conditions? -> NO.
    Keep your toys in your pants and stop insulting without even knowing.
    @jabba: fair point, was gonna mention that actually, taken into account, but I still can’t see why him and Sagna can’t be given 70k considering the rest. Sure Spain and some other countries have advantages on taxes that makes it more advantageous and let them offer bigger salary there, but just comparing Evra-Cole-Clichy, there’s still something not quite right.

  76. definitely keep Clichy.

  77. IvoryGoonz.
    We are not Man U or Chelsea so what they pay their players is not paramount.
    By telling us what the manager and board should do then ,yes by implication, you are saying that you would do better,

  78. By the way”,Keep your toys in your pants ” makes no sense at all.

  79. Good morning George. I like Clichy as a person and rate him as a player. I like his speed when he overlaps. One of his best moments was the pass to van Persie to score the goal against Barcelona at this year’s UCL competition at the Emirates. However, it is his high profile defensive errors in key games that is against keeping him.

  80. Jabba's delights

    If someone who offers either more attacking threat or more defensive dicipline becomes available at the right price i think we should let him go. Loyal servant and good player he has been we either need more attacking bite from the position or more defensive strength preferably both but they hard to come by.

    Hopefully there will be some movement on the Samba and Gervinho situations this week. Barcelona attacking threat with Sanchez as well next season is scary

  81. George: Wenger and the board make a choice of refusing Usmanov’s money. I can see the class and all in that, but I also see foolishness and unfairness towards Usmanov and believe they could meet half way.
    Keep your toys was directed to chris, my bad, cut the @name when putting no in caps…

  82. Rule out Samba…Rovers want £12m.

  83. @ivygoons, you are wrong, we do not have two sugardaddys. We got two buisness men, they did not invest in Arsenal to fulfill their own wet dreams, they invested in arsenal cos they see a huge potential to earn money with the club. But yes it will be in their interest that the club does as well as possible as success brings more fans that buy more merchandice and in the end fill the owners pockets.

    However do not cofuse buisness with passion. Its pure buisness, that is all.

  84. Chelsea have a new boss.

  85. @poodle: they are both sugar daddy in the sense they CAN invest. Not that they both WOULD.
    Kroenke is a business man first, I agree, but Usmanov was willing to invest more money and valued the shares much higher than Kroenke. you seem to also forget his offer to inject cash, and erase the debt which eventually does not happen because of the board.
    And all would have been good for Arsenal finances and would let us attract anyone. But I guess we’ll just have to wait 5 more years that the debt is fully repaid.

  86. A red and white rag to the chintzy porcelain bulldogs.

    Says here in Mike Basset’s Guide to Football Immortality that AFC need a LB who can head the ball and ‘get it in the mixer’. Bit like Danny Rose then.

  87. Agree Poodle, we certainly do not have any suger daddy. far from it, maybe Usmonov would like to be one if he could take over but do we really want to be led by a sugar daddy?

    I know one point that might please some fans is that Roman hardly ever puts up ticket prices and does not seem to fleece the fans so i have been told by Chelsea supporters.

  88. “It was a perfectly timed challenge except the usual incompetence from Mike Dean meant he and Arsenal were punished.” – That’s what I call classical Yogi!

  89. Im glad they didnt get Guus. this guy is still a risk.

  90. I would like us to keep Clichy and let him and Gibbs compete for the LB spot next season. There seems little value in replacing players for the sake of it, with others who are not proven to be any better. Mind you, how do you prove one left back is better than any other, its mainly down to opinion isn’t it. In that case, I think the manager should decide.

  91. IvoryGoonz

    You can gloss yourself up as much as you like my friend, you are just embarrassing yourself putting points across without the desire to justify them. Anyway, leave it as that, I quite clearly justified my comments and answered all your biased ant-Wenger comments. I shouldn’t have tried to engage in a discussion with someone who can’t accept they are wrong and has clearly been left shattered and disappointed after Wenger didn’t deliver the trophy YOU demanded.You may want to check your 4 POINTS carefully as you are clearly in the wrong. Although, a few more of the anti-Wenger brigade will possibly try to justify your comments.

  92. Clichy a bad player? Tell that to the crows. Good is not even enough to describe him, I’ll call him a great player. Without a shadow of doubt. What we fail to realize is that systems and the players around a particular person, determines how good the person looks. Eboue and Senderos were part of the meanest defence in Champions League history, yet today Eboue sits on the bench watching Sagna as if he is an apprentice. What went wrong? No impossing Lehmann to keep him on his toes, no Kolo and Campbell to define the line, no proper defensive midfielders to help when he surges forward. That Clichy isn’t performing well is because the standards have drastically dropped at Arsenal, no thanks to Mr. Wenger. Even Vermaelen looked ordinary against Messi at Nou camp last year. Why? He was playing alongside Silvester…and Denilson was the defensive midfielder covering them. What an injustice. Does that now make Vermaelen a bad player. NO. What we are so quick to remember are his frailties, not his dashing runs a la against Barcelona which set Van P up for the equalizer. His crosses are not pathetic as many assume, I even dare say tey are better than Sagna’s who just decides when to cross without caring a hoot whether or not he has a fellow player in the box. Of course his shooting is shit, but that is not a big problem so long he has the basic ingredients to be a great player. The coach should be blamed. Shooting practices helps some players (which Clichy needs), som players need to be spoken to (eg Eboue and Diaby), but all can be changed by a coach who knows his onions. I watched as Mourinho changed Joe Cole from a ball juggler/entertainer which he was in West Ham to a quality player that plays for the team. What is our Coach doing? If he buys players that will convert the hard work of the midfielders and attackers into goals then people like Clichy will play better. I saw Wilshere’s shoulder drop when Bendtner missed that sitter at the final minute in Camp Nou. That wasn’t a chance missed, it was the other players’ hardwork kicked off like the proverbial bath water. Get a keeper who commands his territory well, not a toddler that should be sitting and learning. Everytime Schezny gets chipped because he never stays inside the six-yard box, that is a belabouring frustration subconsciously getting to people like Clichy who later just wont be able to say why they switched off when they did because of the ills around them. Let the coach kick out the deadwoods that are not Arsenal Standard: Djourou, Bendtner, Denilson, Squillaci, etc, bring a few good hands in, talk to players that need to be spoken to, do extra work on players with obvious shortcomings, and then we will get to see how good people like Clichy, Vela, Eboue and Diaby, whom we often castigate, really are. But if we refuse to do the right thing, the departure of people like Clichy will only be mourned after they are gone.

  93. @Ivygooner its well documented that Uzmanov is a crock that build his empire on lies, blackmailing and general human misery. i think that is one of the main reasons alot of people are sceptical to him(and why he deserves the treatment he gets).
    I think i would have had problems both morally and ethically with supporting a club that is funded by blood money, would you not? Which is why i would also have problems with us being taken over by a Sheik from Saudi, when you know how the Saudi regime systematically supress their population and have very strict rules towards women etc. How can you support a owner that either A) stands for a totalitarian way of governance or B) is from a country so corrupt foregin investors are advised to stay out?
    I dont want the money i use on Arsenal to be funding the Saudi regime or to fill Uzmanovs corrupt pockets.

    Is Kroenk any better? Probably not by much but for me he is the lesser evil of those portrayed above…

    I know trophies are important but im dont want to sacrifice my moral belifes on the altar of cups. And i am really glad i was never put in a position where i would have to make that choice cos i imagin it would be very hard.

  94. mattyboy8888

    I agree, it ultimately does come down to a matter of opinion. Some have come onto the site and slated Clichy by highlighting 3 or 4 moments from over the course of his whole Arsenal career. If that was the case Cesc would have been allowed to leave on a free after the 2nd leg against Barca where he gave the ball away very cheaply. That was as shocking a mistake as any Arsenal player has made in recent seasons. All depends on how fans want to put a spin on events to portray a player. Going by statistics and what I see on the field, Clichy is a class act but has been caught on a few occasions because of our system. You can blame him for being caught out of position but he is only fulfilling orders by advancing so high up the pitch. Maybe we should work on not losing the ball so much in areas where teams can expose us??? Maybe that will bear more fruit that shipping out 1 of our most experienced players who has the best stamina, provides us with great speed down the left, has the highest interceptions in the league etc etc..

    I hope Wenger gets him to sign on. It will be a huge blow to lose him. No matter how much shite fans spout online it won’t change MY opinion of him.

  95. Jabba's delights

    DukeG

    The worry is for Arsene if he is going to rule out Samba as he is 12m is that he wont be able to achieve his stated aim of finding a cb who is either english or has prem experience. Cahill will cost northwards of that even that Dann charachter is rumored to cost north of 12m Whilst its only a rumor that we wont go that high if its true one again our penny pinching could cost us.

  96. ‘A red and white rag to the chintzy porcelain bulldogs’. – Hahaha. A wordsmith within our ranks? Very nicely put finsbury. Humorous, but with a subtle nod towards the laughably, agenda led element that so often frquent this site. I like it.

  97. poodle

    I cant see how any true supporter can want that crook anywhere near our club. Kroenke wants to earn a profit of course as well, there is no harm in that but at least he won’t burn our club to the ground doing so. He has a history in building clubs which is fine by me, plus the board seem to approve of him.

    As the stadium poses less of a burden to our financial situation, maybe we can invest a bit more back into the playing and coaching staff. This transfer window we are looking like we can compete a bit better, maybe we can get a few experienced players to help with our push for trophies. For sure we will be challenging, some teams (even Citeh) cannot guarantee that. I think the hard work our club has put in over the last 5 or so years will soon pay off. With new rules coming into play I can see a fair few teams struggling to generate the quality players Arsenal continually brings through our system. Then theres the matter of integrating them into the clubs style of play. Maybe the other Premiership teams will find that easier as they have NO style of play! Well unless it involves a towel and a specially trained ball boy.

    It is frustrating not having won anything over this period, I don’t think Wenger anticipated that because we had the quality to do so. Anywhere trophies aside the club is looking in good shape on and off the field.

  98. Jabba

    Cahill isn’t even a starter for England, going by how well England do you cannot justify that valuation. I don’t watch Bolton much, but i trust the Arsenal scouting team to decide on which player will suit our system. If Cahill is a good fit then next step is to decide whether we can afford it. If we can’t what is the worth in bitching about it. It is not ‘penny pinching’ as you like to describe it, it is paying what a player is worth. We have invested a lot of money to get the club to where it is today, we have the best stadium, the best pitch, and have a footballing philosophy which is recognized all over the world. You don’t think this costs money to maintain ???

    I would like to give you Cahill’s market value but as I said I haven’t seen him much. Being an International with a few caps, playing for a team that finished 14th and conceded 56 goals.. how he can be valued over 15m sounds a bit of a rip off to me like the rest of the Premiership based English players. I don’t blame Wenger for building his own team and producing BETTER English players, and buying from abroad.

  99. chrisgoona @12:05 – I agree entirely.

    Additionally, If you take Leighton Baines as example, (a player who I regard highly by the way). How many seasons has he performed at the highest level? And does that warrant a multi Million pound transfer fee? If he makes a few mistakes next season, does that mean he is shit? My point is that I have seen enough of Clichy to know that he is capable of performing well on a consistant basis. Only the Manager can make any meaningful judement on whether anyone else is capable of doing better anyway.

  100. Jabba's delights

    ChrisGoona

    Wenger has stated that we need either and English cb or one with Prem experience. We know it costs a premium to buy from other prem clubs. If the market is expensive its still the market im afraid mate. Wenger has stated we need these type of defenders so if we need them we had better go out and get them. Our defence was pretty horrifc last year but it didnt stop us spending 8-10m on Kosicellny who had one years experience in the french league for a team that conceded 42 goals. I would suggest its less of a risk spending a bit more on a guy who you know can handle the hustle and bustle of the league especially so when we lack someone who can manage the hustle and bustle of the league. our scouting departement hasnt exactly covered itself in glory with cb’s. Go out and buy the players needed. If Samba costs 12m thats what he costs.

    We dont seem to have any trouble fronting up money for the Walcotts or Oxlade chamberlains of this world. This summer needs to be different to previous ones, plain and simple. If our move to the emirates 5 years ago still doesnt enable us to correct our weakneses we are in trouble.

  101. mattyboy8888

    He always seemed committed to Arsenal, as much as any player, so that makes it an even bigger blow if he does want out. It will be interested to see what sort of player Wenger brings in if he does sell him. Bringing in a more conservative LB may change the dynamic of our team in open play – the overlapping runs, counter attacks etc… Then again it may prove beneficial over the course of the season if we added height to combat set-pieces. We will see, my ideal candidate would be a clone of Sagna with a left foot!

  102. Jabba

    If we got the money then I really hope we go attain the players. IMO all we need is 1 CB as we already have 3 who are pretty good – Vermaelen, Kos, Djourou. Squillaci is ok as well for cover, an improvement on Silvestre anyway! You can’t expect much from your 4th choice CB. A bit of Premiership experience and someone who can deal with the hustle and bustle of the Premiership will be ideal.

    Lets be patient and see who we bring in, Wenger may see what we need from abroad and not bother if Bolton or Blackburn try hold out for more money.

  103. Clichy’s silence can be seen as respectful and can also be seen as a man who is not using the the media to up his wages. it appears he simply wants to go for reasons we don’t know. He is a real pro my only criticism of him is not his tackling but he had a habit of getting caught in two minds with the offside trap specially this season we played a very high line relaying on the off side trap and he got caught on many occasion while Kolcieny was brilliant at it, very rarely get caught.

  104. Hasn’t renewed his contract… yet. I think he’ll sign. Where else would he want to be?

    We won’t buy another CB. I’m not even convinced we need to.

  105. @chris: On the four points, I’m talking since the last trophy. Not only last season. Some players get injured more often than others, like was Senderos, and Djourou, or Diaby, and you don’t look at only one player on one season to judge his ability to PL needs and we should look at offloading them to bring fresher/ more competitive options. That’s my opinion. And no I’m not anti Wenger or anti Kroenke, shouldn’t mix politics and football, it’s up to governments to fix what is unfair. I’m not saying let Usmanov take over, but at least give him a voice on the board. And I wasn’t there to know how he earned his money. Until proven guilty, you cant just judge him on your own. Can only blame our governments and FIFA for not being strong and honest enough. But until proven guilty, he’s innocent.
    On RVP, even with his injury problem, he makes up for it twice when he’s playing. Why would you want toget rid of him?
    Running 4 trophies at the same time is also unrealistic unless you have 2 class players for each position.
    Vermaelen should be the leader, but he won’t truly embrace it until you give him the captaincy, and if you threaten his role with Squillaci and Koscielny at start of the season, he will get injured. Many players then try to overdo and too much competition can bring these injuries.
    And I still can’t understand how Vermaelen had 6 relapses. So yes, there are plenty of things that can be done better, improved, and who said I talked about a crisis? Wait that we drop of the CL, then you will have it, but until this happen, I will not ask Wenger out. I’m only asking for improvements everywhere. Not saying I’d do a better job. I’m better at data analysis anyway.

  106. I like Clichy, and I think he is a good left back. That said, it is an area of the pitch where we are a bit light with quality in depth. If we can upgrade there, we should do.

  107. @chris: and on Szcsesny: he might be good but I don’t see him ever reach Casillas’s level. If Mannone didn’t have that much competition with young Italian keepers, he’d have had a better chance, despite the blunders, he’d be the one to use, but still none of them will reach David De Gea or Lloris level. I love Poland, but you won’t make me hope for a miracle that they become competitive at European/international level, and that is needed to build a world class keeper. There are few exceptions to that “rule”, yes, but I have seen too many times a big uncertainty in Szczesny’s eyes as to punch it, or trust Vermaelen, or Kosc. Until Vermaelen IS the leader, he will have this uncertainty.
    Heaven, could have got Friedel on a free, not obligatory “world class”, but not far from it at low cost.
    Besides, when he will be played all the time instead of Almunia and Fabianski, and that he will do the blunders other did, statistically you might review your judgment in a year and be the one to ask or an experience keeper at international level. Skywalker, as good as he wad destined to be, would never have reached his potential without a practicing Master Jedi such as Yoda.
    You can’t just leave the kids on their own and hope for the best.
    I’ve seen uncertainty in his look too many times.
    And for the “need bigger height than clichy for set pieces”, If our central midfield and wingers were taller, or our DM quicker, we wouldn’t need it.

  108. Reading this blog pleased me. Clichy has always been one of my favourite players, even with his decline in performance in the past two seasons (although he is by no means a poor footballer). he’s always carried himself well on and off the pitch and when playing for us, even if not doing well, played with admirably fierce commitment and intensity. If he does go then I shall miss him quite a bit.

  109. I think Clichy probably feels he has gone as far as he can with Arsenal and as YW says, he is looking for a change and pastures new.
    I respect Gael both as a player and a person, but he hasn’t really developed as he and the club would have wanted. He may be a French international, but his is third choice behind Abidal and Evra and he is probably not happy with this.
    I certainly don’t blame him for the Birmingham debacle and he has been a good servant to the club, but it is probably time for him to move on.

  110. For the figures, I can give you a good idea of last year’s finances:
    Check the swissramble.bloodspot.com, they made a nice piece

  111. ThebigM: only reason he’s behind Evra and Abidal is trophies and are a little older. Give him just one trophy and Blanc will give him his chance.

  112. Right, I’m off. Good day gunners, may the force be with us, and Clichy stay and outshine every other LB.

  113. Do you guys think that Aly Cissokho would be a better replacement for Clichy than Baines or Enrique?

  114. For me, a player’s trending performance – development is all that counts. The past season, Clichy showed maturity and gave memorable performances. To bring up specific miscues going back 2-3 seasons is out of context.

    Clichy had a much better season than Evra or A. Cole.

    Yes, Clichy has faults, but this past season HE WAS NOT AT THE HEART OF OUR PROBLEMS.

    Few Arsenal fans want to discuss what happened (after December) to the lack of contribution from Theo, Nasri, and Arshavin (and a drop in production from Cesc) These three (or four) saw endless minutes on the pitch and when the club needed scoring it was only RvP that delivered.

    Then there was the managers decision to ‘sit’ Chamakh during December – March, at at time when the club got little production from Theo, Nasri, and Arshavin. No one can deny that Chamakh stepped into the line up in August and was a major contributor to our early season success. Don’t make the argument that Chamakh and RvP can’t work together.

    And yes, we lost Flamini and Hleb due to the club’s frugal wage structure. They did not leave for the same reason(s) we saw Ade, Toure, or Gallas.

    It is refreshing to see the club avoiding the foolish spending as Henderson $20m GBP and Jones $16-17m.

  115. i always like cliche, he is not as good as he was a few seasons ago. If we are to improve then get someone better (obviouse) but not bains, not good enough, simple as. Cahill is ok as a second string in my Arsenal teram, same goes for Johanne, not mobile enough, poor passing in major games last year which went ary too often, gaels mistakes , too many too often. Shame to see him go if its true though as i said like him but this is buisness i spose. havingn said that, who is available, dont say bains he is not good enough to be the next best team in the worlds left back, now is he .Good luck gael.

  116. Miami Arsenal

    I like debate, lets not get all personal.

    The fact is as stated that Clichy has decided his future is away from the Grove and it is his right to exercise that and take his wares elsewhere. I think we are all kidding ourselves if we do not think Clichy has been good for Arsenal, albeit with declining performances from those he is/was better known for. I cannot see the value in getting Baines. I understand he is premiership ready but he not the ball player that our system uses going forward. The latter point is all important, we cannot end up being a team that always counters from one side of the pitch thus we want a Clichy mould type of player.

    I still cannot believe that people are ready to dig their heels in to the neck of Usmanov. Yes, his past is a little shadowy compared to Western businessman but is he any different from Roman? I remember when Roman appeared on the scene, everyone was frustrated at the money he threw around like confetti. Whether we are or were frustrated with the toy things in the premiership the reality is that those toy things did better than Arsenal this year. I have read and listened to people gripe about all manner of issues this season, found myself at times doing the same, it is was passion for something you love can evoke. But lets not be churish in our frustrations, Roman may not have been good for Arsenal but he has done wonders for Chelsea. I thought he would get bored, maybe he still will but at this point in game he seems committed to Chelsea and there is no evidence that Usmanov would not be the same.

    I am not sure whether personally I prefer to keep the house oin order as is or indeed rock the boat a little. I can tell you that Kroenke is not about to invest heavily in Arsenal, sorry, it isn’t his way. I cannot same the same under Usmanov, but I do know that under either the principles in place concerning the running of the business will stay the same because it is a strong business model. We accept that, hell, the country and most of the footballing world accept that Arsenal is a very well run Football Club but it has lacked investment on the player side to match the ambitions of teams around us fighting for the title each year.

  117. Ouch, just read Botelho might go again on loan… So that’s one option less. Traore being more of an attacking winger, that is now short in cover… Unless Wenger pays the 12m for Samba, we will either need to use Vermaelen there and bring another CB, and a LB for cover, (in that case I’d go Vertonghen and Cheikh M’Bengue from Toulouse).
    If we keep Clichy but don’t get Samba, we’ll still need a cover LB option better than Gibbs and I’d still go for m’Bengue. (ideally I’d say Alex Sandro but Wenger wouldn’t spend £12-15m for a young Brazilian, as good as he might be…)

  118. The likes of Man City and Chelsea have completely changed the scale for transfer fees and the numbers being bandied around for players, particular English players, bares no comparison with the old levels. Suddenly the average price for a CB is £12m (or do I mean the price for an average CB), a defensive midfielder should cost in excess of £20m and a forward should be at least £30m. Even those teams taking their shopping trolley further afield are being quoted much higher prices for players than in previous seasons as everybody tries to maximise their returns before the gravy train stops.
    Unfortunately AW has had to announce that he is going shopping when prices are at their highest. Its a lot harder to pick up the bargain basement quality now and the squad seems to have enough inexperience already.

  119. I know i’m romantic, but might there not be benefit in letting Clichy leave for free next season, if it allows us to aggressively prepare (i.e heavy rotation) Gibbs or another as his replacement?

  120. Clichy should only leave if he does not want to stay at Arsenal and is looking for something fresh. I thought his 2010-11 season was better than 2009-10. While he is not up there with the best (Coles/Alves/Evra), he is certainly a good player – speed being his forte – who will be hard to replace. Gibbs has his share of injury problems. Clichy seems to be in the Alumina mould when it comes to decision making. Not seen enough of Baines and the Newcastle player to compare them with Clichy.

  121. One thing is for certain’ if we do sell him, there is no dounbt that we we need to buy to replace him. He is the best left back at the club, and to replace him from within the club would be a step backwards in this case.

  122. Yogi:

    Not sure why you think TV5 would not be a good LB? Every thing about him from his pace, incredible left leg, body type all scream LB. I think the chance that Gael is with us next year are slim. Our options will be very limited. No one has said Baines is for sale nor Enrique. Our other internal options are not great.

    I think Clichy has been an excellent servant for the club and I greatly respect how he has conducted himself and his agent this off season. It feels like he hit his high point in the first 26 games of the 07/08 season. He has been inconsistent since then and certainly not improved as one would expect from a young player. He struggles with positional sense which is critical to a player who has to get forward and someone who has so much responsibility in this attack at all costs system that we play. He is often the culprit when we screw up the off side trap. I suspect he will move to another club that has a bit more balance and become a much better LB. Time will tell.

    The fans and most importantly the players have been promised some player movement with the implication of significant signings this summer. Morale at an extremely low level. Now we hear that Samba and Cahill are both to expensive. If we go thru the summer and make a run at a few players and then end up with Jenkinson and Oxlade Chamberlin and may be some unknown defender because everyone else we tried to get was overpriced I fear the mental meltdown will only worsen with alot of unhappy players. The first priority was supposed to be Nasri’s contract. 1 month and nothing but scattered rumours in the press. This squad needs to be complete by the time training camp opens. I think RVP is suspended for the first game of the CL qualifier. The teams around us are strenghtening. We need to get off to a very strong start to help forget what happened last year. If we want to win next year we need to have a significant lead going into March and not be tied or a few points behind. Worrying times these are.

  123. Miami Arsenal

    Bill, I tend to agree that this year is a make or break for Arsene in a sense. The gloss is starting to fade with the trphy drought and though sublime football can entertain, trophies are what seasons are remembered by. The press on Arsene has to be considerable at this point, buying is no longer a luxury but a necessity to remain morale and put out notice that they are determined to compete.

  124. Worrying times? Perhaps. For the faint of heart, definate

  125. I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. I’m a little way removed as I’m from oop north, very grim. I feel this is one of the issues has completely bypassed me due to being seldom at the games. How is Clichy anything but a great player? Completely gutted if he leaves.

    I was reading the post then comments to catch up and once again Chrisgoona… great man. Voice of reason. Well said. Fans shouldn’t forget how advanced our semi-wingers play. Clichy and Sagna do some hard fookin work. It’s a sad day to me when either of them get a bad rap.

    If he leaves I for one will miss him.

  126. If Clichy does move on then how are we going to get someone like Baines? I doubt Everton really want to sell him. We will be desperate and they know it. How much do you think the “English premium” would be in his case? Somewhere north on 20M I would suspect.

  127. IF Clichy leaves, then I agree with Bill that should use VM at left back. There is the question of whether he has enough stamina, but the fact that he has played in that position before (with Ajax) answers that somewhat.
    As I said last week. I feel he has got every other attribute necessary for that position. We could also rotate him with Gibbs in the ‘easier’ games. Who knows, Gibbs might get an injury free run and make the position his own.

    In short, while I have much respect for Gael, I don’t feel our title chances will be significantly affected by him leaving, with the proviso that we buy at least one 1st choice CB.

  128. Defending Clichy,
    oh my god. I know he’s not bad as everyone thinks but still not good enough to be defended.I wopuld tell you a player to defend. Thats Koscielny. The guy has had a stellar first season and still he’s remembered only for that cup final mistake.
    I think Samba would be better than Cahill(despite the latter being better) as he’ll have to sit on the bench. No matter what, Kosc-TV will line up as first choice. Wenger bought Kosc to be TV’s long term partner and he has justified that this season.
    Why is the gervinho deal taking so much time.Why is its always like that?
    😦
    http://delhigunners.blogspot.com/2011/06/what-is-wrong-with-arsene.html

  129. Miami Arsenal

    Gadget, I don’t believe for one second I’m faint of heart. The truth is Arsenal have under achieved, the worrying trend is that it has continued year on year. The players must take some responsbility for their failures but then so must Arsene. I thought it was a big step for him to admit that maybe his plans were not going as well as he expected and that more investment in players older than 17 years was warranted.

    Yogi stated previously that Arsene is not a guy that buys early in the transfer window and I get that, but buying to late also makes us look weak. Whether we enjoy it or not ‘perception’ is what the papers are using to smack Arsenal with again and again.

  130. When TV5 played at left back with Ajax, her was an average player. Hence why so many were suprised when we signed him. Arsene saw a centre back in him and was right, hence he should play there. If Clichy is sold we must buy a replacement for him, it is as simple as that.

    TV5 is a centre back, who could probably “do a job” at left back. That is not good enough for us. It is like saying Ferdinand would be a good left back; good on the ball, fairly pacey, and a good tackler. But he is a centre back and a good one, hence he does not play at full back.

    We are too big a club to have somebody “make do” at left back. We should use whatever cash we get for Clichy (if he is sold), add some more to it and get another player in. Preferbly a very good one.

  131. What rubbish.

    90% of the time our offside trap fails, it’s because Clichy has played them onside.

    That is the reason no one will miss him.

  132. Andy:

    Given the relatively small amounts of money that we are being offered for Clichy perhaps we will keep him and hope he has a change of heart. Obviously we will lose him on the free if he does not resign. The other options are to pay a lot for a new LB which hurts because we use a a significant amount of our budget to go sideways, or move TV5 and bring in CB’s which are probably more plentiful and a bigger need. I disagree with you about TV5 being a makeshift LB. Tough choices.

  133. This is awful news, if true. I think we wil struggle to find anyone who is better right now.
    Without having seen any headlines, I came here to post this link:
    http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/12805

    “Let’s be clear about this; Clichy did not commit a foul in the final minute to concede the penalty which started that season’s collapse. It was a perfectly timed challenge except the usual incompetence from Mike Dean meant he and Arsenal were punished. For a crime they did not commit. And since then Clichy has been blamed for anything and everything. Looking at some of the criticism, it seems that Gael is the sole reason why Arsenal cannot defend.”
    Too bloody right.

    “Often Clichy is left doubled up on with no cover from his colleagues further up the pitch, either the wide man or the cm on that side have to get back quicker when we lose the ball.”
    Exactly. Sagna has always had better cover on his side.

    @ chrisgoona | June 20, 2011 at 8:41 am
    Fantastic comment. Well said all round.

    @ IvoryGoonz
    we pay the players as much as we can afford.

  134. Bill – Fair points. We will have to agree to disagree with TV I suppose. I am sure he would do a decent job, I just think he would be missed centrally (he is our best in that position) and we really deserve somebody who would do more than just a job on the flank.

    Where we do agree is in the hope that Clichy stays. Whilst he does had some serisou flawaws, genrally he is one of our more consistant performers, and our priorites lie elsewhere on the pitch.

  135. David Gordon – What a tool.

    In fact he is such a tool, that 90% of Arsenal players and fans would not want him at the Emirates. The fact that he is such a massive, massive tool is the reason no one will miss him… with their shite and mucus-filled grenades that is.

  136. Thanks for that link FG

  137. Enrique and Baines –
    their strengths are in the attack / both offer better offensive skills/options than Clichy (and Sagna). However, both would find their offensive strengths diminished with Arshavin in ahead on their flank……and even Clichy with his faults is a better defender than either Enrique and Baines.

    The team would be best served by trying to find a compromise on a new Clichy wage package and focus efforts to address all the rumblings about / from Nasri and Cesc.

  138. “The team would be best served by trying to find a compromise on a new Clichy wage package and focus efforts to address all the rumblings about / from Nasri and Cesc”

    Agreed.

    To all the haters – Check the article above posted by FG if you thought Clichy is rubbish.

  139. GA,
    Who considered him an ‘average’ left back at Ajax? I heard that view bandied about but it would be helpful to know why exactly he wasn’t doing well (if indeed those reports were true). Was it a lack of speed? Positional awareness? stamina?

    Lets look at what we do know. TV has the attributes required to excel at left back (unlike your Ferdinand example). Combine that with the fact that we may have a vacancy in that position, and the fact that there other positions that are arguably in more desperate need of strengthening, and you see it makes sense to consider TV. also keep in mind that we in Gibbs have a promising understudy for that position who is probably an injury free run away from claiming the slot.

    Given all the above, if Clichy leaves I would rotate TV and Gibbs at LB, with TV getting the games where defensive stability is paramount. In my opinion this is better than just ‘making do’ (so long as we get another good CB). Its hardly a step down from where we are at the moment and may actually be a improvement from a defensive POV.

  140. Andy:

    Perhaps the club will meet Clichy’s wage demands if the other options are not palatable and we get closer to the end of the window. Unfortunately from the minimal stuff we hear its not simply a wage issue like it seems to be with Nasri. The boss did not mention Clichy when he spoke about wanting to keep Nasri and Cesc, rumblings not good to this point.

  141. Jabba's delights

    Geo

    I havent seen many haters on here today mate, just quite alot of people who think we have a good left back but could have a better one.

    Defensivley his pace and fitness get him out of tight situations but he makes more individual error’s than a Sagna.

    Offensively in 7 years he has scored 2 goals and and got 10 assists in a team that gives more lisence for its full backs to attack than any other team bar 1 in europe.

    Good player and loyal servant but if we can upgrade at the right price we should look to do it.

  142. Cheers, Geo.
    ****
    Another very interesting one about the growing use of stats in football:
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/9471db52-97bb-11e0-9c37-00144feab49a.html#axzz1PiAQl6sX

    Couple of good bits:

    “The new nerds could point to so many obvious irrationalities in football, especially in the transfer market, so many areas where smart clubs could clean up. For instance: goalkeepers have longer careers than forwards, yet earn less and command much lower transfer fees. Clubs often sign large players but actually tend to use the smaller ones, having belatedly realised that they have overvalued size. And few clubs have asked themselves even basic questions such as: do they earn more points when certain players are on the field? “

    “Football’s shrewdest number-crunchers have always understood that data can only support a decision about a player. They cannot determine it. Biermann tells the story of how Wenger in 2004 was looking for an heir to Arsenal’s all-action midfielder Patrick Vieira. Wenger wanted a player who could cover lots of ground. He scanned the data from different European leagues and spotted an unknown teenager at Olympique Marseille named Mathieu Flamini, who was running 14km a game. Alone, that stat wasn’t enough. Did Flamini run in the right direction? Could he play football? Wenger went to look, established that he could, and signed him for peanuts.”

    It goes on to explain how the statisticians are distinguishing between the less and more useful types of data. Arsenal were at the forefront of this revolution but like the scouting system, the nutritional regime etc, it’s another area in which other clubs are catching on.

    Off topic, I know. But fascinating.

  143. Thanks for the link, FG, which led me to that FT article as well. Both definitely were interesting – Roy Hodgson was like Sam Allardyce before computers; he’s got a philosophy, loosely based on stats, that he developed in the 70s I think.

    I think www didn’t come back because he was stretching the truth a little.

    Once established in the first team, Vermaelen was principally a CB for Ajax. For the national team he’s been a left-back for about two-thirds of all matches since 2006 – from what I can work out. I watched a fair few Belgium games during his first year at Arsenal, and he was usually at centre-half, with Vertonghen at LB.

    Dgob makes an important point about systems – Belgium are quite a cautious side, and Vermaelen’s job for the national side is very different to the one he’d have as an Arsenal full-back.

    Maybe Vermaelen has the capacity to be conditioned to become an Arsenal-style full-back in preseason – not sure.

  144. It is a shame that we get an influx or people on here just to tell us how shite Clichy is. Let us all condemn Fabregas because he made a high profile mistake. His career is now truly tainted because he made a mistake. Get it people? I’m harvin a larf at you.

    I can understand the want for more attacking prowess out of our LB, but saying he sucks defensively is plain wrong. I have statistical proof that Clichy was the best defensive LB in the prem last year. Also to claim that Clichy knows nothing of the offside rule just shows how much your brain sucks. How could a footballer not understand the offside rule you wanks?

    Enough anger out of me for me. How are yall doin this monday?

  145. Miami, if one consistently underachieves, then the worry must surely be that one will never fulfill his potential. Is this a sentiment you share?

  146. Gael Clichy, Clichy!
    He’s better than Ash-er-ly!
    He should’ve been No.3!
    Gael Clichy, Clichy

  147. Sing it loud and proud, LA

  148. I wouldn’t be so sure that Clichy is in fact leaving until there is a clear and unequivocal statement by club or player. On the whole, left back is, for reasons not easy to dissect, a little different to right back, and something about the shape of attacks, and crosses, from left or right. There is, I am certain, an odd asymetry at work and it is not like for like. In any event, good left backs are not easy to find at the top levels of the game; and very occassionally good left backs are in fact right footed. I think Evra probably is the best I’ve seen in recent times, and a huge part of ManU successes. I would not favour Clichy leaving, and I doubt his replacement in the event will be better. It is a debatable point how he has contributed to the “perception” of defensive frailties since he doesn’t make as many mistakes as people might imagine. I personally think he gives opposing wingers and forwards too much room for comfort, and a lot more crosses seem to come from that side, but then he is extremely difficult to get past and the opposition frequently has to cross, hopefully, to keep the attack. In any event, it would be a very stupid conclusion to think that if Clichy goes Arsenal is somehow better off.

  149. If the boss decides not to use TV5 at left back under any circumstances then I hope we can keep Clichy. I agree with ZP that there probably are not any better left backs out there that we can actually bring to Arsenal, certainly not without destroying our transfer kitty. Spending a lot of money to go sideways is clearly not a good thing this summer.

  150. Here is a smooth jam to keep you goin through the day. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAJtmDQBvF8

  151. @fungunner: should check castrol rankings history as well… A player “losing”/”letting go” the ball in six yard box but putting it in touch or corner should at least not get a lost ball as is mostly the only thing to do in desperate situations. Stats are dangerous. You have to consider the impact of each player on his surrounding partners and accept that you will get flukes as well.
    But as it says, data alone is not enough unless you know what you are looking for.
    Good article in all.

  152. Typical…

    Mancienne, says they would have won with Wilshere. Of course idiot, but he is so good to play for under 21. There should be somebody else to take his place, I thought that was Psycho’s job to find the alternative or work on one?

  153. Great blog. Chelsea gets a new coach and no one bothers to name him here. We are the Arsenal!

  154. @ YW interesting post. I concur that TV should not be used out left. I do not understand why you think that with Traore and Gibbs awaiting their chance “the depth is thin for this position.” I think Clichy is a good defender and I would be pleased if he stayed, though my anecdotal observation is that he needs to concentrate more to keep in line when operating an offside trap. He catches uncalled-for flak from some of the “support” because his side is more exposed/has less cover, but at the same time when you say that with regards to being inconsistent Clichy is “no more so than any other defender” my first thought was that Sagna outshines all our other defenders in terms of consistency.

    @ FunGunner | June 20, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    Thank you. That was a great link, Kuper does sperlative work as usual.

    @ Miami Arsenal | June 20, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Who gives a f#*$ what the tabloids say? Do you think for yourself or let hit-hungry corporate “journalists” who spend their day making up rumors worry you? You only have cause to be worried if you buy into the absurd media narrative that there is a problem at Arsenal. Your contention that they have underachieved is mostly BS – the primary factor in winning league trophies is money, and in terms of spending to wins Arsenal have overachieved. Arsenal have an excellent squad, the wherewithal to make it better, and a sustainable model for future growth. They’re playing the long game when everyone else is hamstringing themselves with short-termism. Whining negativism about how it’s *so horrible* that they haven’t won anything for 6 years is abysmally stupid, the product of absurd expectations. I grew up a Bulls fan while they won double-threepeats, but I never *expected* them to win. I was happy if they did, and still a supporter if they didn’t not like this “oh, let’s fire the coach because we went out in the quarterfinals” garbage you hear from supposed Arsenal “fans”. Show some heart.

  155. The first comments on Gael have really upset me. His a player and man I’ve allot of time for, the disloyalty that some supporters have show towards him is terrible. His won two medals with AFC more than anyone in the squad. Trully the last of the invincibles.

    Yogis comments on the way Gael has conducted himself over his decision to leave has also been swept under the carpet. Gael has done what we as fans always cry out for when a player decides to leave. His conducted all his business in house and has keep quiet throughout. Yet, all his gotten is “get lost Clichy you crap anyway” absolutely shameful.

    I for one will be very sad to see him leave. A fantastic guy and a honourable servant of this great club. Good luck Gael Clichy.

  156. didnt gael cross the ball for robins goal against barca? yes he did, if you look back on every game gael played in, you will see hes a great player, i dont want him to leave arsenal, this is where he belongs, hes been an absolute asset to arsenal, hope he continues to be.

  157. Also has everyone forgotten about Armand Traore who is alway on loan with Juventus? He can play LB. In a recent interview with the AFC mag his said his defensive side has improved considerably. Offensive he has a great cross on him, can beat a man and has fantastic pace. His a Gooner too.

  158. I have not forgot about him Maria. Personally I haven’t really heard much about his success or failure at Juventus. I guess the fact that he got loaned to Juve rather than a Cardiff City or Huddersfield means he is doing comparably well. It will be interesting to see if Arsene keeps him around the squad for this upcoming campaign.

  159. Why is everyone assuming Clichy is leaving? Where is the proof for this rumour that seems to have spiralled out of control?

  160. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Gael Clichy is a fantastic player it’s too bad our support is so fucking shite. As they say here in America too many chiefs and not enough indians amongst our Internet support. Although “too many chefs ruin the soup” is probably more fitting for our supporters with him being French and all. Food and football mmmm two of my favorite French pastimes.

  161. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    What a star you are, Josef. Proper Arsenal. Keep up the good work.

  162. Nice Article – I’ll certainly miss Clichy the man as he’s always conducted himself in a top notch manner and for effort alone he cannot be questioned,
    Personally I think it’s a tricky place for any player to play for the club as it’s probably the one position we’ve been most blessed over the past 25 years – Put it this way Gael carnt hold a candle to Sansom Winterburm Cole etc
    so his weaknesses are more easily noticed saying all that there aRe better left backs playing for sides below us in my view so we should look to improve that position.

  163. wankers on duty.you know who you are.

    josef. right on.

    Arsenal.

  164. Bradys right foot

    Gaels stats in comparison with Enriques, Coles and Baines with some great analysis.

    http://www.anfieldindex.com/2685/liverpool-fc-transfer-scouting-stats-left-backs.html

  165. Bradys right foot

    If you read the above and think we should let him go your a braver man than me.

  166. I wonder why United after having signed up Smalling and Jones now also want to sign that french kid Varen is it? And im thinking if i was Varen and knew United had already signed up Smalling and Jones what would be the point for me to go there? After all this kid would be nop 5 in the line most likley..

  167. And what els do you expect from the “splash the cash” fans Maria? its not about how good the player is, its about how good his rep is in the papers. That is all that counts nowadays. The sun and the mirror is always right. did you not know?

  168. Brady

    Those are really interesting stats, I had a brief look when they 1st appeared, but took my time this time!

    Anyone who thinks Clichy isnt a good defender, needs to readup. We knew his attacking skills werent that great and that is also bourne out in the article. But you really want your defenders defending 1st and foremost for me.
    Although I do think Gael is.leaving, I hope the club try as hard as are with others to hold onto him.

  169. Chippy

    Check that Liverpool article mate. I think you’ll be surprised.

  170. BRF,Dexter
    Was a good article and in some aspects it was very surprising but it also fails to take into account things such as playing attackers onside tackles having to be made through bad positioning etc etc, I’ve never been a big believer in stats as they can be manipulated to suit –

    Let me ask you this question if you could have the choice of Cole Evra or Clichy for the left back spot what order would you go, According to that you’d take clichy over the other two where as most would take him last,

    Not having a dig at Clichy as I think there are more urgent areas needing to be adressed and if he was to stay it wouldn’t exactly be bad news at all but I do think it’s a position that can be filled easier than some others if that makes sense at this late hour 🙂

    And besides who in there right minds trusts scousers especially when it comes to Reading and figures lol Sorry couldn’t resist 😉

  171. I don’t think he’s going anywhere, Passenal. I think it’s a shitstorm about fuck all.

  172. Clichy is a good player, but (insert media inspired rubbish). Some of you are bland and unoriginal.

  173. @Chippy thats just stupid to ask if you could choose between cole Clichy and Evra cos we cant. The two first ones are CLEARLY out of range. You got to find potential LBs to compare Clichy with like if you compare Clichy that dude from Newcastle and Baines, who would you prefare. Cos that is the reality. Cole and Evra are not options for us.

  174. I for one will be VERY SAD to see Gael Clichy leave Arsenal.
    Yes he’s made some costly mistakes but so have others. He’s been such a mainstay of our team and I’ll be crushed to see him go.
    I really believe if our CB positions had been better manned he wouldn’t have become so error-prone.
    I hope he decides to stay the course. Things must get better!
    I like Gibbs but he is definitely not yet up to being a regular. Strikes me more as a winger than a defender really.

  175. As Gooners, we tend to over analyse the performances of our own players 1000 times more than other teams’ players.

    Therefore every mistake one of ours makes is far more at the forefront of our minds compared to the likes of Evra and cashley. 2 seasons ago I would have taken cashley every time, not ay more, Evra has always been solid, but so has the entire United defence, not to mention the unparalleled leniancy of theofficals too! 😀

    I think Clichy’s overall performance levels have dipped a bit compared to previous seasons, but he is still loadsbetter than LBs such as baines, Enrique et al. I wouldnt be too arsed if we just let him run his contract down, we got him forpeanuts and he has been a great servant.

  176. PAY CLICHY MORE MONEY..He’s earned it!!!!!!!!!!

  177. Dexter,
    Agree on Enrique from what I’ve seen wouldn’t appear to be any real improvement – Baines I’m not so sure I think the lads seriously talented and could go alot further under Wenger but on the downside he won’t be available due to a silly price being put on his head.

    Poodle, I know that but was pointing out the weakness in that Liverpool scouting report,

  178. “I don’t think he’s going anywhere, Passenal. I think it’s a shitstorm about fuck all”

    Women are accused of being gossips, but I’ve never come across worse gossips than those (mostly male) twats on Twitter! I think that is where this nonsense originated and now it has become received wisdom. Until I see confirmation on Arsenal.com, it has no more substance than any of the other crap out there.

  179. Bradys right foot

    Chippy | June 20, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Totally agree m8, you can’t purely look at stats in isolation that would render them meaningless. The Liverpool guy does a good job in comparing the player. However one of the most critical factors in assessing a full back is not considered, that is the cover he’s given by in this case the left sided player their playing behind. I have no doubt that Clichy gets less cover than the other three playing behind Arshavin. I also have no doubt that Clichy has more actual defending because of the tactics the team as a unit employ. Gaels most glaring weakness is playing offside, with our high line its cost us three times this year but when you put that next to the number of successful interceptions hes made especially compared to the other three the good almost certainly outweighs the bad. Could he play offside better yes, but as a left back he is at least as good if not better than the other three.

  180. I like clichy. However l hate it when he takes a throw in. its always down the line and becomes 50-50 whether we keep it or not. Why has no one in the coaching staff told him to stop doing this.

  181. Why if he isn’t leaving or thinking about it hasn’t he signed a contract? Players who want stay usually do it two years before their current contract runs out. Gael has been doing this previously too.

    Thinking that he may leave isn’t outlandish IMO

  182. I cannot believe some of the absolute rubbish that some people are spouting on here about Gael.
    Every player makes a couple of high profile gaffes in their career and Clichy is no exception to the rule. Did the same people call for Cesc’s head after the 2nd leg performance against Barca??

    Clichy is a top player with an extremely strong defensive record. He occupies one of the most difficult positions in our Arsenal setup, which is incredibly demanding on his fitness and pace. Sure he may play people onside every now and again, but that is to be expected playing teams with world class forwards who have extremely clever movement in springing the offside trap, particularly with the high line we hold – it is foolish to think that it won’t be breached at least once during a match!

    I would be extremely disappointed to see Gael go, he’s been an excellent servant to the club. It seems that some of our “fans” just want to run him out of the club, and replace him with inferior players such as Botelho (who is very young and hasn’t set the world on fire in the Spanish league), Traore (who received massive criticism in many previous performances for both us, juventus and Pompey) and finally Gibbs – who again is still very raw and hasn’t been able to string more than a few games together due to reoccurring injuries.

    It seems that many fans have a completely unwarranted opinion of Clichy. Those people really should go jump.

  183. “Bradys right foot”, interesting read about the EPL left backs. Certainly goes to show that Clichy is one of the best out there and will be hard to replace. Going by the stats, he certainly is a busy player. The stats also show that no one is a great all rounder. Evra is stronger on the ball, whereas Clichy is faster. Cole is living on reputation and the odd crucial assist.

  184. IvoryGoonz @ 10:55am,

    Firstly, apologies for the delayed response but employment issues took me away.

    Anyway, in answer to your question, my point about the “alleged” amounts that have thus far been offered for Gael relates to the accuracy of the club’s estimations: at least in line with my original point that their (again, assumed!) offer was always going to have to take into account market valuation.

  185. OOU @ 4:28pm,

    Thanks for the clarification. It does seem that www was not after the truth so much as to impose an opinion in order to establish an agenda: albeit a potentially ill-founded one!

  186. It’s luducruous to bring up Fabrega’s mistake to compare to Clichy. In the past 3-4 years I can only really think of 1 or 2 real defensive mistakes that Fabregas has made – and he does put in a shift defensively unlike other playmakers.

    In contrast Clichy is only consistent in that EVERY time we are late in a tough game tied or holding a close lead he is CLEARLY brain-farting, nervous and looking likely to deliver a catastophic mistake. Often he does, and sometimes it costs us. Most of these mistakes are avoidable as these are the same situations in which Sagna would dispense with decorum and hooof the ball out of the danger zone, as that is preferable to losing the ball there and then.

    If we were talking about Gibbs or Traore, okay. But Clichy is the longest standing player on the team and yet he is not the finished article after 8 years. Sorry but the cord needs to be cut. An offensively agressive team like Arsenal cannot give a starting jersey to a quesitonable defenders just for sentimentality’s sake. Where is Del Horno or Paolo Ferreira or O’Shea or WesBrown today? Gone from the line up and/or the club? Yep – because clubs who want to win need WINNERS at every position, not least the back line.

    Case close on Clichy. Let him be someone elses problem.

  187. No, we love our Clichy. Arms of true supporters and Club will always be open to him.

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