At the beginning of the summer in 2010, Arsene said a bold and important, key statement about transfers and experience…
“If we bring some players in then they have to be experienced. I think we have been in the race this year with the team we had. We will be stronger next year just with the internal improvement and with the experience these players will have. The additions will be minimal but if there are some they have to be really top class.”
We didn’t add any experience – we didn’t add anything of notably quality – Kos, Squillaci and Chamakh have proved pretty useless this season.
This summer, Arsene has said this:
“We have shown that we have the technical quality to win the league but certainly not the defensive solidity to do it. We have learned that we have the quality, despite what everybody is saying, but of course we need to gain some experience in some areas of the team.
The “experience” thing has been talked about time and time again. We’ve lost Vieira, Gallas, Toure, Adebayor and now Clichy – there’s a fair amount of experience right there – Ramsey, Jenkinson, Koscielny, Djourou, Chamakh have replaced the former players (in terms of numbers) and they’re quite the opposite of experience!
What I don’t understand is how the move came about – Arsene was keen to keep him a couple of weeks ago (hold, on, a week ago), but perhaps that was just a lie?
On the 26th June, Arsene said:
“We have started talks with Gael and want him to stay.”
On the 4th July, we sold him and the gaffer then said this…
“We would like to thank Gael for eight years of terrific service to Arsenal, during which time he gave absolutely everything for the Club. He has grown and developed so much since joining us in 2003, and has been a crucial part of the team over recent seasons. Gael leaves with our respect and best wishes. We wish him the very best for his future career.”
So what do you think? Did we want to keep him? Did he want to leave?
We all remember what Clichy said in 2009 about Manchester City – it’s hilarious to hear it again, considering his recent move…
“I really believe if you are a player who thinks only about money then you could end up at Manchester City. You have to think if you want to play for a big club and have your image or if you want to play for a good club and earn big money. When you ask someone to move for something like £300,000 a week it is just crazy.”
I believe in the life of culture – if no-one ever transferred away from your club, players would find it less easy to do so… we went through a period where we hardly sold anyone of any stature and then in more recent times, we are starting to sell more and more players. For Clichy, when Ade, Toure and Vieira all leave and are doing all right somewhere else, it makes him think, “yes, I can leave, it will be okay”… and it contagious - I really think it will continue. Nasri will leave – I’m pretty sure of it. I just hope we get a decent fee and he doesn’t go to a title rival..!
Clichy has always been a decent player for us – his work rate has always been high, and for that reason, you can’t fault him leaving and can only wish him luck… If you asked me in 2008 if Man City would have Ade, Toure and Clichy on their books in 2011, I would have bitten your hand off – but hey, what can we do? It’s the football life…
Fingers crossed we don’t sell anyone today – have a good ‘un!