Goodbye Gael Clichy, You’ll Be Missed

I haven’t had the chance to gauge the general sentiment of the fans about the transfer of Clichy to Man City so I will just share my views. I think this transfer is good for all concerned.

From the player’s point of view, this move will give him a fresh start in a completely different environment where he will get much better defensive support than he did at Arsenal in the last three years. I expect Clichy to thrive at City and perform better than their overhyped acquisitions like Bridge, Lescott, and Kolarov. While the Frenchman might need some time to adapt to the new system, manager, and teammates; I won’t be surprised if he rediscovers the form that got him into the 07-08 PFA team of the year.

For City, it is an excellent signing. They have spent a lot of money on left backs but most have struggled to perform consistently. The Blues from Manchester could have spent three times the reported £7 they paid for Clichy without finding half the quality in the present market. I am disappointed a rival has been strengthened but if Clichy had to go, it is better he went to a club that can afford virtually anyone rather than a club like Liverpool who are also struggling to find the right player for that position.

From Arsenal’s point of view, a change at left back provides a chance to rework the balance of the squad. In my opinion, Clichy had to sacrifice his attacking instincts while playing alongside the likes of Arshavin and Wilshere. Wenger should now pick a more defensive minded player for that role, especially one who can deal with aerial balls a little better than Clichy did.

There are many opinions about the replacement. I am with those who think Vermaelen should be moved to left back. This would make even more sense if Arsene goes out and buys a good central defender.

For all his talents, Clichy didn’t offer enough in the air often ending up on the posts while the team defended set-pieces. If Vermaelen moved to left back and a new central defender of similar quality is purchased, Arsenal will have a much stronger aerial presence in the defensive and attacking third.

Technically, the Belgian is good enough to play the role and has indeed performed admirably in the past for Ajax and for his country.

Gibbs can continue to deputize and can take over if Vermaelen is needed in the centre of defence due to an injury or any other reason.

To be frank, I am saddened by this departure because Clichy was one of those who went about his job without complaining and never made a scene. Others in his position would have found many reasons to whine but the Frenchman was extremely professional and devoted to the club while he was here. I will miss him and will continue to track his career over the next few years. It will be entertaining to see Sagna and Clichy on the same flank on opposite sides rather than the other way around that we have become used to. Hopefully, his best games won’t come against Arsenal.

Goodbye Gael. Wish you all the best.

55 Responses to Goodbye Gael Clichy, You’ll Be Missed

  1. crazy gunner says:

    good post I always look at the positives…we’ve had a problem at left back and oppossing teams have targetted clichy especially aerially getting easy knockdowns to our box.

    Now is the time to improve on Clichy its an excellent opportunity….to call a spade a spade he was becoming a liability.

    What you can not doubt however was his professionalism…and maybe his committment.

  2. konz says:

    completely agree

    i would like a carve and copy of sagna at left back please, our defenders need to defend first and attack second

    id prefer TV5 at centre half but he can be a good deputy at left back if required

    gibbs isnt ready yet

    great servant, good luck!

  3. Tommo says:

    Good points well made.

  4. critic says:

    A true professional.

    But what’s with the sh*t talks about verma moving at LB. A while ago u were advocating him for DM. At LB his abilities won’t be utilized completely. He is much more accomplished player to be a LB.

  5. arvind says:

    Im a little sentimental about this move and the loss of Gael. He is the last of the invincibles. That in itself is something to feel sad about. That team was completely awesome and when cashley left, I know a lot of us did not worry too much bc of Clichy being his replacement. He has had his ups and downs, but I also admire his professionalism and dedication.

    I also agree with putting TV in his position. TV can cross, shoot and score, as well as having a good leap. Only worry is his health.

    Good luck Clichy! Thanks for all your efforts over the years.

  6. Sameep says:

    How about Vertonghen along with Vermaelen and Gibbs to rotate for LB spot? He can play at CB and DM too from what I have read. It will be a buy that can balance our team. Looks like he scores some goals too.

  7. scully says:

    Arsene will replace Clichy from within, and ultimately we’ll be a weaker team, just what and see!

  8. scully says:


    • gunner_expat says:

      ur a fool…

      by the way i think u meant *wait*, since ‘watch’ and ‘see’ mean practically the same thing, and that would be quite foolish.
      hmm maybe u meant it…

  9. www says:

    Vermaelen at left back if we buy 2 centre halves. it will certainly add height and power where it is so needed. for certain games like stoke we should also consider jd and kos at right back or jd kos bartley in a dm role.

    would certainly go for 2 of samba cahill vertonghen sakho subotic hummels. i also like jagielka but as a right back instead of eboue. he would be different to sagna. like gibbs would give us something different to vermaelen.

  10. pedrogooner says:

    Sorry but just have to come out and say it. f**k clichy, nasri, fabregas and all the other players trying to engineer moves away from the club that made them. I am and have always been a die hard fan and now instead of being addicted to reading Arsenal news I just can’t be bothered anymore. Dull manager and a bull sh1tting board. I am not excited about the coming season and its not because we don’t have talent ie wilshere’ ramsey, van persie. Its the way we drag out transfers coming in and lose out on players but also the way we only seem to sell players for a fraction of what they are really worth. Joke is on us barca offered 40 mill for sanchez but only 27 mill for cesc. WTF.

  11. pedrogooner says:

    DO 1 CLICHY U LITTLE RAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. solo says:


  13. Aussie Jack says:

    Gael was, or had, become stale at Arsenal, he`d been there long enough. As they say, `time to reinvent himself`. Good luck mate.

  14. irsh gooner says:

    i have a really bad feeling that gibbs will be our LB next season,if that is the case il be moving to the wenger out team…i hope im wrong

  15. legweak says:

    Money money money……….!

  16. Phil23 says:

    I take a slightly different view. I agree with all the positives but then again you forgot some very important points: He left to City to earn literally double what he currently earns. He left to compete with 3 other left backs in a team that has just as much, (if not less) chance of winning the Prem. Lastly and the part that sours the deal for me is the fee I have heard of 7m. What a ridiculous fee to get from a money wasting scum club like City! What the hell are we going to do with that 7m? I must whole heartedly agree with anyone who states that we always seem to sell players for well less than their value.
    Anyway, I agree the Vermaelen should play at left back ONLY if Vertonghen came to play at CB. Other wise I would be more than happy to see a true athlete playing down the left, Someone tall, fast and explosive. Someone in the style of Maicon that just powers down the wing and can’t be stopped. Theres not many such players but one that springs to my mind is Aly Cissokho but i’m sure Arsene will pick the right player.

    • richie says:

      Not so Phil23 Clichy only had a year left on his contract so £7M is very good biz for us. In a years time he leaves for free, so we did well to pick up £7M. Many people have short memories Gibbs at one point looked like a better player than GC until he was injuried then ring rusty making his comeback I agree he didn’t look so hot, but who’s to say that he hasn’t got fire in his belly again? Who that Arsene let go has ended up a world beater?

      • Phil23 says:

        Richie, you are right about the fee being fair. The thing you havn’t factored in is that Manchester City don’t pay fair fees, they pay insane fees. 30m for Milner? 20m+ for Lescott? 20m for Adebeyor? 30m for Dzeko? 20m for Kompany when he would be free transfer the next year? Imo Clichy was worth 10m to City. Infact, I would have taken 5m for him to go anywhere but England and then we don’t have to worry about how much he will improve City and what he’s going to do to us 2 games a year. This is just my opinion so feel free to ignore me = )

      • richie says:

        No Phil your opinions are worth hearing I mearly wanted to point out that as GC wasn’t going to re-sign for us (Money City offering double wages) we weren’t in a position of strength re- transfer fee’s. I agree they’ve paid silly money when building their squad and I expect that to continue, as they attempt to move on to the next level. I just thought that the reported £7M from a relatively weakened position wasn’t at all bad for us, and I say again Arsene hasn’t let anyone leave who’s go on to be a world beater.

  17. Kuf says:

    Are u basing ur assesment that vermaelen would be good left back based on fm or cos he has a left foot(then kocielny should play as a right back)…in 2006,after ashley left many doubted clichy,he did okay… I think kieran will be fine,but if i were AW i will sign vargas from fiorentina…and i think if we loose nasri and get alvarez or hazard,we will also be fine,cos i think wilshere,song and diaby(yes diaby),will interprete the midfield triumvate differently…then we will have chamberlain,arshavin,gervinho and chamakh as attacking back ups… I somehow have faith in abou diaby to come good, i think he is a fantastic footballer…on his rare good days,there are few better in the EPL. i happen to think Diaby needs to get out of the cesc comfort zone and he/we will be fine

    • Alvarez should be a competition to Nasri not his replacement considering his inexperience and woeful injury record…….we develop players patiently only to let them go when they start peaking eh?? project youth has been a major muck up…

  18. Arsenaltilidie says:

    Clichy, tu es un salaud gourmands

  19. Mulcs32 says:

    “”I really believe if you are a player who thinks only about money then you could end up at Manchester City.” …Gael clichy 2009,The Sun….nothing more need be said.

    • Well they were below us then, now the equations have changed…..
      …..why would the likes of Nasri or Cesc would stay if the situation continues, even RVP and Theo have 2 years left……..good football can get you this far …..

  20. MK says:

    Can’t blame him for leaving after all the stick he has been getting from misguided fans.. he is a great player who has had to cover defending for the entire left side of the pitch by himself and we will miss him more than we realize.

    While he has made a few high profile mistakes, he has saved us so many more times with his great pace and athleticism.

    Shame we couldn’t have sold him overseas as this will make Man City a better team and that much harder to beat.

  21. lol Mulcs excellent! LOL

  22. Arsenal4 says:

    well – the good points have been stated in the article.

    I have a sense that this move is important for Wenger to keep Nasri as we would make some space on the salary side. This mean though we’re unlikely to get an expensive left back – means we probably have to settle with what we have, either Gibbs or Traore -or some extreme meeasure putting TV there.

    Generally I am still fine though – biggest priority should be keeping Cesc then Nasri. After that get a back up DC, DM and winger.

    The gauge from the fans seems to be doom and gloom. It’s all speculation now until it’s all confirmed. If we can keep Cesc & Nasri, plus getting a proper DC/DM back up I would consider a succesful summer for Arsenal perspective.

    With TV, DJ and Kosc I have confident with the defence, in fact more and more i am more worry with the winger – as AA & TR getting less dependable.

  23. G4L says:

    Good points covering all angles. I am glad he’s moved on and City are a good place for him because they won’t improve as much as Liverpool would have if they’d signed Clichy. I’d have preferred it if we had sold him abroad.

    Those crying about the money we got for him, well I can’t see a defender in the last year of his contract going for more unless he is an overrated Englishman.

    Funny thing is, it’s probably the same fans who berated the player all season long pretending that he was worth diddly squat!

    • santori says:

      I don’t mind Clichy moving to City since I don’t believe we would have seen that sort of money for him from any other team.

      But I hope we don’t sell Nasri to them. Better off selling him offshore.

  24. dan says:

    Well Desi I have slated this blog in the past but I have to say this article was well laid out and sensible. Bravo, and agree with MK and others that he was overburdened on the left and that it really comes down to the quality of the replacement.

  25. Yang says:

    I wonder why pro footballer go out of form without any specific reasons for 1-2 season long, I think that Clichy fall into out of form player category.

  26. Well Vermaelen has been very poor whenever he has played at LB at Ajax or for the Belgium national team anyone who has watched them play will attest to that ,and enuf of players playing out of positions…..Vermy himself has said that he prefers playing centrally enuf of internal solutions…

  27. JP says:

    Good luck to Clichy (except against us)! Clichy is weak at scoring, crossing, defending in the air and he lapses sometimes. Having said that he is still a good steady reliable defender. He played a lot of games for us last year and will it will be a challenge to replace him in that regard. I pray to the heavens that Gibbs is not given the job as primary left back as we will be in serious problems. Clichy said Arsenal does not have quality depth in the squad and without Van Persie and Cesc we struggle. Can’t argue that. We don’t have the depth of quality that Man City have. I fear for us in that regard.

  28. alphiekenya says:

    great article.

    i see sense in TV5 playing there if a centre back is bought but what about pace, i dont buy the opinion that since arshavin is attack minded that we need a less attack minded full back, sagna should be the sticking point i believe.good attacking forward,great defensively.

    i want bendtner and denilson to get clubs quickly to “free” up space, diaby is on a 50/50 imo but he’s clearly wenger’s favorite. i honestly dont mind cesc staying coz he’s delivered regularly but on nasri’s case, he should either sign or be sold…..and i do recognize what he can eventually bring in the table i’d rather he be sold…..what promises do we have with even a trophy he wont pull a TEVEZ on us.

    • santori says:

      Koscielny is better out left.

      Mind you, we would prob be seeing the likes of Gervinho in and out left as an option to AA. Hopefully he is a little more dilligent tracking back.

      Prob with Andrei is he has slowed IMO. OK as an impact LW but prob better centrally (remember the goal against Barca)

  29. thegeeman says:

    I am saddened to see him go but the bigger picture remains. There is big trouble in Gooner land. It is time for Wenger to go. The guys quit playing after we were robbed by the dirty cheaters from Barca. this is not a good sign. I have been writing about this since March of this year on my blog The players have quit on Wenger. This is just an educated guess based on experience.

  30. santori says:

    I’m not sure of putting one of our better centreBacks out left.

    Much rather put Koscielny out there instead as the lad has speed to burn and reads the game well (maybe not as physically built for central Df in the PL)

    That is of course IF we get ourselves decent cover in CBack.

  31. santori says:

    Not too sure how true this is but rumour has it Pepe is on his last year and that he will be available for cut price (Real paid 27m for him)

    Villa BOas is supposedly tracking him but we may be able to hijack him.

    Seems like Real are looking for more creativity in the middle. No chance in hell they’d get Fab but what if we threw Nasri in for Pepe?

    Pepe looks tenacious and has experience @28. He did a damm good job shackling Barca when he played them as DM which is another bonus (cover for Song)

    With Pepe and either of TV or Djourou, Kos can be moved to Lback as fourth choice Cback..

    • Phil23 says:

      Sorry but I dont see the logic in this one. You don’t mind Clichy moving to City for a measly 7m instead of the 5m he would get overseas. Yet you would rather trade Nasri out of the prem where he has a 20m offer on the table to the same club with the same contract length. Instead you would prefer that we traded him for a 28 year old with a terrible disciplinary record who has one year left on his contract? Not to mention that Real Madrid are much more likely to hurt us in the CL than City. Honestly I would prefer that we gave them some extra $$$ and signed Kaka. Atleast that way we can sell Fabregas for 35-40m knowing we have a world class replacement. Half of that fee would go to Madrid for Kaka while the other half could go on a Nasri replacement such as Hazard. If this were to happen we would be a pace team again and I believe it would be very beneficial. Although the midfield would be less fluid as Kaka would not drop into defensive midfield like Fabregas does. That would mean we would need a more solid pairing in front of the defense for bigger games while Wilshere would add that extra creativity against teams we want to break down.

      Anyway, if I read a transfer reading “Arsenal swap Nasri for Pepe” I would involuntarily vomit on the spot. “Arsenal swap Nasri for Pepe plus 10m” would be another story altogether though! ; )

      • santori says:

        1) Clichy is not a threat if moved on to our peer competitor. Nasri IMO is.

        2) Kaka is a luxury. His wage bill alone will overload us.

        3) Pepe has a fine record as a defender and plays excellent as a DM. Personally, we need the sort of bite he gives which has been sadly lacking at the back in recent years.

        4) Selling Fab now would be foolish. We have no need to and it would send the wrong message to the team (particularly if we lose Nasri which is more a possibility)

        5) Why go for Hazard when Gervinho would be cheaper.

        6) Whoever said we were doing a straight swap with Pepe. I think there will be room (as mentioned) for a profit on top of that if Nasri is to go to Real. I’m thinking more around 15m.

        I don’t quite see your logic either.

      • santori says:

        Kaka…much rather get Benzema. If Real move for either of Neymar or Aguero, Karim will be offloaded.

        In which case, I would play RVP off of either Benzema or Chamakh in a libero position floating in front of Song/Jack.

        Gervinho (great price) will add speed to our LWing (where AA has lost some pace). Walcott on other wing (maybe another option out right)

        Kaka ….I’m not convinced for the price. No thanks.

      • richie says:

        Santori your comparing apples with oranges
        5) Why go for Hazard when Gervinho would be cheaper?
        Gervinho is a forward Hazard an attacking midfielder you are not comparing like for like.

    • santori says:

      Gervinho is a forward that can play wing.

      Wenger could safely move for him at this stage in the knowledge that if he does not find any better value for a forward, he can utilise Gervinho in that position.

      At the same time, if a good option presents itself close to end of window, he can always play Gervinho out wide.

      Versatility is key. Don’t be too dogmatic.

      • richie says:

        I’m not being dogmatic
        You said why go for Hazard when Gervinho would be cheaper?
        Gervinho is a forward who can play on the wing. Henry was a forward who Barca chose to play on the wing. Where was he most effective? Is the question I ask? I have always loved the idea of total football where players can interchange positions but Hazard is a fantastic prospect as an attacking mid he’s not a forward but no doubt like Shava did for us when called on, he could do a job as a forward. Gervinho as a Mid I don’t think is as effective as Gervinho the forward.

  32. santori says:

    By way of Pepe, here’s another potential scenario which may not even need hinge upon the sale of Nasri.

    If Villa Boas lands Pepe, then Alex is rumoured to be the one to make way.

    With his grit, aerial strength (set pieces) and cannon of a shot (not to mention experience), I think he ticks all the boxes for me for our back line.

    Did I mention he will also probably be fairly reasonably priced?

  33. richie says:

    Well said Desi-G Clichy was always a pro for us and I don’t begrudge him trading himself in for double his wages. He served us well even on leaving (because if my memory serves me well we only paid Caan somewhere between a quarter and half a £Mil for him so IMHO we got our moneys worth). As the last surviving member of the invincibles its a slightly sad moment but we must move on.

  34. santori says:

    Riccardo Montelivo. Another possibility if we have to lose Fab. Excellent vision and distribution plus he can play DM. Could hawk off Squillaci and Rosicky to Fiorentina if they need them in exchange for a cut in price. He has one year left on contract and is in the same situation as Nasri.

  35. so much for FFP with man city signing the deal which will allow them to dominate…………

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