Gael Goes – Masterplan Or Muck-Up?
The first of the predicted departures from Arsenal has occurred, Gael Clichy‘s £7m transfer to Manchester City finalised yesterday. He completed his move in The Arsenal Way as much is possible, quiet dignity from the player throughout the summer. I hope he enjoys his time at Eastlands but equally that it is unsuccessful on the trophy front.
Clichy was more respectful towards Arsenal supporters than he might otherwise have been
I have had eight fantastic years at Arsenal and made many friends. I have so many great memories from my time at Highbury and Emirates Stadium. I would like to say thank you to everyone at Arsenal for all of their support and friendship. I also want to send a big thank you to all the Arsenal supporters, who have always been so good to me.
He hasn’t read much of the online content which is less than polite. Widely held as being at fault more often than not, Clichy is the one player leaving that I suspect Wenger will not move quickly to replace, looking at Gibbs and Traore as suitable with the inexperienced Botelho and Vermaelen the lease appealing of the internal options. If that is the case, I disagree. Gibbs may have played as many games as Clichy when he broke into the side but looks more fragile defensively. That’s before we even begin to consider his poor record with injuries. Vermaelen is more important in the centre of the defence.
The lengthy nature of Clichy’s dalliances meant plenty of time for others to be heavily linked with the club. Current persistent target is Jose Enrique of Newcastle, his manager Alan Pardew admitting that the left back will be a possible replacement at Arsenal and the club are powerless to stop him. The player apparently has a burning desire for Champions League football – quite why Liverpool think he’ll sign for them if that’s the case is beyond me – and he has one year left on his contract. A similar price to Clichy makes him a cheaper option than Leighton Baines, the interest of Arsenal has apparently cooled with a £20m price tag.
Carlos Tevez’s desire for a move damages Clichy’s hopes of trophies. At Arsenal that would be the cue for a raft of articles featuring the word ‘crisis’ heavily. A £40m valuation brings Barcelona’s efforts to sign Cesc into focus. The latest deal offered reportedly rises to €38.5m, some way short of Arsenal’s requirement.
The tenor of Spanish media reports has changed, Arsène is now cast as pantomime villain for breaking his promises to let Cesc leave. A big showdown this week, the player will reportedly agitate for a move completely at odds with the professionalism previously displayed, tacit admittance that Barcelona cannot afford him. Sport reports that Cesc has no intention of travelling to the Far East this weekend whilst Mundo Deportivo suggests that the player will be training alone to provoke a move. Muscle training is apparently just a cover.
Wenger will be busy with Samir Nasri, trying to dissuade him from leaving. Tough times ahead. Coincidentally his Mr20% is the same as Clichy, Cesc and van Persie (not hard to see where the RvP rumour came from last week, eh?). Yes, the Dein family are always doing their best for Arsenal.
With players leaving and media reports of unrest, little surprise that the ongoing run of trophyless seasons is under scrutiny. Paul Scholes have sharpened the focus,
Arsenal just flatter to deceive. They may play the prettiest football, but it doesn’t always produce the results they need.
They do play the best football to watch at times, but what is the point, if you are not winning anything? Not only that, they are potentially going to lose their best players, in Fabregas, Nasri and Clichy. I hope Nasri comes to United. Success does go in cycles, but the way we have been set out at United for the last 15-20 years, I would be surprised if we went six years without a trophy.
Much of that depends on Ferguson. A change of manager would be more unsettling for United than Arsenal, you feel. Having said that, few of United’s current squad are targets for anyone, the instability surrounding Ronaldo and Beckham of years gone by has led to some feeling of stability. How might that change when the manager retires?
Football has changed though. The cyclical nature is feeling less and less likely with no real challengers emerging to the Big Four and Manchester City. Even if one does fall into the hands of a billionaire, spending sprees seem to be over with all clubs casting wary glances at FFP and its potential impact, none wanting to be the first to test Uefa’s loopholes.
But Scholes focus is drawn to the nature of professional football at this level. It is hard to be objective about whether Arsenal are the best team in England to watch – they are – but all competitors want to win. Arsenal have failed to do so and this summer may see what is regarded as one of the most technically gifted squads broken up.
Like England’s Golden Generation, they have failed to win anything. That is not what the manager and the club are about, not what either wants or requires. The question is whether the much mooted departures of Nasri and Clichy are part of Wenger’s masterplan? Is he preparing to release players to shuffle the squad effectively, looking to make the playing style more efficient? Could this be a reason for no transfer activity inwards thus far, waiting to see which of the unsettled leaves so that he can focus on the appropriate replacements?
We shall see in the coming days. ’til Tomorrow.
Posted on July 5, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 439 Comments.