The news that Gael Clichy is out for up to two months is unfortunate and may harm Arsenal’s trophy ambitions. When he first started his career at Arsenal, he was very injury prone, with continuous operations on his broken metatarsals. He always seems to get injured at an awkward time for The Gunners, and will return in the New Year.
Arsenal have two very competent full-backs in Kieran Gibbs and Armand Traore that will provide very good cover. Even if they get injured, Sagna, Gallas and Vermaelen can all play there in an emergency. However, if either Gibbs or Traore established themselves and their form scintillating, what would come of Clichy?
Real Madrid is in desperate need for a natural left-back and a fee of around twenty to thirty million for Clichy is being offered for him (speculation, of course). If this materialises, then does Arsene Wenger consider it? If Arsenal are serious about challenging for the title, they need to be able to depend on players who are not so injury prone. I’m not calling for Clichy to go but it’s frustrating to see him on the sidelines again.
Major defensive errors from Clichy have surprisingly seeped in his game. Another at fault for leaking goals in the seasons of failure has been Kolo Toure, who was duly shown the door. A quality player and a real fans’ favourite, but his time was up. The replacement for Kolo has been in the master class that is Thomas Vermaelen. If anyone doubted Arsene decision to let Toure go, the Belgian has stepped in and nobody can have too many complaints, especially for scoring! Does Arsenal need to do it again? Do they need to buy a replacement, or is the personnel good enough at the club to cope with the Frenchman’s absence?
In the North London derby last year, Gael slipped and cost us a goal and, inevitably, the game. Against Manchester City, last and this season, Arsenal have come away believing if it wasn’t for individual errors, they would have won the game. The standout one however is the Birmingham game in February 2008. He was too confident and even though he got the ball, gave away the penalty. He’s a fantastic footballer. He can run for the cause and inventive going forward but isn’t solid at the back.
If Arsenal want to win something, they must evaluate each position. Carefully. I really don’t want anyone to think I want to see Clichy out, because I love the way he plays. But if he cannot shake off the persistent injuries and get the bad decision making out of him, then surely if a team are looking to offer a sack full of money, Arsenal should at least think about it.
He’s another player that is great at football and can pass you off the park but isn’t aggressive enough. Maybe his bad form could be because of injury? Either way, he’s got two bright young talents who are desperate to stake their claim in his position.
Tenacious in the tackle. Brilliant going forward. No winger can out run this whiz-kid. But here we are again, talking of Clichy being out at a time when Arsenal really need to stamp their authority and go on to win something.